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Wheat Belly

Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health

By Dr. William Davis
13-minute read
Audio available
Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis

Wheat Belly (2011) explores the havoc that modern wheat products are wreaking upon our mental and physical health. It shines a light on how wheat usage has changed over the years, as well as how dramatically our diets have changed. The author, Dr. William Davis, draws upon the latest scientific research to advance the argument for excluding wheat from your diet once and for all. 

  • Health-conscious people looking for a fresh perspective
  • Anyone hoping to lose weight
  • People looking to overhaul their lifestyle

Dr. William Davis is an American cardiologist and a New York Times bestselling author, best known for his passionate advocacy for wheat-free lifestyles. His other books include the Wheat Belly Cookbook (2012) and Undoctored: Why Healthcare Has Failed You and How You Can Become Smarter Than Your Doctor (2017).

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Wheat Belly

Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health

By Dr. William Davis
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
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Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis
Synopsis

Wheat Belly (2011) explores the havoc that modern wheat products are wreaking upon our mental and physical health. It shines a light on how wheat usage has changed over the years, as well as how dramatically our diets have changed. The author, Dr. William Davis, draws upon the latest scientific research to advance the argument for excluding wheat from your diet once and for all. 

Key idea 1 of 8

As Americans have added more wheat to their diets, they’ve also gotten bigger.  

In past centuries, it was an enviable status symbol to have a big belly, for it meant that you led a life of leisure and had plenty of money for food. Nowadays, however, it’s not just the privileged who have expansive waistlines – it’s people from all walks of life. And rather than envy, those people are often subjected to pity or ridicule with derisive terms like “beer-belly.”

Although this is a popular term for a protruding gut, according to the author’s research, a more accurate name would be “wheat belly.”

Since the 1980s, there have been ongoing public health campaigns against fatty cholesterol-packed foods such as butter and bacon, since these kinds of foods are believed to contribute to heart disease. But as a result, many people have replaced those foods with ones that are rich in carbohydrates. And out of all the available carbohydrates, one ingredient has risen to the top: wheat.

The American diet in particular is predominantly wheat-based, with this ingredient playing a major role in every meal. The author remembers having four servings of wheat flour a day. For breakfast, it was often a bowl of Lucky Charms. For lunch, a peanut butter sandwich. For dinner there was often cornbread. And to top it all off, some apple pie. That’s a lot of wheat!

Nowadays, the author stays away from wheat altogether. But for the rest of the world, it remains one of the most popular grains, accounting for 20 percent of our caloric intake. But eating so much of one ingredient doesn’t just make for a mundane diet – it makes for a fattening one, too. 

It’s no coincidence that as our diet has grown to become more wheat-based, our waistlines have also expanded. 

In 1985, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute began to recommend that Americans replace fatty foods with “heart-healthy” whole grains instead. That was the same year average body weights and diabetes rates began to increase sharply. 

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