Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Review: Wheat Belly

After reading The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David Kessler, my trainer and I started to talking about Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD.   My trainer said the book was really an eye opener when it come to the influence wheat has on our body.

I decided to read the book.  Mostly I was intrigued because in 2008 I was tested to see if I had an absorption issue caused by gluten.  The tests came back negative and I didn't look back.  I was happy I didn't have to cut my beloved bread and pasta, but continued to have B12 levels well below the normal level even with taking 2 pills a day and getting a B12 shot once a week.  Last spring was the first time I had normal B12 levels.  I am not sure if it was because my diet had changed or if I had gotten healthier so I could absorb the B12 better.  Who knows really?

So I dug in head first to Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD.  Doctor Davis starts the book by giving his story of his weight gain even though he worked out and ate relatively heavy.  Once he cut wheat from his diet the pounds and other health issues began to drop.

Doctor Davis then discussed the history of wheat.  This part was kind of boring but I found it interesting to see how wheat has changed throughout the years.  Instead of the tall wheat fields we have much shorter wheat "dwarf" wheat as he calls it.  He states that this type of wheat is what has caused the problem in America.  

Doctor Davis then started discussing the studies that have shown wheat is bad for us and the different ailments that eliminating wheat can heal.  This was the interesting part of the book.  He showed studies of where eliminating wheat healed heart disease, diabetes, schizophrenia, intestinal issues and the like.  

Basically if you eliminate wheat these things could happen:

Lower Cholesterol and healing heart disease
Reducing or eliminating type 2 diabetes
Reduce or heal intestinal issues like chrones disease or irritable bowl syndrome
Treat acne
Eliminate absorption issues like B12 deficiency and the like

He had other benefits as well, but these really stood out to me.  I suffer from IBS and as I mentioned before I have in the past suffered from B12 deficiency.

The book had a lot of information and made me really wonder if wheat was the culprit.

Doctor Davis then went on to explain his diet (i.e. cutting out wheat) that would eliminate many health issues as well as lose weight.

Here's a little bit from his diet:

Eliminate the following items:
Cornstarch and cornmeal 
Snack foods - chips, rice cakes, popcorn
Rice -white or brown wild rice limit to 1/2 cup
Potatoes - 1/2 cup
Legumes - 1/2 cup
Gluten-free foods 
Fruit juices, soft drinks - 2 to 4 ounces if natural 
Dried Fruit
Other grains - quinoa, sorghum, buckwheat, millet, and oats  - 1/2 cup
Trans fat, fried oils
Cured meats - sausages, bacon, hit dogs, salami

Items you can eat:  
Eat some fruit - 8-10 blueberries, 2 strawberries, few wedges or apples or an orange.  Bananas, pineapple, mango, and papaya need limited 
Raw nuts - almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews (as much as you want) - several times a week 2 years to life 
Use oil generously - olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil,  cocoa butter.  Avoid sunflower, safflower, corn, and vegetable - low temps never fry 
Meat and eggs - grass fed, don't fry.  Eat eggs not limit to 1 a week 
Eat dairy products - full fat cheese; limit cottage cheese, yogurt, milk, and butter - 1-2 servings a day 

As I stated, I really enjoyed the book.  After reading it, I definitely wonder if wheat was the cause for my B12 deficiency and other problems.  I have decided I am going to do a Wheat Belly experiment in a few weeks.  I will be cutting wheat from my diet for 2 weeks and see if I see results.  If I see results other than losing weight (like more energy, better sleep, etc) then I will determine if I will stay wheat free.

I plan to share my journey as I go including wheat free recipes and meals.

Are you wheat free?  Have you read Wheat Belly?

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