Read from June 30 to July 04, 2011
Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health by William Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The book The Wheat Belly by William Davis, M.D. should be required reading for everyone in the world.
We’ve all heard about the No Carbs approach in diets like Atkins, South Beach etc. Efforts have been made to explain and counter arguments about toxidity etc. were made to discredit all of those diets as they were too restricting. So the word of warning right off: Davis agrees with the low carbs recommendation to the extreme. He calls his book The Wheat Belly, as wheat is the widest used and most readily available grain (product) in the world. He does refer to all gluten containing, genetically altered grains by this one term: Wheat! Through crossbreading it has been turned into a high yield, low growing plant to produce as much grain with as little loss as possible. Through modern food science it has become possible to alter it to growing specifications that are the most satisfying for the producer. At the same time people were advised to eat as much whole grain product as possible as it was advertised as healthy. Unfortunately this development occurred too fast for human digestion to keep up and was done without even checking how the cross breeding affected the consumer. Through the process wheat gained attributes that neither parent plant was known to have on humans. Chemical processes in the body that affect not only digestion, weight gain and intestinal problems (like celiac desease) but shockingly were responsible for all sorts of health problems from heart desease brought on by weight gain, to high blood glucose levels and resulting diabetes and effects on the brain that suggest an addiction and contribute to problems like ADHD, dimentia and other brain related health problems.
One of the most convincing points is that despite the fact that people were advised to eat low fat high fiber diets the population has grown more and more overweight and obese.
Davis compares our diets nowadays to that of our ancestors, where the ones of about two generations away still got non genetically altered wheat and those from a few thousand years ago hardly ate grains at all. He argues that if we were to follow the hunter and gatherer diets of our forefathers we would be following what our bodies are still genetically programmed to digest: Meat and fats as well as vegetables and fruit, with very little grain. And if grain, then because of the adverse effects of gluten on digestion in many people, gluten free grains.
This is not a fad diet book, but a scientific text, that states many studies and examples about the facts Davis descibes. A deeper insight into the changes of human physiology over time to see if and how any progress towards better digestion of today’s “wheat diet” has been acquired would make this work complete.
Davis does include a small recipe section that is geared towards replacing wheat products in a satisfying way.
An eye opener and if even half the facts are true, one would hope that society could adopt eating habits more adapted to our bodies to produce a healthier population.
In Canada the food guide has already been changed away from the largest amount of calories having to come from grains, to the recommendation to eat mostly vegetables and fruit. If meat moved up on the scale and grains moved back into last place, it appears after reading this book, we would be receiving very good advise.
Absolutely recommended for those with celiac desease, weight problems and other thus unexplained health issues that are worth a gluten free/ wheat free trial. Parents of autistic children and children with ADHD might find this very interesting and helpful. Yet everyone could benefit from following this diet if what it claims is indeed true: Better all over health and a cure to many ailments.
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