Wheat Belly

If you’re looking for another book to support why wheat isn’t the “amazing heart healthy” food it’s touted to be, Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD, is good choice. Though I’ll be honest, just like The Wahls Protocol, it is written by a doctor and got a little too “sciencey” at parts for me. I may or may not have skimmed some sections. 😉


Here are some excerpts that I found most interesting:

“An interesting fact: Whole wheat bread (glycemic index 72) increases blood sugar as much as or more than table sugar, or sucrose (glycemic index 59).”

“Wheat naturally evolved to only a modest degree over the centuries, but it has changed dramatically in the past fifty years under the influence of agricultural scientist. Wheat strains have been hybridized, crossbreed, and introgressed to make the wheat plant resistant to environmental conditions, such as drought, or pathogens, such as fungi. But most of all, genetic changes have been induced to increase yield per acre. the average yield of a modern North American Farm is more than tenfold greater than farms of a century ago.”

“A loaf of bread, biscuit, or pancake of today is different than its counterpart of a thousand years ago, different even from what our grandmothers made. They might look the same, even taste much the same, but there are biochemical differences. Small changes in wheat protein structure can spell the difference between a devastating immune response to wheat protein versus no immune response at all.”

“Aside from some extra fiber, eating two slices of whole wheat bread is really little different, and often worse, than drinking a can of sugar-sweetened soda or eating a sugary candy bar.”

“It is unlikely that wheat exposure was the initial cause of autism or ADHD but, as with schizophrenia, wheat appears to be associated with worsening of the symptoms characteristic of the conditions.”

During digestion, gluten is degraded to a mix of polypeptides. “These polypeptides were discovered to have the peculiar ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier that separates the bloodstream from the brain…Once having gained entry into the brain, wheat polypeptides bind to the brain’s morphine receptor, the very same receptor to which opiate drugs bind.”

In regards to studying the drug naloxone in wheat-consuming versus wheat-free schizophrenics. “Clinical studies that might lead to conclusions that don’t support drug use are often not performed.” Who else isn’t shocked by that statement?

“Nutritionists established the fact that wheat increase blood sugar more profoundly than table sugar thirty years ago. As we’ve discussed, they glycemic index, or GI, is the nutritionist’s measure of how much blood  sugar levels increase in the 90 to 120 minutes after a food is consumed. By this measure, whole wheat bread has a GI of 72, while plain table sugar has a GI of 59 (though some labs have gotten results as high as 65). In contrast, kidney beans have a GI of 51, grapefruit comes in at 25, while noncarbohydrate foods such as salmon and walnuts have GIs of essentially zero: Eating these foods has no effect on blood sugar. In fact, with few exceptions, few foods have as high a GI as foods made from wheat. Outside of dried sugar-rich fruits such as dates and figs, the only other foods that have GIs as high as wheat products are dried, pulverized starches such as cornstarch, rice starch, potato starch, and tapioca starch. (It is worth noting that these are the very same carbohydrates often used to make “gluten-free” food.)”

“Ever notice how people with a wheat belly almost invariably also have arthritis of one or more joints? If you haven’t, take notice of how many times someone who carts around the characteristic front loader also limps or winces with hip, knee, or back pain.”

“The more wheat products you consume, the higher and more frequently blood glucose increases, the more glycation occurs. Glycation represents an irreversible modification of proteins in the bloodstream and in body tissues, including joints such as knees, hips, and hands.
The cartilage in joints is uniquely susceptible to glycation, since cartilage cells are extremely long-lived and are incapable of reproducing. Once damaged, they do not recover. …The damage of glycation is cumulative, making cartilage brittle and unyielding, eventually crumbling. Joint inflammation, pain, and destruction results, the hallmarks of arthritis.”

“There is no nutritional deficiency that develops when you stop consuming wheat and other processed foods.”

Worth a read in my opinion!