Featured Articles

Triticum Fever in BoingBoing

The Atlantic interview: Your Addiction to Wheat Products is Making You Fat and Unhealthy

Health Goes Strong interview

Macleans Magazine (largest circulation magazine in Canada) Wheat Belly interview

ABC Health article

Interview with Tom Naughton, filmmaker of movie, Fat Head, comedian, and insightful, incisive commentator on nutrition. Part 2 of the interview.

How wheat wrecks your health and physique interview in Bodybuilding.com with Editor-in-Chief, Jeff O’Connell, also author of Sugar Nation

Woman’s World front page article: MD’s Discovery: Lose 30 Pounds in 30 Days!

Life Extension Magazine, October 2011. Wheat: The Unhealthy Grain. An excerpt from Wheat Belly. (Links to come in future.)

617 Responses to Featured Articles

  1. Pam says:

    Dr.Davis- Thanks for writing your book. Extremely important one in today’s world. I learned a lot from reading it and I am not through reading it, yet!

    I have another disease made worst by gluten. I have ITP (my body destroys platelets). Other things as a lack of sleep, illnesses, or stress will make my platelet count lower, but I have found gluten to have the greatest lowering effect. If I avoid gluten my count will almost “normal”. Maybe avoiding all grains I will have a normal count. Another advantage to cutting out grains.

    I have a question regarding what constitutes a grain. I always thought of a grain as a seed of a plant in the grass family. You have quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth under the category of nongluten grains. Do these seeds have the same effect on our bodies as grass grains and should be only ate in limited qualities?

    Thanks. Pam

    • Hi, Pam: You are asking a botanical question, and I am a botanist who is glad to help. Technically the grain of wheat and other grasses is a type of fruit, meaning that it is comprised of ovary tissue that contains a seed. The official term for the type of fruit made in the grass family is caryopsis. In contrast, the ‘grain’ of buckwheat is a different type of fruit, called an achene. Other ‘grains’ are most often seeds (e.g., quinoa). I hope that helps!

  2. Lynda says:

    Dr. Davis:
    I hope you are not getting bored with gratitude because I have more to heap on your head. Your book was the catalyst for myself and my husband to vastly improve our arthritis symptoms. Along the way, I also virtually eliminated my fluid retension, several pounds of unwanted weight, and slowed the progression of my sensory neuropathy. For the arthritis alone, I would have thanked you. My GP proclaimed my c-reactive protien results ‘phenomenal’, since the reading was so low the lab gave up trying to measure it! My previous results were much higher. My drs. name translates into English as Dr. Bread, could that be the reason he is the only one out of four that listens to me? Thank you again, I have given your book to several friends and family members.

    Gratefully, Lynda

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Dr. Bread? That’s funny.

      No, Lynda: I never tire of hearing about the wonderful results you are enjoying. I can think of worse things than being bored by gratitude!

      Wow. The relief from sensory neuropathy alone can be life-changing. You can also see just how ridiculous the conventional notion of high-dose Crestor for increased c-reactive protein truly is.

  3. Laura says:

    My health has slowly deteriorated over the last 5 yrs.(38 yr old female) Psoriasis(mainly on the scalp), acid reflux for over 20yrs(the doc recently doubled my dose of protonix), and recently diagnosed with high blood pressure and rosacea. I am approx 30-40 lbs over weight. I thought I’d struck gold when the Adkins Diet was revealed and educated me on the evils of carbs. However, like many people, I just traded in my breads/pastas, etc. in for “whole wheat”. I’m an educated woman(mental health professional in private practice), and not easily swayed. I need research and strong data before I “buy” into something, so to speak. Recently bought Wheat Belly and coudn’t put it down. I am stunned and amazed. I want my husband to read it. He refuses. He is a large grain farmer in ND. I jokingly told them him that after reading this book, my mission is going to be taking him and his farming friends “down”. I am buying this book for everyone I know.
    I started the diet today and am hoping to see some positive results. If I see results I will be recommending this to my clients, particularly parents who are bringing in children with ADHD symptoms. I will keep you posted.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hi, Laura–

      Your collection of health struggles sounds like the classic “wheat syndrome.” I am therefore highly optimistic that you will experience a turnaround in most, if not all, of these effects.

      Please do keep us posted on your progress!

  4. Sylvia Thomas says:

    Hi Laura,
    If your husband is a grain farmer then I’m sure he’s well acquainted with Monsanto Corp. in some way or at the least has heard of them. Hybrid seeds, Terminator seeds, GMO, Drought tolerant. All unnatural and designed & bred in a lab. Someone on this blog mentioned Europe in their comment. I do believe they have bans in place on importing GMO seeds.
    Anyway a friend of mine has the book Wheat Belly, so I did some speed reading over Christmas while visiting at their home. Will be trying this for a year however I was already leaning towards the RAVE diet which is basically Vegan. So no meat, poultry, fish, dairy. And now no wheat. Pretty drastic. Will taper off on the meat for starters. Don’t want to put my system into shock right off the bat. I’m female and currently 53 years of age. Will do a before and after pic, as well as a follow up with my G.P. and then I’ll be able to provide before and after numbers/readings as well. I think back to how my stay at home mom used to cook when I was a kid and I’m thinking that’s the way to go. She never bought processed or ready to eat meals, though I don’t think they had as much of it back then as they do now. We were lucky to have a bucket of KFC maybe once or twice a month and that was a big deal for us. I’m also not a fast food outlet/drive thru fan so that’ll be a help to me. And I avoid Aspartame, Splenda and other fake sweeteners. Steevia is not bad. And no fluoridated water if I can help it.
    BTW I don’t farm however I have nothing but respect for the profession, and understand the struggles and long hours of work. I’m an administrator at a Massey dealership so I do hear alot of stories.
    Cheers and a Happy & Prosperous New Year’s to all !

  5. Susan says:

    I am planning to switch my whole family to wheat free right after the New Year. I have an inflammatory autoimmune condition which I think my 7 yr old son shows beginning signs of. Both my 7 and 6 yr old children struggle with allergies, and my 6 yr old has borderline A1c levels. Also, my hubby and I could both stand to lose some weight. In reading your book, we feel like eliminating wheat would likely benefit all of us.

    My question – I am struggling to find enough recipes that will specifically work for a family with young children (sometimes picky) tastes. I think I can figure out dinners, but relatively easy breakfasts before kids head out the door for school and what to pack for their school snacks and lunches have me stumped (or at least very limited on choices). For snacks, the school asks that we avoid nuts and send dry snacks. Lunch is a bit more flexible (can send nuts products then) although they need something they can eat quick because the lunch period is brief.

    Thanks I’m advance for any tips. Really excited to see how these changes affect my family.
    Susan

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hi, Susan–

      Odd to find you way over here in “Featured articles”!

      Please scroll back on this blog or click on “Recipes” on the left for recipes. I’ve not targeted recipes towards children specifically, but many of the moms here have made comments about this. Your best source is Sarah Ragoso’s Everyday Paleo. She is a mom of young kids and provides kid-friendly, wheat-free recipes.

      • Susan says:

        Thank you. Yes, I was reading thru your blog and realized I posted my question in a strange spot. I actually had a hard time remembering where it was. :) I will check out Sarah’s page.

  6. Jeff Meador says:

    Dr. Davis,

    I am a long distance (half-Ironman) triathlete, and have recently started reading your book as well as listened to Ben Greenfield’s podcast interview with you. In the past 4 days, I have dropped 4 lbs, which I’ve never been able to do. However, I find that I am SEVERELY carb deprived when exercising. This morning I biked for 1 hr and 1/2 and had to take 3-4 Powergels just to keep up the effort. Since my events last 5 and 1/2 hours with training sessions sometimes up to 3 hours, what is your recommendation for carbs? I typically have gels with a carb to protein ratio of 4:1, which has helped. My guess is to be able to eat carbs prior to, during and after exercise (for recovery) then limit during the day. What is your advice?

    Thanks, Jeff

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Yes, this need will diminish over the ensuing weeks and months.

      In the meantime, the most benign sources of sugars are natural sources like bananas and cooked sweet potatoes. If you need one of the commercial “goos” or similar products, look for ones with mostly glucose (dextrose), since it is the most benign form of sugar (as compared, say, to fructose).

  7. pmg says:

    Dr. Davis, I have been on the Shakeology program for about a month and a half. It includes eliminating gluten from your diet (and infact, your articles are quite frequently circulated among those on the program for expertise on the gluten issue). Anyway, shortly after I started, i broke out with a very mild case of shingles when i ‘cheated’ and reintroduced some bread into my diet. With some poking around, I found there was a possible connection with gluten and shingles (as well as other skin reactions). Just wondering if you know of any concrete connection between gluten and shingles. Thank you for your passion to this research. It has changed my life in such a positive way and I am zealously sharing this information with others as I’m devouring your book facts!

  8. Nadine Harper says:

    Dear Dr. Davis,
    I have finished your book on Kindle and have ordered a hardcover as well. I’m new to Kindle and have no idea if I can download and print out any pages from your book for my own references(like your food lists). Thus the paper version. But the real question I have relates to the replacement of flour and corn starch (or any grain starches) used as thickening agents.
    I remember doing the original Adkins diet and how he recommended using Arrowroot powder as a replacement. What is your thought on this? At present I don’t know just what I would want to use it for but am curious.
    My doctor, who is treating me for pre-diabetes, is foreign born. He feels that the ADA is wrong in their carbohydrate dietary recommendations for diabetics who need to lose weight (I believe they say 120 carbs a day…any kind). He told me he wanted me on no more than 55g of carbs a day (15/15/25) with no snacking. I countered with a 10g of carb, 8g fiber bread and I used only 2 slices per day. I did manage to lose about 42 pounds in a year with this. At present my last A1C was 5.8 but he also has put me on Victoza, the once a day injectable medication. I hope to get off this soon.
    I gained a bit back over the holidays and birthday but am now, armed with your book, about to start my wheat free eating plan. I hope it can help me get free of the diabetes medicines, hypertension meds and help with the minor arthritis I am starting to feel in my hips and knees.
    Thank you for your marvelous research into wheat and its modern effects and for your recipes, which I slowly plan to incorporate into my plan. You have made a very logical point about modern agriculture that I have been suspecting for a few years now. I grow my own seasonal organic vegetables and berries and have access to a farm with free range chickens and eggs, soon to have free range lamb. And I am finding other local people with organic operations in my area. Lucky for me that I live in a rather rural area of the South.
    Thanks for your site.

  9. Steven says:

    Dr. Davis,
    I am working on a doctorate degree and need a few references (scientific journals) for a paper I am writing. Could you share a few that detail why wheat is bad. I have been wheat free for 6 months and I feel great. I’ve gotten my wife and kids doing it too and have seen some dramatic improvements in how they feel and their behavior (not to mention the weight loss). Thank you in advance.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hi, Steven–

      Please see the 16 pages of references in the back of Wheat Belly.

      Working at the doctoral level, you should be familiar with Pubmed.gov. There are no “wheat is bad” papers, but studies that address a specific aspect of wheat’s effects, e.g., the effects of wheat lectins. So you will need to search using specific search terms.

    • Boundless says:

      > Could you share a few [references] that detail why wheat is bad.

      If any number of published papers existed that were titled in that manner, the WB book would likely not have been needed :)

      Much of modern medicine is so focused on hunting for phlogiston, that they are ignoring the fact that their data are all screaming “it’s the oxygen”.

  10. Bianca says:

    Hi from Australia. I’ve come across your site/blog yesterday and I’m very intrigued. I’m trying to procure the book, but it will be a while as it’s not widely available. By the way, is there going to be a paperback version soon?
    Anyway, I’m interested in giving your theory a go, especially since I seem to put a lot of weight around the belly, which it never used to be a problem as I’m (used to be) very pear shaped. Some of it I put it on the babies and the extra kilos, but I still feel there’s too much fat in that region. You see, I’ve been a pescatarian (vegetarian who eats fish/seafood) for 16 years, and I must admit I eat lots of carbs. So basically, what I’d like to know is whether it will be easy for me to change my diet. I’m ok with giving up wheat, but can I have rice based products, how about other grains. Thank you for your time.

  11. Nina says:

    Could you please cite some peer-reviewed scientific publications? Have their been clinical trials of this diet?

    • Boundless says:

      Have there been clinical trials of wheat, as presently genetically morphed (or even in heirloom form)? Apparently not, so would that be expected of grain-free low-carb paleo? It surely would be interesting in any case.

      Your question does raise an opportunity for Dr. Davis, however. In his practice, he is probably sitting on a huge pile of clinical anecdotes, nearing statistical levels, concerning not just the original objective of reversing heart disease and getting patients off statins, but also the unexpected collateral benefits. It would be interesting to see the numbers on not just the cardiac outcomes (adjusted for estimated patient compliance), but all the other conditions that remissed in the bargain.

      • Dr. Davis says:

        Thanks, Boundless.

        Yes, there have been many trials of wheat elimination over the years, though mostly for celiac disease. Nonetheless, we can learn valuable lessons from those experiences. All detailed in the book.

    • Boundless says:

      > … peer-reviewed scientific publications?

      That’s the second request for that today. I forgot to mention that the book has 295 footnotes, the majority of which are precisely what you ask about. If anyone had connected those dots sooner, chances are the book wouldn’t have been needed. It’s needed.

  12. FredRoberts says:

    Dr Davis – my girlfriend and I have just read your book and are ready to start being wheat-free. However, my girlfriend is quite fit and DOES NOT want to lose weight. Is it certain that everyone loses weight when they go wheat-free or is it really just those who have weight to lose? One other concern she has: if in the future she decides to stop being wheat-free, are there any consequences to her and her current metabolism (other than the short-term adjustment back to wheat) that she should be concerned about? Right now she can eat whatever she wants and doesn”t gain weight so she doesn”t want to change her diet in a way that might negatively alter that. Thank you for any advice you can offer and even more for your wonderful research and book.

    Fred

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Thanks, Fred.

      It”s important to know that there is no calorie restriction here. Eat MORE eggs, cheese, vegetables, nuts, etc. Doing so and weight takes care of itself.

      There are indeed consequences of resuming wheat consumption. There”s the potential for the upfront “re-exposure” phenomena like diarrhea and cramps, hand and joint pain, anxiety and other emotional effects, and airway and sinus congestion. After that, triggering of small LDL particles and triglycerides, higher BP, lectin-induced gastrointestinal “leak” of foreign substances into the bloodstream, brain effects, etc. In other words, wheat and health are incompatible.

  13. Audrey says:

    I have been following your diet for almost 2 months ( well trying ) and the first few weeks lost 9 pounds but unfortunately recently all gained back. The reason I am assuming is all the eating out I have been doing and can not control what is actually in the food I am ordering. I am going to cut down on take out from now on because I know that is the issue, however I have a few questions. First off the grass fed beef and such is almost impossible for me to get, I do not live around any farms or really any place that sells it. It is far too expensive for my budget ordering off the internet so I really don”t know how I would be able to follow it. Will this be really detrimental to the diet? I have explained that I lost weight before and quickly but I didn”t eat much meat because I was afraid it wouldn”t work since I purchase my meat from a regular market. Our local farmers market does not sell meat, only veggies fruits and smoked salmon on occasion. I have an Oriental Market up the road but they really can”t understand me when I ask them if their meat is grain fed or grass fed so I gave up. Any suggestions on this issue or can I eat grocery store meat with minimal effects?

    Second question is the sunflower, safflower and soybean oil. It really seems to be in everything in the markets. It is so hard for me because it seems if wheat and gluten are not in it than they contain at least one of the following:
    soybean oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, maltodextrin, high fructose cornsyrup, sucrose, corn starch, potato starch or anything else you mention that we should also stay away from. I understand why the starches and such are off limits but what is wrong with the listed oils?

    Third question is the frying, in your book it says do not fry at high temps due to oxidation of the oil. How high is too high? Obviously deep frying is way too high but how do you go about cooking a meat that is suppose to be seared quickly at a high temp? Should I only bake and broil? My hubby loves his meat pan fried so he will not agree to only baking a broiling LOL. Thanks for your help and a great book!

  14. Alison says:

    Dr Davis,
    A big THANK YOU for your book and for making such a positive change in our lives! My husband & I are starting month 3 of your program. Blood pressure down significantly, down 35lbs between us.

    I do suffer from sub-clinical hypothyroidism and am being treated by a wonderful physician. However, it hasn”t been until your plan that [in combine with my thyroid treatment] I have begun to feel well for the first time. More energy, improved mood, improved ability to focus. I think by eliminating wheat my body has finally begun to absorb thyroid meds better. I”d love to see you address this in greater detail future writings. The difference has been significant enough that staying away from wheat is a no brainer!

    Thank you again for getting us on the right path! You can be proud of the work you do!!

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Yes, I”ve seen this happen a number of time: Absorption of various things, such as thyroid hormone preparations, is improved off wheat.

      Sadly, there are next to no formal explorations of what could be a very important and common phenomenon.

  15. Melissa says:

    I began eating “lower” carb about a month ago. I did not aggressively limit myself but made the decision to try it for 30 days and see how I felt.
    I then read the Doctors book. I have now consciously removed all wheat from my diet.
    It was been 2 weeks. I have lost 7 pounds and feel fine. Slightly more ambitious at the gym, but maybe too soon to tell if my overall energy levels are any different.
    Mostly what I”m so pleased about is the lack of hunger I feel throughout the day.
    It”s just awesome:) My hunger no longer controls my every thought.
    Thank You for all the research you have done !

  16. James Starck says:

    In your article in “Boomers!”, the last line says the GI of a Snickers bar is 41-far more than whole grain bread, yet a few lines back you stated that whole grain bread”s GI was 72. Which number is wrong?

  17. matt says:

    Since vegetables play a huge role in our diets. Do you have any concerns over pesticides., on the vegetables. I”veheard that organic farms can be nearby non organic farms and with the wind carry bad chemicals to our lovely organic food. Do we have anything to worry about? Are fertilizers safe? Thanks

  18. Kathleen says:

    Dr. Davis,
    I was diagnosed just over seven weeks ago with diabetes T2. I had a fasting blood sugar of 450 and an AIC of 14 (that’s not a typo!) . I come from a family of diabetics. While awaiting a visit to an endocrinologist, I began testing my blood sugar four times a day. It was very educational and I started eliminating all foods that were causing spikes. It ended up being all wheat products. Then I found your book at the bookstore. Then it all made sense. I became totally wheat-free four weeks ago. I’ve lost over 15 pounds and many inches and my blood sugar is testing between 96 and 125 this week. My doctor is shocked and went out and bought your book. She said “Amazing!” to me in an email. At the 12-week mark, I’m going to the lab for additional A1C and lipids testing. My doctor had me cancel the appointment for the endocrinologist.

    Thanks so much for helping me make sense of this condition. I plan on no longer being diabetic in a few weeks!

    Kathleen (my blog: http://www.diabetesiiisoptional.blogspot.com)

    • MaryMK says:

      Wow! Kathleen, You’re an inspiration to me. I’m working on getting my A1c to below 5.6. I was at 5.6 at last check which was down from 6.0 and the ONLY thing I did in the intervening three months was give up wheat and not even 100%. My lipid profile also improved. I’m concerned about my next test because I made some serious mistakes but going to beat the diabetes beast. Good luck to you.
      Mary

  19. Thoms says:

    Is spelt flour and products made from it good for you? Spelt is a grain related to wheat, but it is more like the old style wheat, before all of the genetic changes were introduced.

  20. Jennifer says:

    I have been on this diet since the beginning of March & nothing has changed weight wise. The only thing I’ve really “cheated” with is a few frozen blueberries in my protein shake in the mornings. I haven’t had any gluten free products – not one & still no weight loss. I quit smoking last July & gained 20 pounds & have nothing to wear so at this point I am definitely depressed. I don’t think I can handle giving up bread etc without weight loss. It’s just not worth it without weight loss.

    • MaryMK says:

      Hi, Jennifer,
      I hesitate to reply because I’m not a shining example of success–still learning from my mistakes as I go along. And the wardrobe struggle is the pits. But this blog is a goldmine of inspiration, information and good advice. My only caution from my own experience is to read the ingredients in your protein shake even if it says “gluten free.” The shake I was using had rice and potato starches, and sweetened with fructose–all bad for you. Also, the shake was very high in carbs and sugars. Be vigilant about ingredients and just try to hang in there. If you have the time, reread the book to see if you missed anything. And if at first you don’t succeed… Well, you know the rest. And remind yourself that YOU QUIT SMOKING! YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL! And if you can do that you definitely can keep keeping healthy by giving up wheat.
      Mary

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