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Review: Wheat Belly, William Davis MD

wheat bellyI know what you’re thinking – this book is a completely out-of-the-ordinary read for me. And it is, I’ve read very few books like this in my life. But I became curious about wheat when my mother was advised to eat much less of it by her doctor because of the sugar content, even in whole wheat bread, and when I saw this book on Netgalley I decided I had to know more.

Dr. Davis believes that genetically modified wheat is the scourge of modern society. He has seen hundreds of patients whose health has improved and weight has dropped simply by reducing or, better, completely eliminating wheat from their diets. It’s not the only solution, and he doesn’t say so; some people aren’t actually sensitive to wheat. But for those whom medicine has ultimately failed, whose health problems are unexplained, eliminating wheat may help. Not in all cases, but in many.

This is an intriguing book, although I’m ever wary of faulty science, but a lot of it seems logical to me. Bread, these days, is not really bread, something that other food writers have mentioned countless times. Look at the ingredients – there’s all sorts of stuff in there to produce it quickly and to prevent it from going moldy. No one can afford to buy bread daily, and no one really eats enough bread to justify it, so we’re in a new situation which has uncertain effects on health. Knowing in particular that wheat products contain a ton of sugar that shoots up blood sugar and creates lows can’t really be a good thing. Most notably, as in the title, Dr. Davis tries to connect the prevalence of genetically modified wheat to the size of American bellies – in that people who have never had beer now sport “beer bellies”.

It helps that Davis includes references to medical studies, so he does have some justification for what he’s saying beyond personal experience. He also includes a helpful week of a wheat-free diet plan, because that’s about how long it will take for someone to end the cravings and enjoy the benefits he says he feels – less hunger, fewer mood swings, and so on. While I think at times the author goes a little bit too far in his comparisons of wheat as evil, overall I really appreciated the message, and his plan is to change your lifestyle rather than force you into a diet you’ll never accomplish. I’ve even thought about trying his plan myself, but I love bread (I’m unquestionably one of his wheat addicts), so I doubt I’d stick to it!

More than anything, I appreciated that Davis made me think about what I’m eating and what’s in the packaged foods I buy, and renew my commitment to make more fresh food rather than relying on something a machine has processed. Wheat Belly
an interesting read for anyone who, like me, has been curious about the effects of wheat, or thinks a wheat-free diet may help improve their health.

All book links to external sites are affiliate links. I downloaded this book for free from Netgalley.

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9 comments to Review: Wheat Belly, William Davis MD

  • I don’t eat much bread, and overall, I’m pretty healthy. I wonder if the two are related?
    bermudaonion (Kathy)´s last post …Moneyball

  • I also don’t eat much bread, but I do love it. I think this book sounds interesting and like it has some really good information inside. It might be something to check out. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it with us!
    zibilee´s last post …What Alice Forgot by Laine Moriarty — 432 pgs

  • This sounds interesting. I very rarely eat bread, but when I do I will have to think about it a bit more!
    Kailana´s last post …Reasons to be Happy by Katrina Kittle

  • I should recommend this to one of my coworkers who has recently gone gluten free.
    Amused´s last post …Book Review: The Tudor Secret

  • This sounds like a very interesting reads. I don’t think many people are aware that many, many of our food stuffs are GMOd and there is no law for companies to label their products as such. I tend to make my own bread, especially in the winter, because there is so much crap in store-bought bread (although, probably still GMOd wheat). There’s a reason store-bought bread does not grow mold very quickly. A homemade loaf will see mold grow quite quickly if not eaten. I am a carb-a-holic, love my breads, and I also have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and breads should be hardly eaten. I’ve been thinking of trying to eliminate gluten to see if I feel better. I’d love to check this book out!
    Carrie´s last post …Wishlist Wednesday: Nanjing Requiem by Ha Hin

  • I make my own bread. I have to have bread every day or I feel like I’m starving. But you’re right; most people don’t eat enough bread to buy it every day. You can put it in the freezer though and it keeps pretty well.

  • I don’t think I could ever give up bread, I probably count as a wheat addict too. But have really cut down on my over-processed food, frozen meals and pre-made sauces (i.e. bolognaise, chilli). 1. because there full of rubbish 2. there so simple to cook yourself and 3. it tastes ten times better when its fresh and homemade :-)
    Jessicabookworm´s last post …Sunday Reflection #44

  • Dave

    Modern wheat is not “genetically modified” by any rational definition of the term (there are some experimental varieties, but I don’t think any are even in the food chain yet). If he actually states this in the book, then I would be very suspicious of it. Disclosure: I’m a scientist (different field) and former farm boy, I keep track of such things.

  • Hats off to Dr. Davis for exposing the issues with genetically modified wheat. Since the federal government has pushed citizens to increase the whole wheat intake and reduce the amount of protein consumed, the population has seen an alarming increase in obesity. Although he is a little over the top in some of his claims (wheat is more addictive than heroin,etc.) he is spot on and is simply helping Americans see the folly of a dietary system based on wheat and grain consumption.

    A great read and will make you think twice before eating anything claiming to be whole wheat.