FAQs

Is wheat really that bad? I thought that whole grains were good for you?
First of all, it ain’t wheat. It’s the product of 40 years of genetics research aimed at increasing yield-per-acre. The result is a genetically-unique plant that stands 2 feet tall, not the 4 1/2-foot tall “amber waves of grain” we all remember. The genetic distance modern wheat has drifted exceeds the difference between chimpanzees and humans. If you caught your son dating a chimpanzee, could you tell the difference? Of course you can! What a difference 1% can make. But that’s more than modern wheat is removed from its ancestors.

Why do you make the claim that removing all wheat from the diet results in weight loss?
Because I’ve seen it happen–over and over and over again. It’s lost from the deep visceral fat that resides within the abdomen, what can be represented on the surface as “love handles,” “muffin top,” or a darned good imitation of a near-term baby, what I call a “wheat belly.”

Typically, people who say goodbye to wheat lose a pound a day for the first 10 days. Weight loss then slows to yield 25-30 pounds over the subsequent 3-6 months (differing depending on body size, quality of diet at the start, male vs. female, etc.). When you remove wheat from the diet, you’ve removed a food that leads to fat deposition in the abdomen. Factor in that the gliadin protein unique to wheat that is degraded to a morphine-like compound that stimulates appetite is now gone and appetite diminishes. The average daily calorie intake drops 400 calories per day–with less hunger, less cravings and food is more satisfying. This all occurs without imposing calorie limits, cutting fat grams, or limiting portion size. It all happens just by eliminating this thing called wheat.

When you examine food labels in the grocery store, you see that wheat is in nearly everything. Is it really practical to remove all wheat from the diet?
Yes, it is. It means a return to real food from the produce aisle, fish and meat department, nuts, eggs, olives, and oils.

It raises a crucial question: Just why is wheat such a ubiquitous ingredient in so many foods, from ice cream to French fries? That’s easy: Because it tastes good and it stimulates appetite. You want more wheat, you want more of everything else to the tune of 400 or more calories per day. More calories, more food, more revenue for Big Food. Wheat is not in cucumbers, green peppers, salmon, or walnuts. But it’s in over 90% of the foods on supermarket shelves, all there to stimulate your appetite center to consume more . . . and more and more.

It also means being equipped with recipes that allow you to recreate familiar recipes that you might miss, like cheesecake, cookies, and biscotti–without wheat, with little to no sugar or carbohydrate exposure, yet healthy. That’s what I’ve done in Wheat Belly.

So does it mean going gluten-free?
Yes, but do not eat gluten-free foods! Let me explain.

Wheat raises blood sugar higher than nearly all other foods, including table sugar and many candy bars. The few foods that increase blood sugar higher than even wheat include figs, dates, and other dried fruits and rice starch, cornstarch, tapioca starch, and potato starch–the most common ingredients used in gluten-free foods. A gluten-free whole grain bread, for instance, is usually made with a combination of brown rice, potato, and tapioca starches. These dried pulverized starches are packed with highly-digestible high-glycemic index carbohydrates and thereby send blood sugar through the roof. This contributes to diabetes, cataracts, arthritis, heart disease and growing belly fat. This is why many celiac patients who forego wheat and resort to gluten-free foods become fat and diabetic. Gluten-free foods as they are currently manufactured are very poor substitutes for wheat flour.

Anyone who consumes gluten-free foods, like gluten-free muffins, should regard them as an occasional indulgence, no different than eating a bag of jelly beans.

What can you eat on the diet you advocate?
Eat real, natural foods such as eggs, raw nuts, plenty of vegetables, and fish, fowl, and meats. Use healthy oils like olive, walnut, and coconut liberally. Eat occasional fruit and plenty of avocado, olives, and use herbs and spices freely. Eat raw or least cooked whenever possible and certainly do not frequent fast food, processed snacks, or junk foods. While it may sound restrictive, a return to non-grain foods is incredibly rich and varied. Many people’s eyes have been closed to the great variety of foods available to us minus the wheat.

Recall that people who are wheat-free consume, on average, 400 calories less per day and are not driven by the 90-120 minute cycle of hunger that is common to wheat. It means you eat when you are hungry and you eat less. It means a breakfast of 3 eggs with green peppers and sundried tomatoes, olive oil, and mozzarella cheese for breakfast at 7 am and you’re not hungry until 1 pm. That’s an entirely different experience than the shredded wheat cereal in skim milk at 7 am, hungry for a snack at 9 am, hungry again at 11 am, counting the minutes until lunch. Eat lunch at noon, sleepy by 2 pm, etc. All of this goes away by banning wheat from the diet, provided the lost calories are replaced with real healthy foods.

What exactly is in wheat that makes it so bad?
Gluten is only one of the reasons to fear wheat, since it triggers a host of immune diseases like celiac, rheumatoid arthritis, and gluten encephalopathy (dementia from wheat).

The protein unique to wheat, gliadin, a component of gluten proteins, is odd in that it is degraded in the human gastrointestinal tract to polypeptides (small proteins) that have the ability to cross into the brain and bind to morphine receptors. These polypeptides have been labeled gluteomorphin or exorphins (exogenous morphine-like compounds) by National Institutes of Health researchers. Wheat exorphins cause a subtle euphoria in some people. This may be part of the reason wheat products increase appetite and cause addiction-like behaviors in susceptible people. It also explains why a drug company has made application to the FDA for the drug naltrexone, an oral opiate-blocking drug ordinarily used to keep heroine addicts drug-free, for weight loss. Block the brain morphine receptor and weight loss (about 22 pounds over 6 months) results. But there’s only one food that yields substantial morphine-like compounds: yes, wheat.

The complex carbohydrate unique to wheat, amylopectin A, is another problem source. The branching structure of wheat’s amylopectin A is more digestible than the amylopectins B and C from rice, beans, and other starches (i.e., in their natural states, not the gluten-free dried pulverized starches). This explains why two slices of whole wheat bread increase blood sugar higher than table sugar, higher than a bowl of brown rice, higher than many candy bars. Having high blood sugars repeatedly is not good for health. It leads to accumulated visceral fat–a “wheat belly,” diabetes and pre-diabetes (defined, of course, as having higher blood sugars), not to mention cataracts, arthritis, and heart disease.

As if that wasn’t enough, there are even other components of wheat that are harmful, such as the lectins in wheat. Lectins are glycoproteins that have the curious ability to “unlock” the proteins lining the human intestinal tract that determine what substances can enter the blood or lymphatic system and what substances cannot. The intestinal tract must be selective in what is allowed to enter the human body else all manner of diseases can be triggered, especially autoimmune diseases. Wheat lectins disable these proteins. This is the suspected explanation for why wheat consumption has been linked to rheumatoid arthritis, skin diseases like dermatitis herpetiformis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and a variety of other inflammatory diseases.

Beyond gluten, there are over 1000 other proteins in wheat that also have potential for odd or unexpected responses. You might say that wheat is a perfectly crafted Frankengrain that almost appears like it was created to exert maximum health damage in the most desirable, irresistible form possible. I really don’t believe that this monster was created on purpose to hurt people, but the astounding collection of adverse effects, all packed into one food, pushed on us by the U.S. government and other “official” health agencies, explains why this one thing has exerted more harm than any foreign terrorist group can inflict on us.

If I go wheat-free, is there any harm in having an occasional bagel or cupcake?
It depends. It depends on your individual susceptibility to the effects of wheat.

If you have celiac disease or any of the long list of inflammatory or autoimmune diseases associated with wheat (rheumatoid arthritis, cerebellar ataxia, peripheral neuropathy, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, dermatitis herpetiformis, etc.), then wheat and gluten avoidance should be complete and meticulous.

If you have an addictive relationship with wheat, e.g. one pretzel makes you want to eat the whole bag, then complete avoidance is also advisable. Because wheat consumption in the 30% of people with this problem cannot stop themselves once it starts, it is best to avoid wheat-containing foods altogether.

Yet another odd observation: Many, though not all, people who have removed wheat from their diet for at least several months have what I call “wheat re-exposure reactions” usually experienced as abdominal cramps, gas, and diarrhea (just like food poisoning); asthma attacks in the susceptible; joint swelling and pain; and emotional effects such as anxiety in women and rage in men. I’ve witnessed many people go wheat-free, feel great, lose 30 pounds, then have an emotional blowup at a birthday party after indulging in just a small piece of birthday cake, then spending the next 24 hours on the toilet with diarrhea.

There are indeed a percentage (20-30%?) of people who can get away with occasional indulgences. Sometimes it’s a matter of running a little test yourself to gauge your reaction. Anyone with a history of autoimmune or inflammatory diseases, or having had celiac markers like an anti-gliadin antibody test positive, however, should not even try this.

666 Responses to FAQs

  1. george mcwhirter says:

    Hi

    Have you heard of the Dax Moy Elimination diet? It’s totally free and apparently 200,000 people have downloaded it.

    What is your view on it – it bans wheat, BTW.

    Thanks

    George

  2. Anonymous says:

    I was wondering if it’s alright to eat other grains apart from wheat?
    Such as rice flour? For example the gluten free Silver Hills bread, ingredients:
    organic whole sorghum*, organic whole ground chia seeds*, organic cane sugar*, organic brown flax seeds*, organic whole psyllium husks*, yeast, organic rice flour*

    Also this list of no wheat flours, I’m wondering if it’s valid:
    http://www.foodsubs.com/Flournw.html

    Or is it strictly no grains whatsoever?

    • Boundless says:

      > I was wondering if it’s alright to eat other grains apart from wheat?

      Barley & rye: no
      Other than those, which are essentially wheat, it’s strictly a matter of carb exposure.

      > For example the gluten free Silver Hills bread …

      The milo, sugar and rice are high GI. What’s the net carbs per slice?

      > Also this list of no wheat flours, I’m wondering if it’s valid:

      It’s not, because they fail to recognize the hazards of barley and rye, as well as ignore the GI of everything, and fail entirely to list several WB recommended flours such as almond.

      • Boundless says:

        > What’s the net carbs per slice?

        OK, I did some digging on the Silver Hills breads. If you are following the WB lifestyle, you can’t even make a sandwich with this stuff – that would be 34 or 36 grams of net carbs just for the bread.

        This is because they’re loaded with high glycemics like milo, sugar and rice flour. Being “organic” provides only symbolic benefit in the case of those three ingredients.

        The products actually aren’t quite as disastrous as other brands of prominently-GF-labelled breads, but I wouldn’t touch any of ‘em.

        The Silver Hills ingredient lists:

        Gluten Free Omega Flax
        18g net carbs per slice
        Ingredients: water, organic whole sorghum, organic whole ground chia seeds, organic cane sugar, organic brown flax seeds, organic whole psyllium husks, yeast, organic rice flour, organic vinegar, sea salt.

        Gluten Free Chia Chia
        17g net carbs per slice
        Ingredients: water, organic whole sorghum, organic whole ground chia seeds, organic cane sugar, organic whole psyllium husks, yeast, organic rice flour, organic vinegar, sea salt.

        • Lucy says:

          In the Gluten free Omega flax bread there is 5g of fibres, so the net carbs are more around 13g per slice.

          • Boundless says:

            Their own product details page says, and I quote:
            “Serving Size 35g (1 slice)”
            “Net Carbs 18g”
            Possibly they don’t even know how to specify their own product.

  3. Laura says:

    Hi Dr. Davis,
    I have been on the diet for a week and a half now, not for any other reason besides wanting to lose weight and get rid of my mid-day slump. The first 3 days were foggy and tortorous and now i feel back to myself. my question is – Am i allowed to eat real whipping cream? And if so, is this on the “boundless amounts” list or are we sticking to 1 cup a day?
    I also eat sashimi at sushi restaurants and they have fabulous soy sauce… Is this soy sauce off limits for me? i have no allergic reactions and the only “carbs” i ingest is wine with dinner, so say i did have soy sauce would this throw off my results?

    PLEASE HELP!

    Laura

    • Boundless says:

      Whipped cream is likely implied by “dairy” on the “limited” list, see:
      http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/12/wheat-belly-quick-dirty-2/
      and then only if it is unsweetened, or uses suitable alternative sweeteners.

      The majority of soy sauces are loaded with wheat flour. We use San-J brand, which is wheat-free. Take a bottle with you to the restaurant. Do inquire, however, about what the cook uses in the other sauces, and mind the calorie burden of the rice (which may in fact not be a huge amount).

  4. Paul says:

    I am currently living in France. Since GMO’s are banned in Europe, is it okay to eat the bread here?

  5. Pingback: wheat belly

  6. Sabrina says:

    Hello,
    I’ve been eating 100% wheat free (including anything processed/canned)
    And I feel like maybe I’m not getting enough calories. I have a big break fast and eat loads of fresh salads and veggies through the day with limited fruit.
    I eat when I feel the need to.
    That being said if I’m eating 700-1000 calories a day is that too few
    For a 21 year old who has some weight to loose.
    (Mind you I’m doing it for health)
    Thanks
    Sabrina

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Too few calories, Sabrina!

      Eat more eggs, meats with the fat and organs, coconut oil and milk, as well as the salads/vegetables.

      Sometimes, a chronic lack of calories can also booby-trap your weight loss efforts.

  7. elizabeth crawford says:

    Is semolina acceptable – I assume no. Are oats and rice acceptable? Does your theory preclude carbohydrates across the board? What about high-quality whole grain? My daughter was told she has a wheat allergy (that was Monday) and I stopped eating wheat with her. In one week – the difference is absolutely wonderful. No side affects – I eat well anyway. I’ll buy the book tomorrow. All the best.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hi, Elizabeth–

      Semolina is wheat of the worst variety. If all you did was eliminate all things wheat, you’d be off to a great start.

      Problem, however: Most people have 1) gained lots of unwanted weight, and 2) have impaired pancreatic function due to a lifetime of carbohydrate overconsumption. Thus, the benefits are even greater if you restrict all grains and sugars.

      One issue I will be discussing at much greater length in coming blog posts (as well as another book) is how much of a health compromise we strike when we consume grains of any sort.

  8. Eve Harris says:

    Hello I have been wheat free for 30 days and want to reintroduce it back in my diet. (It was only an experiement). I cannot continue because of economical reasons, and it doesn’t fit into my lifestyle. I hyperventilate just standing in a grocery store. I’m also unable to eat with family and friends or eat out without feeling uncomfortable. I ate a few wheat crackers on Saturday and have a 3 day headache. How can I start eating wheat without getting sick.

  9. Good morning Dr Davis,
    I have taken what you have been saying and have removed all wheat from my diet and I am feeling a lot better on all levels. However, after receiving your lovely recipe book I noticed just about all the dish’s that require flour have almond meal flour, my question is, what can I use instead of almond meal flour for someone who is allergic to nuts?
    One other thing is that I hope you don’t mind but I have advertised your book on my website http://www.judithfarley.com as well as put a link to your interview with Dr Oz. I am also moving back to New Zealand in April and would be interested in becoming an agent for your books there if you would like.
    I look forward to receiving your reply.
    love and light
    Judith Farley

  10. Hi Dr. Davis!

    My Canadian friend introduced me to your book after I had done a cleanse that my functional medicine nurse had had me on for some weeks. I found when I started to introduce foods back into my system, my body hurt when I had dairy. So I’ve been following your wheat belly approach sans dairy since November – which may put me in the category of a paleo eater.

    Any way – a chronic upper back pain has gone away, my hunger has diminished and I’m feeling great . While I initially lost 15 pounds, I’ve gained two back and have been maintaining this weight for more than 2 months – without losing more (which I need to lose). I’m thinking I may have some thyroid issues – which I’ll be investigating.

    My question, however has to do with arrowroot. I’ve been trying to find out if that starch is lower on the glycemic scale than the other starches. I don’t intend to use much of it, but occasionally run across a recipe that calls for a Tablespoon or 2 and wondered how bad that would be to introduce into my baking. Do you have any thoughts?

    Keep up your great work – you’re making a big difference for us all!

    Melanie

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hi, Melanie–

      Arrowroot, regardless of glycemic index, can still exert blood sugar-raising effects. But, because the quantities used are small, the overall impact tends to be minimal.

      A better thickener, however, is coconut flour, with NO glycemic potential.

      • Thanks, Dr. Davis. You confirmed my suspicions. Unfortunately, coconut flour doesn’t have as smooth a consistency – but the trade off is no impact – so I guess I’ll substitute with coconut flour!

        Keep up the great work!

        Melanie

      • Liana says:

        I thought it said in the book that using arrowroot as a thickener was okay?

        • Dr. Davis says:

          Yes, it’s okay in small quantities distributed into a recipe.

          But if you require a larger volume of thickener, consider coconut flour, as it poses essentially no carbohydrate challenge yet works just fine.

  11. Paula says:

    Hi Dr. Davis,
    I am embarking on a weight-loss program in which I count calories, or to be more specific, “food groups”. E.g. I can eat 2 portions of dairy, 10 portions of protein, 2 fruits, 2 breads, unlimited vegetables, etc. If I start to make muffins and biscuits using almond flour, how would I count that on a diet like this? Obviously, they are not breads, so would I just count them as proteins and fats? A protein portion is 70 calories on my diet, so do I simply look at the total number of calories and divide that by 70? Just wondering.
    Thanks,
    Paula

  12. Ricky says:

    Dr. Davis, ever since going wheat-free, my diastolic blood pressure has been too low. It’s stays around 57. I get light headed a lot. Sometimes, I have to eat a handful of salt to feel better. And if I run or climb steps, my heart beats hard and I have to eat a lot of salt again. I used to have high blood pressure but now the complete opposite is happening.

    I dropped 5 lbs in 3 days of water weight when I first got rid of wheat. So, do you think my body actually needs a little bit of wheat to help maintain a higher blood pressure or do I just need to eat a lot more salt now since my body doesn’t seem to maintain high enough sodium?

    • James says:

      Sounds very much like a typical symptom during the induction phase of a low carb diet so yes, increasing your salt intake at the beginning is a good thing. Actually, it is recommended by Phinney and Volek in their book The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living.

      • Ricky says:

        Could it be something besides low carbs? I ask because I still eat plenty of carbs in the form of rice, potato, chips, fruit and other wheat free carbs.

        I actually went ahead and ate some wheat today because I keep felling like I’m going to faint. All this started happening after I dropped 5lbs of water weight from going wheat free. Very scary feeling. I can’t even do push ups or lift weights because my pressure drops too low. Eating eating a lot of salt only helps temporarily.

        This issue is something that Dr. Davis may need to warn people about. I went to the doctor and had an EKG, x-ray, blood work, etc. done and everything was ok.

        But since going wheat free, it seems that my body can’t hold on to enough sodium and/or whatever other nutrient I need when i used the bathroom because a lot of times, i get palpitations after using the restroom.

        The only thing I’ve changed in my life is eliminating wheat.

        Any other feedback you can provide?

        • Dr. Davis says:

          This is now beyond the scope of what can be adequately answered via a blog comment, Ricky.

          Talk to your doctor about your adrenal gland status. A lack of cortisol/hypoadrenalism could explain this, as can several prescription agents (if you are taking any).

  13. Deborah says:

    Hi Dr Davis,

    Since I am vegetarian I am having a hard time finding food to eat on the wheat belly diet. . I find that the diet is quite restrictive, no wheat, low carb, no processed food, no gluten free foods found in grocery stores, limited fruit, limited other dairy. Although I am so happy to discover the shiratakii noodles, I am getting really tired of eating vegetable stir frys everyday. I have tried the almond flour muffins, and like them, although when I bake them I eat too many of them. I do eat eggs and cheese but don’t find them particularly appealing. I gain weight eating the nuts freely. Also if we are suppose to be counting carbs it would be nice if the carb count was included for the recipes in the wheat belly book. I am committed to sticking with the wheat belly diet to see if my weight goes down. By BMI is currently 27. I would really like to know what I can eat though. although i really like your book i find the book is so full of what not to eat but not what to eat. I know in one of your previous posts you had a list of foods but it was also very short. I try to figure out what I can eat from the ingredients in your recipes. I have the wheat belly book, but not the wheat belly cookbook. Does the wheat belly cookbook have a lot of meal ideas for vegetarians? What are the foods I can eat and still lose weight, eating unlimited nuts does not work for my weight loss efforts. I do exercise daily.

    • Boundless says:

      > Since I am vegetarian I am having a hard time
      > finding food to eat on the wheat belly diet.

      It’s hard on any low-carb diet, plus you need to mind your supplements, but you probably already knew about the vitamin issues. If you chose to be vegetarian for outcome-based reasons, you might want to reconsider.

      .> Also if we are suppose to be counting carbs it would
      > be nice if the carb count was included for the recipes
      > in the wheat belly book.

      The new cookbook has that data, plus vastly more recipes. .Dr. Davis tells us that the macronutrient data was a deliberate omission in the original book. If you are eating only from those recipes, you don’t need to count carbs, and are unlikely to over-consume carbs.

  14. Rachael says:

    Hi Doctor,
    I have been wheat free for just over three weeks. I have lost 12.5 pounds but i have noticed two things:

    My hands and feet are always cold (I also just moved to a colder area and this is my first winter here, but i haven’t been this cold before)
    and i have mini dizzy spells when i stand up.
    I have no wheat or grains, refined sugars (a treat might be a small amount of honey but i find it really sweet) legumes, and limited fruit (usually just berries) and lots of healthy fats, nuts/seeds, meats, eggs and veggies/salads.

    Is my body still detoxing or something? I did eat pretty poorly for a few months prior to hearing about your book.

    Looking forward to your imput
    Rachael

  15. Deborah says:

    Hi Boundless,
    Thanks for the information it is really helpful! I am happy to hear that the new cookbook has the carb count and that I probably won’t have to count carbs if I stick to the recipes. I will buy it very soon. I am vegetarian because I am trying to lose weight and be healthy, and yes I may reconsider this in the future if i cant make it work with the wheat belly diet. Thanks again for your help.
    Deb

    • Boundless says:

      > I am vegetarian because I am trying to lose weight and be healthy, …
      Losing weight is harder that way, as is staying healthy. You need to consider that you’ve been fed some mythology. Mythology is rarely nutritious, and often doesn’t deliver what it promises.

      • Deborah says:

        It is hard to figure out truth from fiction regarding diet and health related matter. So many of the diets and research studies contradict one another. I seem to go from one diet to another, I have been vegetarian for about a year and found it easy to stick to. It is easy for me to give up meat, but really hard for me to give up wheat, although I am really trying as I know wheat is a problem for me. I do think it is hard to be vegetarian and on wheat belly. I haven’t lost weight being a vegetarian, so perhaps you are right. Maybe I should go back to eating meat eventually but so many changes at once is hard, so it might take me a little while.

  16. Dominique Dryka says:

    I have your books and have tried some of the recipes. I have made the simple bread, my only problem is that where we live we cannot send anything containing nuts to school. My daughter is gluten free and I am wheat free. Do you have a recipe for bread that doesn’t contain a nut flour but is still good for you. Thanks

    • Dr. Davis says:

      No, not a recipe, but you can still recreate these breads using seed flours (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame), along with ground golden flaxseed, garbanzo bean flour.

      It means altering the recipes a bit. I’ve done it successfully, but just didn’t write the recipes down.

  17. Sunny says:

    Hi Dr. Davis,
    I have your book and the cookbook and I LOVE IT! My husband and I are strictly following the plan and our 4 children love the recipes- our fave so far is the pizza made with cauliflower, yum! I have 2 questions and they may be dumb but I am gonna ask it anyway:) I am newly insulin resistant and I am trying to keep my carb intake to 30-35 net carbs a day. Am I supposed to count the carbs from all the veggies I am eating or am I not supposed to count those since they are listed in the unlimited category. If this is the case, why do these carbs from veggies not count?
    Second question- in your cookbook underneath each recipe you list the nutritional info. Are the carbs that you list the carbs or the net carbs?
    Yes, I have read the book cover to cover, but I cannot recall seeing the answers to the above although I may have just missed it. Thanks for helping so many, I know this plan is changing our lives and we already feel great. Thank you!

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Thanks, Sunny!

      Yes, count all carbs if your goal is to completely eliminate insulin resistance. But you will find that the net carb content of veggies like spinach and broccoli is thankfully extremely low, sometimes zero.

      The carb content listed is total carbs.

  18. Lynn says:

    Dr. Davis,
    I just recently read an online article in the Huffington Post about broiled or fried meats being a source of carcinogens, especially in regard to breast cancer. I would like to continue my wheat free diet but I am thinking
    of avoiding broiled/fried meat. Steamed chicken or fish I guess.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2013/02/01/cooked-meat-breast-cancer_n_2506072.html?icid=hp_healthy-living_art_more

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Yes, lots of data that mostly come from New York from Dr. Helen Vlassara’s laboratory have found that the exogenous glycation/lipoxidation products that are yielded at high-temperature cooking, whether deep-frying, barbecuing, or broiling, can lead to higher insulin levels, hypertension, and other phenomena. Adding lemon juice or vinegars to your marinades dramatically reduces these compounds, as does using lower temperature cooking, as in steaming, boiling, or baking at temps below 400 degrees F.

    • Boundless says:

      > … carcinogens, especially in regard to breast cancer.
      There two separate dietary issues with respect to cancer:
      1. What starts it.
      2. What feeds it.
      Stop either; no cancer.

      The list of carcinogens is limitless. In California, the list itself is carcinogenic :)
      If wheat isn’t on it, it needs to be, due both to its inflammatory properties, and …

      On the what-feeds-it front, there’s growing suspicion that cancer cells are glucose-brittle. Shut off their sugar, and they die. Ordinary cells can run on glucose or ketone bodies. There are reports of very advanced late-stage cancers being completely remissed by nutritional ketosis (NK). Cultures that live in NK have very little cancer. High glycemic cultures, on the other hand, have lots of cancer. Super-villain of the glycemic foods: wheat.

      The WB dietary recommendations don’t have to result in NK, but the blood glucose levels are going to be low, low enough that cancer is probably going to have trouble getting a foothold and growing.

      > I would like to continue my wheat free diet but …
      From a carcinogenic standpoint, I consider ditching wheat to be more important than ditching meat.
      From a cancer growth standpoint, I consider it more important to be low carb than to avoid minor carcinogens.
      Ideally, do both: go low carb, low carcinogen.

  19. Melanie says:

    Hi Dr. Davis. I just want to let you know how greatly Wheat Belly resonated with me – I just finished it and I cannot stop talking about it to family members and friends. I hate to be THAT person who pushes their beliefs on everyone, but I can’t help it with this! It has been so influential to me. Now I just have to put all that I learned into action and do it. I can’t wait to purchase your cookbook! From the recipes offered in your book, I can tell I am about to embark on an equally, if not more, tasty and what’s more important, a healthful journey.

    I feel like I understand what foods to eat and what foods to avoid (anything with wheat, and a high sugar and/or carb count), however I wonder about alcohol: I am a social drinker, so it’s not a matter of forcing myself to stop drinking that 12-pack a day or what have you, but if I go out, I usually have a gin and tonic, vodka and water, light beer or white wine. Your book mentioned that beer is brewed from wheat, and even some vodkas and whiskeys are distilled from wheat. What about gin? Or rum, for that matter? Are certain brands of vodka okay? I know you endorse drinking red wine, but what about white? Is the endorsement based strictly on what health benefits can be derived from red wine, or does it come from a wheat standpoint?

    I would appreciate any information and advice you could offer on the above.

    Melanie

  20. Melanie says:

    I would also like to add that I have hypothyroidism, and while my levels are regulated, or I believe that they are, I worry that this condition may inhibit my weight loss even on a wheat-free diet (including excerise of course). Does it make any difference if you were diagnosed at birth rather than developing the condition in teenage years or adulthood, as many people often are?

    Thank you again!

    Melanie

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Makes no difference when it was diagnosed, Melanie.

      Hypothyroidism will only limit your ability to lose weight if you are undertreated. The most common reason for this is a failure to address the T3 thyroid hormone by taking only levothyroxine (Synthroid). If nobody has addressed your T3 status, you will need to find someone who will, usually a functional medicine practitioner or naturopath.

      • Melanie says:

        Dr. Davis, I am so glad I asked that last question and received such an honest answer. I have been taking synthroid only for my whole life. This is a shock to realize I have not in fact been regulated all this time. That might explain why I am always so tired and sluggish despite having my synthroid upped a couple times a year. I will definitely seek to change this right away.

        Thank you!!
        Melanie

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