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William Davis, MD, is a preventive cardiologist whose unique approach to diet allows him to advocate reversal, not just prevention, of heart disease. He is the founder of the Track Your Plaque program. He lives in Wisconsin. Nothing here should be construed as medical advice, but only topics for further discussion with your doctor. I practice cardiology in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


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The #WheatlessMarch Challenge is underway!

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Introducing the Wheatless March Challenge!

Take the #WheatlessMarch Challenge on the Wheat Belly Facebook page and join me every day for tips, giveaways, success stories, recipes and more to help you lose the wheat and lose the weight.

For even more resources, grab your copy of Wheat Belly and the Wheat Belly Cookbooks wherever books are sold or at one of these online retailers:

Barnes and Noble:

Canada: Amazon Canada at

Posted in Wheatless Challenge | 24 Comments

Wheat Belly success stories keep on pouring in!

In my public talks, I point out that the enormous success of the Wheat Belly message has little to do with me, but succeeds because 1) it works, and 2) people share their extravagant successes nowadays via social media and word spreads like wild fire. That’s what has caused the Wheat Belly message to turn the nutritional world topsy-turvy, upsetting dietitians accustomed to talking about “healthy whole grains,” and terrorized people in the grain and milling industries.

I never tire of hearing these stories. Not just do people lose the weight they’ve struggled with for years, but they also experience relief from a list of ailments that is quite literally many hundreds of health conditions long. So here are a few more wonderful stories of success of the sort that continue to keep the Wheat Belly message front and center in the public consciousness.

Your book Wheat Belly has been life changing for me.

I have lost over 30 pounds in just 2 months. I have a long way to go, but I know the weight will come off following the wheat-free food plan. For the first time in over 20 years, the gnawing wheat driven hunger is gone! The miraculous part is that my physical symptoms have all improved or are gone completely. I don’t suffer from headachse (which I had every day), stomach pain, sinus problems or that all-over feeling of despair. My joint pain and inflammation has gotten so much better.

I’ve already had a left knee replacement and was headed for a right knee replacement. I’m not tired, cranky or depressed, and I sleep soundly at night. All this because I eat delicious, natural foods. 25 years ago I belonged to a diet program that did not include carbohydrates or sugars. The diet worked wonderfully: I lost over 100 pounds. What went wrong ? Foods like shredded wheat cereal, All Bran, popcorn, oatmeal. I could fight the cravings for awhile, but I lost the battle and struggled with weight since then, including gastric bypass.

Wheat Belly is truly liberating, not to be driven by the next snack/meal/binge. Thank you Dr. Davis for putting 2 and 2 together and coming forward with the Wheat Belly book.

I recently challenged myself to do Wheat Belly for 30 days. I’ve tried everything, including popular diets that worked for me in the past. Admittedly, I’ve had a rough last year. I hardly slept, thanks to my new daughter, and stress at work was higher than the norm. I started working out and did see physical differences, but the poundage going down on the scale was negligible. My mom saw this diet on the Dr. Oz show, and we decided to try it for 30 days.

I’m currently on day 20. I’ve lost roughly 6 lbs, my stomach is noticeably flatter, and my stomach always feels calm, and just lighter somehow. I have more energy and my cravings are slowly diminishing.

Perhaps more interesting is the fact that my migraine status also seems to have changed. Mine are typically more ocular in nature and are very prominent. Over the last 10 days, my headaches have noticeably improved. My migraine status is better than it’s ever been. This is probably one of the most surprising things I’ve noticed since I began.

I’ve already read up on how to handle things should my weight loss stop. It’s been a long journey, so I’m looking around the corner at how to handle things should the loss stagnate. I’m looking forward to good things, though!


I have been wheat-free since reading your book 10 weeks ago and have lost 14 kilos [30.8 lbs] in those 10 short weeks! I have NEVER been able to lose more than a few kilos at a time and, when I did, it always came hurtling back, fatter than ever each and every time.

Before I read Wheat Belly, I was in constant turmoil over eating, I couldn’t understand how the educated, intelligent, strong-willed person I believed myself to be could be totally defeated by food and food cravings.

I was always bloated (huge wheat belly!), lethargic, anxious, angry, irrational, depressed and always hungry, a perpetual, desperate, and insatiable hunger that persisted despite being stuffed full (with wheat and wheat products!). I was completely exhausted by my preoccupation with eating, not eating, dieting, binging, crying, hating myself, dieting again, binging, hating myself–I was at the end of my rope. Until Wheat Belly . . .

After cutting out the wheat (and all processed junk) I could barely believe the feeling of calm that descended upon my life. The weight dropped off, depression lifted and I, too, experienced all of the amazing things everyone else has reported.

I now love food, but I rarely think about it anymore or, should I say, obsess about it anymore. I haven’t counted one calorie, have never considered the fat content of the organic meats and whole foods I am enjoying, and the weight continues to drop off. I have started exercising just because I have so much energy and I feel like jumping around. I feel amazing, like I can truly start living the rest of my life as it was meant to be lived, something I honestly thought I was (sadly) never going to be able to do. I am free.

Posted in Wheat-elimination success stories | 45 Comments

Wheat Withdrawal Zinger

Wheat Belly withdrawal smoothieHere’s a smoothie that contains many of the ingredients helpful to get you through the process of wheat withdrawal, the unpleasant withdrawal process from the gliadin-derived opiates in wheat.

Once you remove the health disruptive effects of wheat, there are efforts necessary to regain full health. This will be a topic that I will discuss in a number of Wheat Belly Blog posts in coming months (as well as provide topics for another Wheat Belly book to be released September, 2014). We begin with this Wheat Withdrawal Zinger, a smoothie packed with nutrition that corrects some common nutrient deficiencies of former wheat-eaters and begins the process of restoring healthy bowel flora.

A blender or food processor/chopper with a strong motor is recommended, strong enough to handle the tough green, unripe banana. Note that the banana must be green and unripe. In it’s unripe form, the sugars are in a polysaccharide form that humans are incapable of digesting to sugar (and is thereby “low-carb”). Undigested polysaccharides (fibers) are then consumed by bowel flora, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, fermented to fatty acids, especially butyrate, essential for bowel health, helping suppress unhealthy bacterial species while cultivating healthy species, and even yielding metabolic benefits, especially reductions in triglycerides and blood sugar. One green, unripe banana yields 10 grams of indigestible fiber of the estimated ideal intake of 10-20 grams needed per day.

For magnesium, I used the Cardiovascular Research brand mixture of magnesium chloride and acetate with 133 mg of elemental magnesium per teaspoon. If you find another liquid or powder source of magnesium, try to avoid magnesium oxide and citrate, as absorption is poor and diarrhea is common. The Vitamin D dose can be adjusted to suit individual needs; as 5000 units is a common need for adult men and women, I listed this as the quantity, at least to get started.

Although potassium is not added, the coconut and banana provide a generous quantity of potassium. (461 mg of potassium if carton coconut milk is used; 1053 mg if canned coconut milk is used.) 5-HTP, or 5-hydroxytryptophan, is included to help deal with the cravings that some people experience during wheat withdrawal. Because it raises brain serotonin, many people choose to continue this chronically for its mood-elevating effects. (Anyone taking a prescription antidepressant or carbidopa for Parkinson’s disease, however, should not use 5-HTP except under supervision to avoid excessive serotonin levels.)

Iodine addresses the re-emerging problem of iodine deficiency as a cause for mild hypothyroidism that can stall weight loss. (Consult your healthcare provider if you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis before you supplement iodine.) Aloe vera is wonderfully soothing as the gastrointestinal turmoil of prior wheat consumption subsides.

All components can be modified–increased, decreased, omitted–to suit individual needs. If you are already taking vitamin D, for instance, there is no need to add to your Zinger. To alter flavor, replace ground nutmeg and cinnamon with, say, a handful of blueberries, raspberries, or several strawberries.

Wheat Withdrawal Zinger
Makes approximately 16 ounces (2 cups)

1 1/2 cups coconut milk (carton variety, or 8 oz canned + 4 ounces water)
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 green, unripe banana, skinned and coarsely sliced
2 ounces aloe vera juice (whole leaf, filtered)
Liquid magnesium, 150 mg (elemental magnesium)
Vitamin D3 liquid drops, 5000 units
Iodine (potassium iodide) drops, 250-500 mcg iodine
50 mg 5-HTP
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until banana reduced to puree. Drink immediately.

Posted in Recipes, Wheat withdrawal | 41 Comments

Wheat Watch: Pam Baking

Wheat Belly Facebook follower, Stella, found this unexpected source of wheat: Pam Baking.

There are a number of different Pam products which do not contain wheat. But Pam Baking does.
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Personally, I simply spread coconut oil on my pans to prevent sticking or use a coconut oil spray, given the superior qualities of this oil for baking. But, whatever you do, don’t let the Pam Baking product provide a source of unexpected exposure.

Posted in Wheat Watch | 38 Comments

You don’t know your right from your left

Not knowing your right from your left in nutrition can get you into trouble.

In biological systems, there is an issue called “handedness,” or “chirality.” It means that there are right-handed (“Dextrarotatory”) and left-handed (“Levorotatory”) versions of compounds, or “D” and “L” versions, or isomers, much as we have right and left hands, mirror images of each other. But a right-handed glove does not fit on your left hand and vice versa. Likewise, enzymes only recognize one or the other isomer, not both. Mammals are largely L-isomer creatures, due to specificity of enzymes for L-versions of compounds. hands of hope

Most foods–and I mean real food, foods that are instinctively recognized as food by humans, such as shellfish, organ meats, berries, nuts, and roots–have proteins made of L-amino acid isomers, not D.

Things that don’t belong in the human diet, such as grasses from the family Poaceae, have plenty of D-isomer amino acids. Because enzymes are subject to the rules of chirality, human digestive enzymes, such as trypsin and chymotrypsin, that digest proteins receive a “stop” signal when they encounter an indigestible D-isomer in a protein, leaving that protein or peptide fragment undigested.

Add D-amino acids to the other generally indigestible components of wheat and grains. Beyond D-isomer amino acids, other indigestible components of the seeds of grasses include:

–Gliadin–While some gliadin is degraded to small peptides that act as opiates on the human brain, a substantial proportion of gliadin remains undigested. The intact, undigested form is the form that initiates the zonulin mechanism that increases intestinal permeability, the first step in generating the diseases of autoimmunity.
–Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA)–The complex, 4-part protein present in wheat, rye, barley, and rice is completely indigestible. WGA that enters the mouth comes out the back end–except for the small quantity that penetrates intestinal barriers, causing direct intestinal toxicity and entering the bloodstream to activate antibodies, mimic insulin, and block leptin (the hormone of satiety).
–Trypsin inhibitors–Trypsin inhibitors block–no surprise–trypsin, a protein required for protein digestion. This further reduces the digestibility of grain proteins, a fact that organizations, such as the World Health Organization, grapples with when starving nations are fed grains but then struggle with malnutrition despite the calories.

There is a digestible component of wheat and the seeds of other grasses: the amylopectin A carbohydrate, highly susceptible to digestion by the amylase enzyme of saliva and stomach. This explains why two slices of whole wheat bread raise blood sugar higher than six teaspoons of table sugar. If you were starving, no real food in sight, and found yourself in a field of wheat, you could indeed harvest the seed, pulverize it, and eat it as porridge or ground into flour. It would serve as a source of carbohydrates and a minor source of proteins and oils. But you would soon suffer poor health and malnutrition, then die, as Homo sapiens cannot survive on the mix of components in the seeds of grasses.

If it often seems that there are SO many problems with wheat and grains, well, that’s because they never belonged in the human diet in the first place. Yes, we have committed a 10,000-year long mistake that began in desperation when we ran low on real foods, turning to the wild fields of grasses and harvesting their seeds. The food of desperation is now the food celebrated by all official agencies.

Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments

Gluten-free cosmetics: Mirabella

One issue I have not addressed very well in this wheat-free world is the issue of gluten-free cosmetics.

I certainly do not regard myself as an expert in makeup. So I tracked down someone who is: John Maly, founder and CEO of Mirabella cosmetics. John answered a few questions for us.

WB: What motivated you to get involved in the gluten-free cosmetic line?

JM: Mirabella is sold in salons. Since I have been in the salon industry my whole life, I knew the people in the salon world are very ingredient sensitive. They want to know what is in a product and why.

So when we launched Mirabella. We wanted to make certain that it had good-for-you ingredients. Plus the line avoided ingredients that are harmful, like glutens. My son has Crohn’s disease and has found that diet is very important to him living a healthy life. So Mirabella is gluten-free, paraben-free, talc-free, and fragrance-free.

WB: What sort of feedback have you received regarding these products?

JM: The #1 consumer question that our company gets regarding our line is whether it is gluten-free. There are so many people who have decided for their health to eliminate glutens from their diet. Many of those same women then realize that they have makeup on all day and glutens could affect them here to.

WB: Can you share your philosophy on ingredient choice, i.e., parabens, phthalates, etc.?

JM: We want to help women enhance their beauty. We don’t want them to have to worry about what is in the products. We continue to listen and learn to make sure we keep our women safe and healthy and beautiful.

WB: Do you tailor products to a specific sort of woman, e.g., younger, mid-life, etc.?

JM: Our tag line is “Mirabella-makeup with personality.” So we want to help a woman for every personality she finds herself in: soccer mom, working woman, party girl, or the athlete.

Mirabella has makeup artists who teach salons about our brand. Several of these makeup artists have transformational stories, e.g. they had acne or other serious skin conditions before coming to the company. But, after using Mirabella, their skins issues cleared up. These women’s lives changed because of using Mirabella. And now they want to tell the world about our products. We are really proud that people like that represent us because their stories are so real and personal.

It is not entirely clear why wheat/rye/barley-containing cosmetics have potential for such skin reactions, as autoimmunity requires processing of proteins, e.g., gliadin, through the gastrointestinal tract. But there does indeed seem to be some sort of reaction in women who use grain-containing products–allergy, irritation, other local reaction? I don’t know, but I think that “gluten-free” cosmetics are an important part of an overall effort to regain grain-free health.

More information on John Maly’s Mirabella products can be found here.

Disclaimer: I (William Davis, MD) have no financial relationship with Mirabella or with John Maly. This is purely informational. Plus my wife wanted to know more about healthy, safe cosmetics!

Posted in Gluten-free Cosmetics | 6 Comments

Wheat Belly video FAQs: I lost the wheat, but didn’t lose the weight, part 3

Other issues to consider for weight loss: sleep deprivation, intermittent fasting, and, least important of all, exercise.
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View the video here.

Posted in FAQs, Weight loss | 10 Comments

Should you eat kamut?

An Italian group just published the below study comparing ancient wheat, kamut, to modern wheat in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

J Nutr. 2014 Feb 13:1-8.
Effect of Triticum turgidum subsp. turanicum wheat on irritable bowel syndrome: a double-blinded randomised dietary intervention trial.
Sofi F1, Whittaker A2, Gori AM3 et al.

The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of a replacement diet with organic, semi-whole-grain products derived from Triticum turgidum subsp. turanicum (ancient) wheat on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms and inflammatory/biochemical parameters. A double-blinded randomised cross-over trial was performed using twenty participants (thirteen females and seven males, aged 18-59 years) classified as having moderate IBS. Participants received products (bread, pasta, biscuits and crackers) made either from ancient or modern wheat for 6 weeks in a random order. Symptoms due to IBS were evaluated using two questionnaires, which were compiled both at baseline and on a weekly basis during the intervention period. Blood analyses were carried out at the beginning and end of each respective intervention period. During the intervention period with ancient wheat products, patients experienced a significant decrease in the severity of IBS symptoms, such as abdominal pain (P< 0·0001), bloating (P= 0·004), satisfaction with stool consistency (P< 0·001) and tiredness (P< 0·0001). No significant difference was observed after the intervention period with modern wheat products. Similarly, patients reported significant amelioration in the severity of gastrointestinal symptoms only after the ancient wheat intervention period, as measured by the intensity of pain (P= 0·001), the frequency of pain (P< 0·0001), bloating (P< 0·0001), abdominal distension (P< 0·001) and the quality of life (P< 0·0001). Interestingly, the inflammatory profile showed a significant reduction in the circulating levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-6, IL-17, interferon-γ, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor after the intervention period with ancient wheat products, but not after the control period. In conclusion, significant improvements in both IBS symptoms and the inflammatory profile were reported after the ingestion of ancient wheat products.

It’s a modest experience, but a persuasive one. IBS has become nearly synonymous with “non-celiac gluten intolerance” (NCGI), i.e., celiac disease-like symptoms but without the accompanying small intestinal destructive changes. (In a recent consensus document, for instance, it was suggested that IBS and NCGI were one and the same.) But, as the assessment of inflammatory markers in this study and others suggest, it does not mean that IBS/NCGI are benign nor does it mean that they are a matter of mind over matter–they are very real and have very real health implications, not to mention putting yourself at risk for endoscopy by a revenue-hungry gastroenterologist.

We know that the gliadin proteins, glutenins, wheat germ agglutinin, trypsin inhibitors, alpha amylase inhibitors, and gibberellin genes are different in modern semi-dwarf strains of wheat compared to kamut and other ancient strains of wheat. Does this mean that, because kamut, emmer, einkorn, and spelt–all ancient traditional strains of wheat–are less harmful, they are therefore harmless? No, it does not, any more than low-tar cigarettes are healthy because they have less tar.

When humans consumed such ancient strains of wheat, tooth decay exploded, crowded teeth and changes in childhood facial structure appeared, and iron deficiency developed (“porotic hyperostosis”). A vivid and brilliant illustration of what happens to non-grain consuming humans when they begin to consume grains (and sugar) of the early 20th century was provided by Dr. Weston Price in his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, a compilation of observations and photographs made 80 years ago by studying cultures who first began consuming the food of “the white man.”

Grains, i.e., the seeds of grasses were never meant for human consumption, part of the human diet for less than 1/2 of 1% of our time on earth. There is unquestionably a range of adverse effects, from poisonous to chronic low-grade toxicity. The worst: modern semi-dwarf wheat; the least: rice and millet. Traditional and ancient strains of wheat are somewhere in between.

Posted in Ancient forms | 18 Comments

Wheat Belly video FAQs: I lost the wheat, but didn’t lose the weight, part 2

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Prescription drugs, iodine deficiency and thyroid dysfunction, disruptions of cortisol as causes of stalled or failed weight loss despite removing wheat.

Posted in Uncategorized | 41 Comments

Wheat Belly video FAQs: I lost the wheat, but didn’t lose the weight, part 1

Wheat Belly FAQs
Here I begin a series of Frequently Asked Questions, FAQs, on the Wheat Belly concepts. Let’s start with I Lost the Wheat, But Didn’t Lose the Weight: Part 1. And, yes, that is snow outside my window!

Wheat Belly FAQ–Didn’t lose weight part 1

Posted in FAQs | 59 Comments


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