I’ve just finished reading Wheat Belly and it confirms that my low carb wheat free lifestyle is the way to go. I know I’m doing the right thing for my body.
Wheat Belly Diet Explained
Wheat Belly by preventive cardiologist William Davis, MD, explains how eliminating wheat from our diets is the key to achieving permanent weight loss and relief from a wide range of health issues including digestive disorders and immune problems.
Davis says that excess fat is not related to inactivity or high-fat diets, but instead is due to our love of foods like bread, pasta, muffins and cakes.
William Davis explains that there are many dangers associated with a diet containing wheat.
He states that wheat has a unique composition of complex carbohydrates – 75% amylopectin and 25% amylose – that has an especially negative effect on the regulation of blood sugar.
While all carbohydrate foods have an influence on our blood sugar levels, our response to wheat is more severe due to its composition.
He also says that when we eat wheat it not only triggers an insulin response that promotes the storage of fat – especially belly fat – but due to the presence of compounds called endorphins, it also increases your appetite so that you eat more calories.
Wheat also contains a protein called gluten that causes celiac disease, a condition that Dr. Davis describes in detail, as it is the most commonly diagnosed wheat allergy.
However, gluten has also been implicated in many other disorders including Irritable Bowel Syndrome, arthritis, neurological conditions, Candidiasis and gastrointestinal cancer.
6 Possible Benefits to Following the Wheat Belly Diet
- Weight loss of up to fifty pounds within the first few months.
- Alleviation of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
- Recovery from ulcerative colitis and celiac disease.
- Improvement in blood cholesterol levels.
- Reduced inflammation and pain in rheumatoid arthritis.
- Alleviation of hair loss and psoriasis.
Most dieters experience cravings and withdrawal symptoms when they first eliminate wheat from the diet but you can soften the blow by gradually tapering off your wheat intake over a week.
Wheat Alternatives Not Recommended
Wheat Belly advises dieters that many of the wheat free foods available on the market are not truly healthy foods because they contain ingredients like cornstarch that will make you fat and diabetic.
Because Davis believes that a low carbohydrate diet is healthier for us he advises limiting gluten-free grains like…
He says they are best restricted to ½ cup servings and only consumed once used the wheat withdrawal process is over and ideal weight has been achieved. This holds true for legumes as well.
Good Wheat Flour Alternatives
The recipes in Wheat Belly replace wheat flour with ingredients like coconut flour, ground flaxseed and nut meals because these are nutritious foods that don’t produce abnormal responses similar to those of wheat.
Chicken, turkey, beef, buffalo, ostrich, salmon, eggs, cheese, spinach, tomato, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, apples, oranges, avocado, raw nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts), pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, coconut flour, Shirataki noodles, olive oil, coconut oil, mustard, herbs, spices, tea, coffee, red wine.
- Provides unique information about the potentially negative health effects of wheat.
- Encourages the consumption of vegetables, raw nuts and seeds.
- May assist with the alleviation of a wide variety of chronic health conditions.
- Includes a seven-day meal plan with wheat free recipes.
- Most dieters experience cravings and withdrawal symptoms when they first eliminate wheat from the diet.
- Limits the consumption of many healthy foods including fruit, legumes and gluten-free grains.
- Encourages the consumption of artificial sweeteners.
- The Wheat Belly Meal plan is relatively high in fat.
Less Wheat Certainly Can’t Hurt
Wheat Belly explains how eliminating wheat from our diets can be the key to achieving permanent weight loss and the alleviation of a wide range of chronic health conditions.
This book includes detailed information about the potentially negative effects of wheat and offers guidance on how to get started with a wheat free diet.
Most people would benefit from eating less wheat-based products because they usually calorie dense and processed.
I also bought the Wheat Belly Cookbook and so far every recipe I tried was a huge hit with my family. I’ve made a goal that buy the end of this year I will have a wheat free house. I’m so lucky because my husband and kids are not picky eaters and they are enjoying every low carb wheat-free recipe I make.
Wheat Belly Diet Food List
All wheat-based products (all breads, all breakfast cereals, noodles, pasta, bagels, muffins, pancakes, waffles, donuts, pretzels, crackers), oat products (oatmeal, oat bran), cornstarch-based products (sauces or gravies thickened with cornstarch, prepared or processed foods containing cornstarch, cornmeal products like chips, tacos, tortillas), sugary soft drinks, candies
Vegetables-except potatoes; fresh or frozen, never canned
Raw nuts and seeds-raw almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, cashews; dry-roasted peanuts (not roasted in oil); pumpkin and sunflower seeds
Healthy oils (unheated)-olive, flaxseed, coconut, avocado, walnut
Meats-red meats, pork, fish, chicken, turkey, eggs. (Consider free-range, grass-fed and/or organic sources.)
Non-wheat grains-ground flaxseed, chia seeds
Teas, coffee, water, unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk or coconut water
Cheeses—real cultured cheeses only (not Velveeta or single-slice processed cheese)
Avocado or guacamole; hummus; unsweetened condiments, e.g., mayonnaise, mustard, oil-based salad dressings; ketchup without high-fructose corn syrup; pesto, tapenades; olives
Fruit-No more than 2 servings a day (one serving is a level handful), preferably in this order (best first): berries of all varieties, citrus, apples, nectarines, peaches, melons. Minimize bananas, pineapples, mangoes, and grapes
Fruit juices-only real juices and in minimal quantities (no more than 2-4 oz)
Dairy products-No more than 1 serving per day of milk, cottage cheese or yogurt, unsweetened (Fat content does not matter.)
Legumes/beans; peas; sweet potatoes and yams; rice (white and brown); soy
Dark chocolates-70-85% cocoa or greater; no more than 40 grams (approximately 2 inches square) per day
Sugar-free foods-preferably stevia-containing, rather than aspartame
Hydrogenated “trans” fats
Cured meats-hot dogs, sausages, bacon, bologna, pepperoni
High-fructose corn syrup containing foods; honey; agave syrup; sucrose
Processed rice, rice flour or potato products-rice crackers, rice cereals, pretzels, white breads, breakfast cereals, potato chips
Fat-free or low-fat salad dressings
For healthy breakfast choices, consider ground flaxseed as a hot cereal (e.g., with soy milk, milk, or unsweetened almond milk; blueberries, strawberries, etc.). Also consider eggs; raw nuts; cheese; consider having “dinner for breakfast,” meaning transferring salads, cheese, chicken, and other “dinner” foods to breakfast.
Add 1 tsp or more of taste-compatible healthy oil to every meal. For example, mix in 1 tbsp flaxseed oil to ground flaxseed hot cereal. Or add 2 tbsp olive oil to eggs after scrambling. Adding oils will blunt appetite.
If you suspect you have a wheat “addiction,” use the first week to add healthy oils to every meal and reduce the amount of wheat by half. In the second week, aim for elimination of wheat while maintaining the oils.
Reach for raw nuts first as a convenient snack.