About the Author

Who had the audacity to write such an against-the-grain book exposing “healthy whole grains” for the incredibly destructive genetic monsters they’ve become?

That’s me, Dr. William Davis, cardiologist and seeker-of-truth in health. Over 80% of the people I meet today are pre-diabetic or diabetic. In an effort to reduce blood sugar, I asked patients to remove all wheat products from their diet based on the simple fact that, with few exceptions, foods made of wheat flour raise blood sugar higher than nearly all other foods. Yes, that’s true for even whole grains. More than table sugar, more than a Snickers bar. Organic, multigrain, sprouted–it makes no difference.

People returned several months later and did indeed show lower blood sugar, often sufficient for pre-diabetics to be non-prediabetics. But it was the other results they described that took me by surprise: weight loss of 25 to 30 lbs over several months, marked improvement or total relief from arthritis, improvement in asthma sufficient to chuck 2 or 3 inhalers, complete relief from acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, disappearance of leg swelling and numbness. Most reported increased mental clarity, deeper sleep, and more stable moods and emotions. I witnessed even more incredible experiences like the 26-year old man incapacitated by full-body joint pains who started to jog again, pain-free. And the 38-year old schoolteacher who, just weeks before her surgeon scheduled colon removal and ileostomy bag, experienced cure–cure–from ulcerative colitis and intestinal hemorrhage–and stopped all medications. That’s when I knew that I had to broadcast this message. Wheat Belly was the result.

I’m not promoting drugs, fancy medical procedures, or costly equipment. I’m not promoting a process that makes a pharmaceutical company rich or helps a hospital gain more revenue-producing procedures. I’m talking about a simple change in diet that yields incredible and unexpected health benefits in so many more ways than you’d think. And it’s not just about celiac disease, the destructive intestinal disease from wheat gluten that affects 1% of the population. It’s about all the other destructive health effects of wheat consumption, from arthritis to acid reflux to schizophrenia, caused or made worse by this food we are advised to eat more of. It’s about being set free from the peculiar appetite-stimulating effects of the opiate-like compounds unique to wheat. It’s also about losing weight–10, 20, or 30 pounds is often just the start–all from this thing I call wheat belly. The key to understanding wheat’s undesirable effects is to recognize that the total effect on human health is greater than the sum of its parts.

In addition to writing, speaking, and practicing preventive cardiology in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I am Medical Director and founder of the Track Your Plaque program for heart disease prevention and reversal. This program was articulated in the book, Track Your Plaque: The only heart disease prevention program that shows how to use the new heart scans to detect, track, and control coronary plaque, as well as the online program by the same name (www.trackyourplaque.com). Wheat elimination along with the nutritional principles articulated in Wheat Belly serve as the cornerstone of my heart disease prevention efforts used in the Track Your Plaque program, as well.

While I’m not writing or cooking my unique wheat-free recipes, I can be found biking, sampling wines with my wife or competing with the boys on XBox, walking my two Boston terriers, or watching my tennis pro daughter, Lauren Davis, in her tennis matches around the world.

1,647 Responses to About the Author

  1. Jana Ooley says:

    Hello! My daughter and son have been diagnosed as “insulin resistant”. My daughter is 14 and has Acanthosis Negricans, as well as my 13 year old son, and she has also been diagnosed with PCOS. I’ve taken them to specialists, reduced their portions, they drink only water but it still isn’t having an effect on the main issue which is their weight. The dietician told me to increase whole grains and reduce portion sizes – that’s it! I’ve thought for a while maybe they had Celiac’s Disease. Do you think that this could be a symptom of wheat belly? Could changing this in their diets help with the insulin resistance? I am desperate for something to help them. Their bodies turn everything to sugar and their bodies can’t process all of it so it comes out of their skin with these dark rings around their neck and under their arms. They are so self-conscious.

    • Rebecca says:

      It sounds like their immune system is in really bad shape. Start them on a whole-food, plant-based diet. Primarily fruits, vegetables, whole grains, tubers, and legumes. Exclude or minimize animal-based foods such as meat (including poultry and fish), dairy, and eggs, as well as refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil. You’ll see marked improvement very soon. Make them green smoothies. Watch the movie “Forks Over Knives,” it will turn your whole family’s health around. Google vegan recipes to get started. Best of luck.

    • michele says:

      Am new to losing weight (used to be a skinny little thing). Have been doing WB since 12/26/12 and doing well following guidelines except that I’ve been eating real cheese, apple or two and almonds for lunch. Almonds are dry roasted unsalted but have been eating 3 individual serving bags at a time. Each bag is 210 calories. Is this way too much?
      Thanks for the help!

    • Boundless says:

      > My daughter and son have been diagnosed as “insulin resistant”.
      > My daughter is 14 and has Acanthosis Negricans, as well as
      > my 13 year old son, and she has also been diagnosed with PCOS.

      I’m not a medical professional, but a quick seach indicates that this is all consistent with excess carbohydrates.

      > I’ve taken them to specialists, reduced their portions, they drink only water
      > but it still isn’t having an effect on the main issue which is their weight.

      It has almost nothing to do with size of the portions. It’s what’s in them. What is their net carb intake per meal?

      > The dietician told me to increase whole grains and reduce portion sizes – that’s it!

      Stop taking advice from that dietician immediately. Also ignore Rebecca above.

      > I’ve thought for a while maybe they had Celiac’s Disease. Do you
      > think that this could be a symptom of wheat belly? Could changing
      > this in their diets help with the insulin resistance?

      We’re all effectively celiac – it’s just a matter of degree and decades. You could have them tested for that specific marker, but they’re actually more likely to be acute non-celiac gluten-sensitive, and thus dismissed by mainstream medicine.

      > I am desperate for something to help them.

      Switching to a grain-free low-carb diet is relatively easy to do compared to intensive medicinal approaches. One challenge, at their age, is keeping them off carbs at at school and when you aren’t around.

      > Their bodies turn everything to sugar and their bodies can’t process all
      > of it so it comes out of their skin with these dark rings around their neck
      > and under their arms. They are so self-conscious.

      Their bodies cannot turn “everything” to glucose: fats in particular, proteins only to a limited extent. The main culprit is carbs, and gluten-bearing grains, whole or not, are the most troublesome.

  2. Jerry Zielke says:

    I ordered you Wheat Belly book on Audio CD over a month ago as I was having all kinds of health issue that were getting worse over the past few years. I have had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, allergy problems, acid reflux, irritable bowel, constipation and bloating, gaining weight, and not sleeping will at night. Over the last two year I have gain additional problems with whole body inflammation, skin issues on my hands and elbows, leg swelling and numbness, joint pain, and feeling tried after eating. I watch over the Christmas holiday season how much bread and wheat product that I consumed. I started the no Wheat and gluten free program on Dec 31, 2012. I started to see results in improved health within a week. I have now been on the program for three weeks and I have lost twelve pounds and two inches around my waist. I have less inflammation in my hands, arms and legs, I feel less tried during the day, and have less acid reflux and bloating.

  3. Sheri says:

    Dr D – is non-GMO organic popping corn (used in a hot air popper) ok as an occassional snack?

    • Boundless says:

      Merely run the numbers on the carb content. It doesn’t take much corn to blow one meal’s carb budget, or even your entire day’s.

  4. Sally says:

    I have been following wheat belly for about a month, lost 12 pounds and feel great. I only have a craving for , and it has always been my weakness, chewy candy like ju-jubes or licorice. Are there any substitutes?

  5. Sally says:

    Please tell me if there is any substitute for liquorice or ju-jubes on the wheat belly regime.

    • Boundless says:

      Quest bars berry flavor might substitute for the fruity chewies, but I’ve seen nothing for licorice. And licorice is a major nasty. The #1 and 2 ingredients are wheat and sugar.

  6. Bonnie Hennessey says:

    Dear Dr. Davis,Have been trying to follow the wheat belly lifestyle for 2 months. Did not have a problem coming off wheat. Have not lost a significant amount of weight. Trying now to calculate the carb intake. Concerned about the amount of eggs I am eating . With no cereal in the morning I am having egg in some form with berries or cooked into wheat free pancakes. Should I be worried about consuming 7 or more eggs a week? My only meds are cholesterol and BP. Best regards, Bonnie.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Part of the premise of the book, Bonnie, is a rejection of the nonsense we’ve been fed about “high cholesterol” and meat/fat/egg consumption. It is patent nonsense–but it makes lots of money for the pharmaceutical industry.

      In fact, I eat 7 eggs in the course of a couple of days!

      • Harvey says:

        Dr. Davis:

        I’m a bachelor, and don’t really want to start cooking everything I eat from scratch, as the Wheat Belly books apparently require.

        Is there anyplace that sells breads and other already prepared foods compliant with the Wheat Belly orthodoxy?

        • Dr. Davis says:

          No, sorry, Harvey. Nobody yet sells these products.

          Very soon, the Wheat Free Market and others will, however. I will announce here when appropriate.

          In the meantime, take some cooking classes and meet some nice single ladies!

    • Mandy says:

      Hi Bonnie. We raise laying hens and my husband eats at least five eggs a day, and sometimes as many as seven or eight. At his last physical, blood work was taken and the results? A fabulously LOW cholesterol score.

  7. Dianne says:

    Hello Dr. Davis,
    I have been totally wheat free since last August. I had no problem going wheat free which really surprised me because I loved bread, muffins, cereal, etc. I immediately noticed that my appetite had diminished (I used to constantly be hungry) and I felt like a fog had been lifted off of me…much happier mood.
    With the loss of appetite, I figured that I had finally found the answer to my constant weight problems…I had an “ah ha” moment…all of the wheat I was eating was my problem! I have never been grossly obese, but my BMI has me as borderline obese. In the past, I have done Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, counted calories, counted carbs, counted grams of fat…read book, after book…well you get the picture. My body would grudgingly loose some weight but before long it would be back again (plus some). I felt going wheat free was finally “the answer”. I am totally committed to wheat free–it just makes sense to me and I feel so much better.
    I am writing today because I am not loosing any weight…I am gaining. In particular, in my upper abdomen area. I have a protein smoothie for breakfast (protein powder, pumpkin seed powder, chia seeds, coconut oil, blueberries and fresh spinach); lunch is usually chopped veggies (usually peppers, cucumber made into my version of a Greek salad) with some protein (sunflower seeds/feta cheese); and dinner is meat with more veggies, occasionally I also have a little brown rice or rice pasta. . I snack on raw almonds mid afternoon. At 57, I am not a “couch potato”–I enjoy walking, hiking and getting out on my ATV (my husband and I enjoy the outdoors). I also do resistance exercises every second day.
    I am at a total loss and as I seem to be getting a bigger and bigger “spare tire”, I’m starting to feel out of control. What am I doing wrong? Do you have any ideas why this is happening or recommendations as to what I should/could do differently? Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.

    • Pamela Rhea says:

      Dianne, Click on weight loss under catagories to our left. There are several posts addressing this issue. Very frustrating, but I’m glad to read you are so committed. Hope this helps you gets the results you are seeking. Pamela

  8. Davr says:

    Hello Dr. Davis,

    Firstly, great book. Secondly, is there a Japanese translation in the works, and if so, when will it be out? I really want my wife and her family to read it (they are Japanese). Surprisingly the modern Japanese are huge consumers of wheat (usually fluffy white bread) so I think your book could do a lot of good here.

    Osaka, Japan

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hi, Dave–

      No, no Japanese translation. Chinese, Hong Kong–yes, but no Japanese.

      I fear that, if the Japanese mimic Western habits and incorporate more and more modern high-yield, semi-dwarf wheat, they too will witness an explosion of poor health, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, and obesity–just as we are.

  9. Susanmcg says:

    Using the same logic as wheat, is corn a grain worth avoiding? Should we not replace Tricsuits with Tostitos?

    • Boundless says:

      Two big problems with corn:
      1. High glycemic:
      Even if you eat only organic non-GMO products that are baked or cooked in healthy oils, it only takes an absurdly small amount (like 6-8 chips) to blow an entire meal’s net carb budget.
      2. GMO
      And of course the majority of corn products on the market are GMO. What are the long term health implications? Monsanto hasn’t shared that data with us, so if you want to be the lab rat, munch away.

  10. Leanne says:

    Dr Davis,
    What are your comments about heritage wheat. As I understand it, some farmers are happy growing some types of heritage wheat because people are prepared to pay higher prices for it as it is organic, a heritage variety – meaning it has not been modified to the new standard of commercially grown wheat, and therefore has the nutrition still in. I’m not saying I would eat this wheat everyday but it is helpful to know you could use it when need be. My concern with some of the alternative flours such as almond flour is that the majority of almonds are pasteurized and therefore, have lost a substantial amount of nutrition. I understand almonds from Europe are not pasteurized and that there are some California farmers who have not pasteurized either but the latter have restrictions on them i.e. I don’t believe they can sell to suppliers but can sell on-line and to people who come to their farms. Also, from reading processing procedures for all nuts, raw organic unpasteurized almonds appear to be the winners of nuts because the processing of other nuts seems to take alot of the nutrients out of the nuts, even if they say there are raw and organic. Maybe you have different information about this – if so, please let me know.
    Thank you for your time.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hi, Leanna–

      While heritage wheat is less harmful, it does not qualify as truly harmless or healthy. Ideally, we rid ourselves of all wheat, ancient, heritage, or modern. Even when humans incorporated ancient forms, we compromised health substantially.

      I am unaware that the modest heating/pasteurization that California almond growers are forced to comply with to reduce Salmonella reduces nutritive value. If you have such data, I’d love to see it.

  11. Ashley says:

    Dear Dr. Davis,

    I have just finished your book and am so glad I made the decision to eliminate wheat from my diet 2 yrs ago. However, I read that you advised the elimination of other gluten grains like rye and spelt as well. Since I do not eat wheat, I bake my own bread with organic rye flour. I have recently tried baking using non-hybrid organic spelt flour as well. But I noticed the spelt bread caused slight stomach discomfort and some flatulence. With the rye bread, we are ok.

    Can you please share what are the adverse health effects of consuming rye and spelt? Thanks so much.


    • Dr. Davis says:

      They are less harmful . . . but not good!

      I do not settle on compromises to health. If ideal health is your goal, Ashley, I’d say lose the rye and spelt!

  12. Debbie says:

    I tried stevia in my coffee and it gave me bad cramps and very loose stools….NEVER AGAIN!
    I gave up the wheat and all things containing gluten, thought i would try the Stevia, so why does it make me so sick???

    • Dr. Davis says:

      The most common reason for this is the maltodextrin used in some powdered stevia preparations, and not the stevia extract itself. If your product had maltodextrin, look for one that is pure stevia extract or contains inulin rather than maltodextrin.

      If your preparations did NOT contain maltodextrin to account for the experience, then you might consider erythritol, xylitol, lo han guo, or Swerve. You may have a rare idiosyncratic intolerance to stevia.

  13. Kerstin Hannemann says:

    Hello Dr Davis,
    thank you for you indeed life saving book ! I am a 48 year old German woman, but actually I fell like being born for the third time in my life after reading it ! The second time was, when I at the age of 30 hardly survived a brain stroke. The reason for it could never be found ?! I healed myself and changed my life completely after that, but have always had the feeling that there is still something I have to find out…In 2011 my 66 year old mother died after 10 years of fighting against nearly all symptoms you mentioned in your book and presentations. I can not even tell you, through how many chemotherapies she had to go until she died by non-Hodgkin lymphoma in combination with pneumonia. But actually her story of illness started with arterial embolism at the age of 30 ! My grandma died at the age of 68 by cancer (gallbladder), my father has diabetes type 2, of which his mother died. The last 10 years me and my partner avoided any industrial food and switched over to organic and whole grain. But something felt still wrong (first symptoms appeared). Today is our 6. wheat free day and I fell as if I have lifted a curse of my family !!! Thank you so much for this ! By the way, for my love is a Russian born in Riga, where we both live, I would be thankful for a possibility to order a Russian version of your material to skip all this translating myself although I have much more energy the last 6 days…

    Thank you again and best regards from the snowy Baltic States,

    Kerstin Hannemann

  14. Mark Taylor says:

    Dear Dr Davis,

    I gave up wheat 45 days ago. In the first 30 days, I lost 5 pounds. In the past two weeks, I gained it all back. I don’t understand. Many too many nuts as snacks? Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    Mark Taylor

  15. Patty says:

    Is there anyone else out there who is a vegetarian and doing the wheat belly diet? I have not eaten meat, fish or fowl for at least 20 years. I have been doing wheat free for over one month. I feel so good but I have not lost a pound. My appetite has decreased. I do feel as though my stomach is not as big or bloated but why no weight loss? There are many recipes in the book that I can’t have. I had to stop eating my veggie burgers and soy crumble meat. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks so much.

  16. Patty says:

    Oh, and I do exercise at least 4 -5 times a week, spin, pilates, body pump, treadmill.

  17. Nancy says:

    Dear Dr. Davis,
    My sister is a respiratory therapist at the Wisconsin Heart Hospital. She has been talking about your book for quit a while now. Since I have been struugling with weight loss (unsuccessfully) for a long timeI decided to get your book and give it a try. In 3 weeks I have lost 14 pounds. I have increased energy and am enjoying exercising which I used to dread. I have always been a pizza fanatic. I have discovered putting pizza ingredients inside of large portabella mushrooms and baking them. I have several friends suffering from IBS. Can’t wait to share your book with them

  18. Gwen Gibson says:

    Dear Dr Davis,

    I just wanted to take a moment to THANK You for your expertise, time, publications, and care. I am a 57 year old, white, female who has been educated and worked in healthcare for the past 30 years. I have attended conferences and worked with nutritionists in the hospital setting. I have personally struggled with weight and ALL that that entails as I approached menopause and on. I tried to combat the rise in cholesterol and blood sugars with diet and exercise programs from one end of the spectrum, i.e. Weight Watchers, The ZONE, the Dukan Diet, Bob Green’s Fit for Life, Dr Strand, and on and on. I exercise 3 to 4 times a week with yolatis, water aerobics, walking. ALL to the conclusion of statin drugs and high blood pressure meds. My family history is extensive in cardiac issues. I know what I’m headed for. So I read your book in November 2012, and gave myself 90 days to try it. I would NEVER have considered wheat to be a “problem” in my physiology. No bowel or acid reflux or other intestinal concerns. I just had to report that after ONLY 90 days my total cholesterol went down 100 points!!!!! My HDL’s went up, LDL’s were down 90 and triglycerides went from 150 to 116 total. BUT the best thing, my blood pressure went from running 136/86 on 50mgs of atenolol plus HCTZ to 109/71!!! My A1C went from 6.1 to 5.8. My Dr and I are working on decreasing off blood pressure meds and possibly statins after another 90 days. My goal is to be medication free. The weight loss is just a perk. I just wanted you and others to know how healthy this lifestyle change can be.
    Thank you,

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Terrific, Gg!

      It seems too simple to be true, but it is. It’s not just about the calories or the carbs in wheat; it’s about all the poisonous effects of this thing from the gliadin, wheat germ agglutinin, and other components. It is truly a perfect poison!

  19. Joan says:

    Dear Dr. Davis,
    I haven’t even finished the “Wheat Belly” book yet, but I had to congratulate you on being right on about everything you say. I see wheat bellies everyday and the results of wheat addiction too. I work in the medical field and for the past 37 years I have seen patients with lymphoma, diabetes, hair loss, bloated faces, depression, multiple surgeries, colostomy bags, GERD( with usually normal GI series), cancers, complications of surgeries such as DVT, and more. I started to think, after becoming gluten free about four years ago, that a lot of these conditions might have been brought on by their diets, particularly their absolute ADDICTION to wheat. People don’t want to give up their wheat though. I had a patient complain about bloating, diarrhea, pain and told her that I was gluten free, and after having explained a little bit about it, she said, “But I could NEVER give up my pasta!” NOT EVEN TO FEEL BETTER? IT IS ABSOLUTELY ASTONISHING THE HOLD THAT WHEAT HAS ON PEOPLE. And what a pity to think that a lot of these patients’ suffering could have been avoided by simply cutting out the wheat. You are right on about wheat being the only food that carries its own long term mortallity rate, because of its addictive properties. We should all be afraid of it.
    I live in Northeast Ohio and we have a pizza shop on every other corner. We LIVE on wheat here. I always used to say that people here love their dough. We also have higher than normal rates of Autism and I wonder about the correlation with wheat. We also see a lot of patients with kidney disease and renal failure–related to wheat?
    People don’t want to give up their wheat. I had a patient complain about bloating, diarrhea, pain and told her that I was gluten free, and after having explained a little bit about it, she said, “But I could NEVER give up my pasta!” NOT EVEN TO FEEL BETTER? IT IS ABSOLUTELY ASTONISHING THE HOLD THAT WHEAT HAS ON PEOPLE. I think the addiction is not unlike a powerful drug! I know of women who have the ability to eat two or three dinner plates of food at a sitting. I know of one friend who, if there was a basket on the restaurant table with 6 slices of bread, would eat all of them before the meal came. I don’t think that’s normal hunger. I used to think at the time that the way he’d eat was like an addiction. Now I get it.
    I applaud you for telling it like it is and waking up a generation of addicts!

  20. Elizabeth Johnson says:

    Dr. Davis:
    Loved your book! Lost 65 pounds on another low carb, wheat-free diet, but your book really explains why. Visited my doc after losing 50 pounds (after trying every other diet in the world for 40 years!), and he told me the reason I lost the weight finally was probably because of losing the wheat–and he recommended your book. I’ve found myself so many places in the book, it’s scary. I’ll never go back to eating wheat, I feel so great.
    A question for someone I recently met: Can eating wheat have a negative impact on an 18-year-old native-American male diagnosed with atrial tachycardia?

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