Davis says nixing wheat in your diet will result in a healthier
With better than
one in four Wisconsinites considered obese, weíre no strangers to
the beer belly. But the wheat belly?
Wheat is the
culprit in weight gain, heart disease, diabetes and a host of other
maladies, according to Dr. William Davis, a local interventional
cardiologist. His book, "Wheat Belly," laid out the argument
for a wheat-free lifestyle; it became a No. 1 bestseller on the New
York Times list in 2012 and spent nearly a year on the list.
this stuff falls into the conventional world," admits Davis.
"The American Heart Association says, ĎCut your fat, cut your
cholesterol and eat healthy whole grains.í Itís advice that is at
best ineffective and at worst causes heart disease."
practiced for 21 years, many of which were spent giving his patients
the standard instructions. He sent them for tests. He performed
angioplasties and heart catheterizations. And then he decided that the
health care system was based on "a revolving door of repetitive
procedures that are highly profitable."
Davis, routine blood work doesnít tell the whole story. He prefers
more advanced cholesterol tests that most doctors donít order. Such
tests can disclose small LDL particles ó not just the overall LDL
ratio. These particles increase the risk for heart disease; their
production is triggered, Davis says, by amylopectin A, the dominant
complex carbohydrate in wheat.
LDL particles arenít the only hazard of consuming wheat, Davis says.
He cites links to rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases,
acid reflux disease, asthma and even depression. Wheat is said to
increase appetite. And then thereís diabetes, because "very few
foods have a greater ability to raise your blood sugar than wheat
products," says Davis.
Wheat is found
in unexpected places ó ice cream, canned soups, cake frosting and
potato chips, to name just a few. So, going fully wheat-free means
reading labels carefully. Merely reducing wheat in the diet isnít
enough, Davis adds, because small LDL particles continue to be
triggered for one to two weeks after wheat consumption.
diet includes meat, eggs, nuts, fruits and vegetables. The first five
days are "quite miserable," says Davis. The payoff comes as
the body begins to oxidize fat ó a process that takes about four
In addition to
"Wheat Belly," Davis authored "Wheat Belly
Cookbook" earlier this year and founded an interactive website
called "Track Your Plaque."
Meanwhile, he is
closing his medical practice in Wauwatosa this summer to focus on
speaking, writing and projects for two wheat-free research
foundations. Noting that food companies spend billions lobbying the
federal government, he says, "We operate in the shadows of the
Goliaths that control the message. I see it as my mission to help
people understand that what youíre being told is often wrong."
Visit M Magazineís
website, mmagazinemilwaukee.com to find two wheat-free recipes from
Davisí "Wheat Belly Cookbook."
What about carb-loading?