Is Wheat the Devil that It’s Made out to Be in Wheat Belly?
I’ve been getting lots of questions lately from clients, friends, twitter friends about wheat, and what I think about Wheat Belly and the wheat belly diet foods. Wheat belly, as I’m sure most of you know by now is the bestselling book written by cardiologist William Davis, M.D. that makes some pretty big and bold claims about the evils of wheat for our health.
So, I’m going to weigh in with my expertise on the issue and explain a few things so you can decide what YOU want to do about eating wheat.
I do agree with Dr. Davis on 4 main points:
- Refined carbohydrates are making us gain weight, causing a rise in diabetes, and wreaking havoc on our immune and hormone systems
- If you cut wheat out from your diet and DO NOT replace it with other refined carbs (ie. more rice, ‘gluten free’ bread from refined tapioca and rice flour, and ‘gluten fre’e desserts) you WILL lose weight, and feel better
- There are some people who should NOT eat wheat, because they have an intolerance to this grain, either to gluten or to another protein in the wheat grain.
- The wheat we eat most often in the West is often GMO and/or dwarf wheat, NOT the more nutritious variety our ancestors ate.
Ok, so where do I disagree with his arguments? Well, although I agree that SOME people seem to have an intolerance to wheat and/or gluten (and I know they exist because my Fiance happens to be one of them!) I do not think that this problem exists in the proportions he says it does. To find out if you are one of the unfortunate people with a hidden intolerance to wheat or gluten, you can do a food elimination diet test for wheat, for a full 2 weeks, and see if you feel differently–I talk about how to do this in another video, about Food Elimination Diets and IBS if you want to learn how it’s done;) If you start to have wicked food cravings for wheat day 2 or 3 into cutting it out, that may be a good clue that it’s a problem for you, because according to leading experts in Nutritional Medicine (although there are no existing studies to actually prove this–who would pay for them?:) Foods that we crave are often the very ones we should be AVOIDING!
I also STRONGLY suspect that part of the reason you lose weight when you cut out wheat is that you end up eating way less carbs, espcially from grains, which is essentially the basis of ANY ‘low carb diet’ which, although I do not recommend this long term, DOES result in weight loss. Your body starts to switch over fro burning carbs to burning fat and protein, which causes weight loss.
So, it’s really ALL refined carbs (and especially MY #1 Enemy: High Fructose Corn Syrup) NOT just wheat that’s causing a lot of the problem with obesity and diabetes in our modern world but I don’t see any harm in cutting out wheat from your diet, even if just for a few weeks to see how you feel, just don’t eat 3 meals of gluten free desserts instead and expect to feel amazing at the end of it!
Eat a balanced, pesticide free diet rich in veg, moderate amounts of whole grains (ie. in their original form) and less bread, and you will see big changes in how you feel and in how your ‘skinny jeans’ fit!:)