Most people living the low-carb lifestyle can tell you that wheat isn’t as healthy as the mainstream nutritional experts would like us to think. If asked why, many would say because of the effect wheat has on insulin. There are also the dangers wheat poses to those with Celiac’s Disease or gluten sensitivities. But there is a surprising side to this debate that sadly seems to be relatively unknown. I learned all about it in the eye-opening book Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis.
Wheat Belly gives us the history of wheat. While that may not sound terribly interesting, I assure you it is. Especially if you are concerned about hybydized foods. You’ll learn all about the modifications made to wheat in the last few decades, and how it impacts human health. One surprising fact, for me, was how much insect repellent/weed killer ended up in today’s wheat supply. I was originally a little confused about this process, thinking the wheat had been genetically modified, so I asked Dr. Davis to clarify. Here’s what he said:
“Wheat was changed employing techniques that were crude, tough to control, less precise than modern genetic modification. In short, wheat was changed using techniques that were far WORSE than genetic modification. That’s how bad this thing is.”
So wheat was hybridized using primitive methods, with the intentions making the wheat supply hardier. Mutant wheat anyone?
Dr. Davis talks about the other properties in wheat, besides gluten, that can cause health problems. He lays out the groundwork to show us that wheat can affect a variety of bodily functions. From intestinal inflammation, to schizophrenia, wheat can contribute to a large number of health problems. Ever hear someone say “But I could NEVER give up my bread!”? That’s probably because they are addicted. Wheat has unique effects on the brain and nervous system, creating a high of sorts. You’ll also learn how wheat stimulates the appetite, not a good thing when you want to lose weight.
Other amazing information in ths book include facts about wheat and ph balance, diabetes, aging and heart disease. Then of course you’ll get to the really good stuff – how to quit wheat, or as Dr. Davis terms it, a radical wheat-ectomy. He then lays out a nutritional approach to help you improve your health and kick wheat to the curb for good. You’ll find recipes and menu plans as well, which is always a plus in any book.
I especially like Appendix A, where Dr. Davis shares a list of foods that are the most common wheat offenders. A few foods on that list will surprise you! And where would this book be without its scientific backing? Thankfully, we can satisfy our inner science geeks and happily immerse ourselves in several pages of references, which back up all the claims made in Wheat Belly.
Not only is this a very informative, and possibly life-changing book – it’s also well written in Dr. Davis’ unique style. It wasn’t dry at all, which can’t always be said of books on this topic.
Summery: Chock full of research, Dr. Davis does a great job keeping the majority of the information in Wheat Belly on a level anyone can grasp, enabling his readers to make informed nutritional decisions. It’s easy to find online and a good deal at $15 to $20. I highly recommend this book.
Online retailers that carry Wheat Belly:
Barnes & Noble
If buying a copy doesn’t float your boat, consider borrowing a copy from your nearest library, such as the St. Louis Public Library.