On the evils of wheat

Dr. William Davis on why it is so addictive, and how shunning it will make you skinny

On the evils of wheat, why it is so addictive, and how shunning it will make you skinny

Jean-Marc Giboux/Getty Images

William Davis, a preventive cardiologist who practises in Milwaukee, Wis., argues in his new book Wheat Belly that wheat is bad for your health—so bad that it should carry a surgeon general’s warning.

Q: You say the crux of the problem with wheat is that the stuff we eat today has been genetically altered. How is it different than the wheat our grandparents ate?

A: First of all, it looks different. If you held up a conventional wheat plant from 50 years ago against a modern, high-yield dwarf wheat plant, you would see that today’s plant is about 2½ feet shorter. It’s stockier, so it can support a much heavier seedbed, and it grows much faster. The great irony here is that the term “genetic modification” refers to the actual insertion or deletion of a gene, and that’s not what’s happened with wheat. Instead, the plant has been hybridized and crossbred to make it resistant to drought and fungi, and to vastly increase yield per acre. Agricultural geneticists have shown that wheat proteins undergo structural change with hybridization, and that the hybrid contains proteins that are found in neither parent plant. Now, it shouldn’t be the case that every single new agricultural hybrid has to be checked and tested, that would be absurd. But we’ve created thousands of what I call Frankengrains over the past 50 years, using pretty extreme techniques, and their safety for human consumption has never been tested or even questioned.

Q: What extreme techniques are you talking about?

A: New strains have been generated using what the wheat industry proudly insists are “traditional breeding techniques,” though they involve processes like gamma irradiation and toxins such as sodium azide. The poison control people will tell you that if someone accidentally ingests sodium azide, you shouldn’t try to resuscitate the person because you could die, too, giving CPR. This is a highly toxic chemical.

Q: Can’t you just get around any potential health concerns by buying products made with organically grown wheat?

A: No, because the actual wheat plant itself is the same. It’s almost as if we’ve put lipstick on this thing and called it organic and therefore good, when the truth is, it’s really hardly any better at all.

Q: A lot of us have switched to whole wheat products because we’ve been told complex carbohydrates are heart healthy and good for us. Are you saying that’s not true?

A: The research that indicates whole grains are healthy is all conducted the same way: white flour is replaced with whole wheat flour, which, no question, is better for you. But taking something bad and replacing it with something less bad is not the same as research that directly compares what happens to health and weight when you eliminate wheat altogether. There’s a presumption that consuming a whole bunch of the less bad thing must be good for you, and that’s just flawed logic. An analogy would be to say that filtered cigarettes are less bad for you than unfiltered cigarettes, and therefore, a whole bunch of filtered cigarettes is good for you. It makes no sense. But that is the rationale for increasing our consumption of whole grains, and that combined with the changes in wheat itself is a recipe for creating a lot of fat and unhealthy people.

Q: How does wheat make us fat, exactly?

A: It contains amylopectin A, which is more efficiently converted to blood sugar than just about any other carbohydrate, including table sugar. In fact, two slices of whole wheat bread increase blood sugar to a higher level than a candy bar does. And then, after about two hours, your blood sugar plunges and you get shaky, your brain feels foggy, you’re hungry. So let’s say you have an English muffin for breakfast. Two hours later you’re starving, so you have a handful of crackers, and then some potato chips, and your blood sugar rises again. That cycle of highs and lows just keeps going throughout the day, so you’re constantly feeling hungry and constantly eating. Dieticians have responded to this by advising that we graze throughout the day, which is just nonsense. If you eliminate wheat from your diet, you’re no longer hungry between meals because you’ve stopped that cycle. You’ve cut out the appetite stimulant, and consequently you lose weight very quickly. I’ve seen this with thousands of patients.

Q: But I’m not overweight and I exercise regularly. So why would eating whole wheat bread be bad for me?

A: You can trigger effects you don’t perceive. Small low-density lipoprotein [LDL] particles form when you’re eating lots of carbohydrates, and they are responsible for atherosclerotic plaque, which in turn triggers heart disease and stroke. So even if you’re a slender, vigorous, healthy person, you’re still triggering the formation of small LDL particles. And second, carbohydrates increase your blood sugars, which cause this process of glycation, that is, the glucose modification of proteins. If I glycate the proteins in my eyes, I get cataracts. If I glycate the cartilage of my knees and hips, I get arthritis. If I glycate small LDL, I’m more prone to atherosclerosis. So it’s a twofold effect. And if you don’t start out slender and keep eating that fair trade, organically grown whole wheat bread that sounds so healthy, you’re repeatedly triggering high blood sugars and are going to wind up with more visceral fat. This isn’t just what I call the wheat belly that you can see, flopping over your belt, but the fat around your internal organs. And as visceral fat accumulates, you risk responses like diabetes and heart disease.

Q: You seem to be saying that aside from anything else, wheat is essentially the single cause of the obesity epidemic.

A: I wouldn’t go so far as to say that all obesity is due to wheat. There are kids, of course, who drink Coca-Cola and sit in front of video games for many hours a day. But I’m speaking to the relatively health-minded people who think they’re doing the right thing by limiting fat consumption and eating more whole grains, and there’s a clear subset of people who are doing that and gaining weight and don’t understand why. It causes tremendous heartache. They come into my office and say, “I exercise five times a week, I’ve cut my fat intake, I watch portion size and eat my whole grains—but I’ve gone up three dress sizes.”

Q: You write that wheat is “addictive,” but does it really meet the criteria for addiction we’d use when talking about, say, drugs?

A: National Institutes of Health researchers showed that gluten-derived polypeptides can cross into the brain and bind to the brain’s opiate receptors. So you get this mild euphoria after eating a product made with whole wheat. You can block that effect [in lab animals] by administering the drug naloxone. This is the same drug that you’re given if you’re a heroin addict; it’s an opiate blocker. About three months ago, a drug company applied to the FDA to commercialize naltrexone, which is an oral equivalent to naloxone. And it works, apparently, it blocks the pleasurable feelings you get from eating wheat so people stop eating so much. In clinical trials, people lost about 22.4 lb. in the first six months. Why, if you’re not a drug addict, do you need something like that? And of course there’s another option, which is to cut wheat out of your diet. However, and this is another argument for classifying wheat as addictive, people can experience some pretty unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Q: For how long?

A: Generally about five days. And once you’re through withdrawal, your cravings subside, your calorie intake decreases and your alertness and overall health improve.

Q: So do you believe food manufacturers are putting wheat into more and more food products, not just bread and crackers, because it’s addictive and stimulates appetite?

A: These are not stupid people. The research showing that wheat stimulates appetite didn’t come from some little alternative health practitioner. It comes from the NIH. It stretches credibility to believe they have no awareness of the evidence.

Q: If there’s all this evidence, why does the government encourage us to “eat healthy” by upping our consumption of whole grains?

A: That’s the million-dollar question. Wheat is so linked to human habit, it’s 20 per cent of all calories consumed by humans worldwide, that I think there was the presumption, “Gee, humans have consumed this for thousands of years, so what’s the problem?” I don’t think the misguided advice to eat more whole grains came from evil intentions.

Q: Wheat is a huge industry. What do you say to all the farmers who grow it?

A: To me, it’s reminiscent of tobacco farmers, who would say, “Look, I’m just trying to make a living and feed my family.” Nevertheless, tobacco is incredibly harmful and kills people. It could turn out that if we wind back the clock 100 or 1,000 years, and resurrect einkorn or some of the heritage forms of wheat, maybe that would be a solution. Of course, wheat products would then be much more expensive. Instead of a $4 loaf of bread, maybe it would cost $7 when grown with a heritage wheat. To me, it’s similar to free range eggs or organic beef 20 years ago. Everyone said, “No one will pay a premium for those.” But people do. And when it comes to wheat, my main goal is to inform people, including farmers, that the prevailing notion that cutting fat and eating whole grains will make you healthy is not only wrong, it’s destructive.


On the evils of wheat

  1. Damn.

    So… can someone tell me what the heck it is we can actually eat anymore? LOL

    • Solyent Green.

      • Yes, but this still leaves us a serious moral quandry: is it organic? LOL

        • I started a high protein diet 2 weeks ago and surprisingly, I’m less bitchy and have lost 10 pounds. All I am not eating now that I did 3 weeks ago is, surprisingly, products made from wheat. Makes you wonder

          • Losing 10 lbs in two weeks is dangerous, or inaccurate.  Either way, not helpful.

          • at 200 lbs and 5’4″ it is not dangerous, nor is my scale inaccurate

          • 5% weight loss in 2 weeks – not healthy.  Or it’s water loss.  http://www.livestrong.com/article/76506-weight-loss-per-week/.

          • Livestrong is a crap website its mostly a blog…

          • How can you make a blanket statement like that not knowing all the facts? That’s just silly. Kudos to your weight loss Judy.

          • Losing ten pounds in 2 weeks starting a healthy change is normal. Your body stops burning sugars for energy and starts burning fats causing the rapid loss. After that intial large loss your body will plateau and you will lose weight at a more normal pace 1 or 2lbs a week. Depending on how overweight you are when u began. For anyone that’s interested look into the paleo lifestyle. Its a hunter gather eating system that removes wheat and instead allows your body to work of proteins, carbs and fats from meats fruits and vegetables

          • Yep some people even lose up to 15 pounds in 2 weeks then it goes back to 1 to 2 pounds a week which is normal.

          • most is likely water weight. so it’s perfectly healthy

          • You’re right. Carbohydrates act like sponges. The fewer sponges, the less water….

          • The general response would be to say you’re right, but only right to an extent.  It is possible to lose 10 lbs in two weeks and it not be dangerous.  15% more water is required by the body to metabolize carbohydrates, thereby causing false weight stats.  In the absence of carbohydrates, the body releases the unnecessary water and voila’ you’ve dropped 10 lbs.  It all depends on how obese you are.  You certainly can’t continue to lose weight at that rate after the initial water weight loss, because that would be dangerous.

          • Have you ever watched Biggest Loser?   I realize that is a show, and they have doctors, but in the obese catagory, they often loose more than 5 lbs a week.

          • Dead wrong newbie. It’s perfectly healthy and normal on low carbohydrate diets. I’ve been low carb, high fat for five years with my doctor’s blessing and have lost almsot 100 lbs and kept it off. My blood panels are perfect and I’m 42 wearing a jean size smaller than in highschool. Low carb will be the norm in ten years here as it is in parts of Europe. The science backs it up.

          • It isn’t the norm in Italy where the people are not obese and eat a high carb diet.

          • that would be because in italy, they have evolved to the local diet.

            the innu traditional diet is 97% fat and meat, the little carbs they get is largely from mosses and such and their rate of heart disease was non-existent.

            put an italian on an innu diet and he’d bloat like a stoat and that’s exactly what’s happened to the innu of today on the “balanced” modern diet – tooth decay, heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes are skyrocketing.

          • Every nonna (grandmother) in Italy is obese.

          • No in Italy and France they eat a high fat diet not carb do your research

          • losing ten lbs in two weeks is nothing and is certainly not “dangerous”. the idea that the body goes into “starvation mode” has been soundly debunked.

          • Much of the initial weight loss is usually water.

          • no it’s not – I did the same by cutting out wheat and sugar…

          • No its not dangerous your an idiot

          • I hope your protein isn’t what I mentioned above!  You’ll have to change your handle to Hannibal or Boone.

          • no, I don’t eat people, mostly just chicken and fish

          • High protein diets, means more meat and cheese intake, another bad path if one is trying to be more healthy. Again, even if organic, meat shouldn’t be a daily food choice and cheese delicious yet contains lactose which our body can’t properly digest. 

          • I stopped eating nearly all grains and rice in 2008. I do eat quinoa and potatoes but not in large quantities. Otherwise I eat veggies and meats plus lots of good fats like butter and coconut oil. My weight has gone down by 30 pounds, I feel MUCH better overall, my IBS-like symptoms are greatly reduced, my doctors are always thrilled at my blood tests, heart rate, blood pressure, etc. and horrified when I tell them what I eat. But, they have to admit I’m healthy and I think they’re actually a little annoyed that I’m not on ANY medication at all except for an occasional pain killer for the occasional head ache. Several of my friends have now gone this route and are healthier than they’ve ever been. My personal experience and that of my friends makes me think that the standard western diet is generally not good for people. Your own mileage may vary. What I do like about eating this way is we’re actually spending less money on food- I used to eat twice as much as I do now (and had the hips to prove it) and was never satisfied. I’m much happier now and unless my blood tests show changes that aren’t good I’ll be eating this way for the foreseeable future.

          • you’re on the right track. First of all, western drs. have zero training in nutrition, so whatever research you do on your own outweighs what they will suggest. It’s just common sense, fresh veggies, fruits, grains, nuts and seeds, in that order. Lots of water b/t meals. Grains should be gluten free. Anyone can lose weight following that regimen.

          • No marc grains are not gluten free or did you miss out on the article.,..grains are not a good thing for us

          • Grains are very good for you, if cooked thoroughly and eaten whole! I eat no meat, and I have lost 15 pounds in 1 month eating whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and a little bit of dairy, mostly a little yogurt.

          • Liz That sounds like a very healthy program, and I did pretty much the same thing when my IBS was pretty bad. It went away after my colon was finally cleaned out, along with the hard lumpy areas I could feel with massage. Are you alkalizing your body with baking soda, fresh raw juices, chloryphil, etc? Also several colonics and enemas really helped. Now I can eat anything, as long as its not unhealthy for my colon and body and I include raw produce in my meals.

          • Good on you Liz. I have recently cut out all grains from my diet, and increased the amount of fresh veggies that I eat. Already I have shed two inches from my ‘wheat belly’ waist. I had been struggling with weight gain for over 10 years on a ‘healthy’ diet that included whole grain bread. I don’t miss grains at all!

          • I have always been health conscious and work out 6 days a week. But, since becoming wheat free, I feel and look better than I ever expected and my test results from my MD could not be better!!

          • ::headdesk:: Why is meat unhealthy? I eat meat at EVERY meal. EVERY SINGLE meal, and so does my two year old. And we’re healthier than we’ve ever been. Cut out wheat, cut out grains, cut out sugar, refined foods, beans/legumes and dairy. Eat REAL food.

            Please give me the studies which prove that meat consumption is somehow bad, because I have done a plethora of research concluding the exact OPPOSITE.

          • Read “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell. It’s an amazing read and will shock you, especially if you have a little one you should definitely read this book :)

          • This scientific research (“The China Study”) was also emphasized in the documentary movie “Forks Over Knives.”

          • Meat is not unhealthy. It’s the feed that farmers give to the animals that are bad for us. When cows eat feed with genetically modified corn, we in turn eat the genetic modified corn, too. There are many studies that show how dangerous genetically modified foods are to eat…they cause tumors and cancers. It’s best to eat 100% organic &/or grass fed meat. It’s expensive & I can’t always buy 100% organic meat because of the price but definitely be aware of the risks of eating non-organic meats.

          • hormones…make cancer grow faster

          • Hmm…  Not sure what you are using for a science resource, but my understanding is considerably different from yours.

            I eat meat at nearly every meal, drink milk by the quart, eat cheese, eggs, and am the healthiest I’ve ever been.  The dairy products I consume are made with raw milk from pastured cows who are farmed with multiple acres of mixed grazing per cow, have an AMAZING mineral box available for browse, have their horns intact, and are not supplemented with corn or soy.  (They eat hay and haylage as supplement in winter.)
            The meat I eat is raised in animal-normal ways.  The chickens scratch, are NOT fed a vegetarian diet (because, hello, chickens are omnivores), and have real access to meadow and woodlands during the day (at night they are locked up due to the kinds of predators in the area).  The beef comes from the boy cows of dairy milkers (no Holsteins) and are allowed to wean naturally, are not over-wintered, and are DELICIOUS.  The pork and lamb, are raised in similarly legitimately natural conditions.

            My blood work values are outstanding.

            Raw milk products contain the enzyme needed to break down lactose.  It is a perfect and complete food.

            Human beings are omnivores by design.  There is no case to be made for eating a plant-only diet, especially one that includes things like the mega-hybridized wheats, any kind of non-fermented soy (and any soy produced in the US, period), or corn.

            The government who tries to sell us the high-grain, low fat, pasteurized/homogenized non-food diet that passes as “nutrition” in America subsidizes huge factory-scale production of the “good” foods the disreputable pyramid emphasizes.  The result?  Dairy products with titanium dioxide to whiten them, homogenization to make them indigestible, and pasteurization to render them non-food.  Water systems overflowing with nitrogen waste (causing blooms of algae, increasing ocean temperatures, etc.), and fat, fuzzy-headed (due to nutrition) people who have abdicated the knowledge and practices necessary to feeding themselves well.Bring on the bacon!  

          • From the FDA’s article “Raw Milk Misconceptions and the Danger of Raw Milk Consumption”: Raw milk does NOT cure lactose intolerance. Lactose is a unique disaccharide found in milk. Lactose concentration in bovine milk is about 4.8%. ALL milk, raw or pasteurized, contains lactose and can cause lactose intolerance in sensitive individuals. There is NO indigenous lactase in milk.

          • I’m sorry but you have no idea what you’re talking about!!! being a holistic nutritionist for 20 years I have recommended organic meat and eggs to thousands to bring them back to the excellent health they were meant to have!!! Please do some more research before you spew incorrect opinions!!!

          • Protein is good for the heart. Meat is the best source. Red meat in moderation just like everything else of course.  

          • How is meat protein “the best source”? Is this your own personal opinion? Have you done ANY research whatsoever?

          • Meat protein is digested more easily in our bodies than plant protein. Plant protein is partly made from glutens and – since they are harder to digest we absorb only about 40% of gluten or plant based protein. In relation to meat protein, we digest about 60% of what we eat. Since our bodies have no natural method of storing protein, either we use it or lose it, and since we require about 50G a day of protein, we would need to eat about 120G of plant protein a day to satisfy our muscular structure. Thats a lot of spinach and almonds!!!

          • again with the blanket statement – YES, there are ppl who can digest lactose perfectly fine: they’re from cultures that have evolved with milk animals. and YES, meat can indeed be a daily choice – the innu traditional diet is 97% meat and fat (arctic circle not generally known for its abundance of arable land) and they had virtually no heart disease until they were introduced to the “healthy balanced” modern diet.

            dietary cholesterol is not the bogeyman – 80% of the cholesterol in your blood comes from your liver. high cholesterol levels indicate your liver is under stress and is starting to fail, plain and simple. i eat meat 2-3 times a day (i cannot digest non-haeme iron so without daily meat, i get anaemic real quick) and my cholesterol levels are, to quote my doctor, “a cardiologist’s dream”.

          • Just because one removes wheat from their diet does not automatically mean they will be on a high protein diet. You can still breads & grains but just the ones that do not contain wheat or gluten. If you eat a gluten free diet, you will be removing wheat automatically.

          • Not true liz I am also on a high protein high fat diet guess what my blood tests have never been better. We have all been lied to on what we should eat and its starting to show how bad solid carb eating is just bad overall. It spikes the sugar in our blood and raises cholesterol to high levels.

            I have dropped 65 and added exercise to the mix as well. I am no longer hungry all day long by eating this way. Meat is how we are supposed to eat and fats. Grains is a bad way to go overall.

          • That is a load of crap, wheat has been eaten for literally thousands of years, You can eat healthy with nuts, grains, legumes, fruit, Or on a meat diet. The important thing is not to eat a lot of processed foods and food modified or stripped of their nutrition. Some people do well with high meat diets, most do not.

          • Look at what is in your “processed food” everything that comes in a package contains either wheat, soy, corn, legumes or others grain or their derivatives (soy lecithin, cornstarch etc.) in the top three-four ingredients (most quantity) and if it doesn’t, SUGAR (glucose) is there instead. These grains/legumes and high starch vegetables (including potatoes) are all carbohydrates that break down into sugars (polysaccharides and many of them) which ultimately become either glucose and fructose. The high doses of sugars these foods bring to our bodies throws our digestion, nutrient/mineral absorption, metabolism (of protein, fat and healthy carbohydrates), hormone balances, and our immune systems into states of complete disruption and ultimately failure. These foods whether they are box of crackers, slice of bread, or a popsicle are the leading underlying cause of wide range of diseases, cancer, autoimmune, CVD, MS, thyroid imbalances, inflammation, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, thyroid, IBS, Crohns, celiac and the list goes on and on. I personally know 5 vegetarians/vegans who are either obese or gaunt and skinny as rails and all demonstrate at least one if not more of conditions above. I challenge anyone to a commitment of a 100% paleolithic diet (hunter/gather and before the agricultural revolution) for 30 – 60 days and if they don’t feel and look remarkable better and have the blood test to prove it, then they are simply not human. Paleo/Primal it is the next REVOLUTION! Living Paleo for 15 months now and loving it!

          • But how much weight do you need to lose?  The first 10, 20, even 30 lbs is “easy” if you have twice or more then that to lose.  Those of us within 20, even 30 lbs don’t lose it so “easily”.

          • Have you tried what she’s talking about?

            And, not for nothing, on what are you basing your assessment of how much you have to lose?  Have you had a real (as in, not measured with calipers or calculated by a scale) body mass evaluation that measures bone weight, muscle weight, and adipose weight?

            I would pretty much guarantee that if you cut the crap that sends your blood sugar flying and irritates your tissue to the extent that it needs to hold water in order to protect itself, you’d find any actual excess pounds shifting smoothly.  I know dozens who have!  Give it a shot!  :)

          • That’s inaccurate.
            The last 10 lbs are the hardest

          • the last ten lbs are the hardest bec, too often, we don’t actually need to lose them – they’re the vanity ten.

          • Probably obese people do carry lots of water, and that is part of the 10 lbs in 2 weeks.  But when the body starts to burn fat because there is no glucose to burn, it will depend on how much you do.  If you are an active obese person, you will lose more than if you are very sedentary.  Same would apply to people who need to lose 20 lbs.  I don’t believe in the calories in, calories out hypothesis, but you can’t stuff yourself with protein and fat at 3000 calories a day and lose weight unless you are very active.  Running will only burn about 500 calories in an hour.  You’d need to be pretty active to do that.  We eat the wrong things, and too much of them.

          • Congratulations. Keep up the good work. Don’t listen to the nay-sayers.Everyone is different. Do what works.

      • ‘Soylent Green is people!’

      • So what are the older alternative wheats that we can use successfully?

        • Spelt and kamut are two ancient wheats which have not been hybridized. These flours can be bought at health food stores and depending where you live, you can often buy bread baked exclusively with them. You could also mix these flours with buckwheat (which is not a wheat at all) or quinoa.

    • Meat, vegetables, root and tubers, fruit, spices
      Just avoid gains, legumes and dairy :D

      • dairy is fine as long as it is raw and pasture fed…

        • I agree, but raw diary is hard to find, and in canada illegal.
          Also people with auto immune issues probably shouldn’t have raw dairy.

          • Why do you think people with autoimmune issues shouldn’t have raw dairy?  My stepfather credits raw dairy with curing his, as do others.

            The illegality of it is criminal.  The same governments that allow the sale of cigarettes ban the sale of raw dairy?  Please.

            Cow shares.  :)

          • I agree that whole milk can be good.  Wrote a whole post on it http://www.myfourhourbodydiary.com/2011/10/07/healthy-gomad-with-raw-milk/

            But casein can be bad for some people with autoimmune issues.

          • Justin, I can’t reply directly to you (not sure why), but that makes some sense.  I’m curious, though, to know whether the casein studies were done with raw milk from truly pastured cows, horn intact, not eating corn or soy, etc.  In other studies regarding various food types and food allergies, the source for the food item can have an impact on  the allergenic properties of it.

            For example, I’m gluten intolerant, but I can eat McCann’s Irish Steel Cut Oats.  I can’t however, eat any oats produced in America.  I’ve come to learn, anecdotally, that this is not uncommon.  So, if a study was done using McCann’s oats, the outcome might be different than if it was done using American oats.

          • Oat protein is avenalin, which is a globulin. Wheat protein is gluten, which is a prolamin. There is basically no gluten in oats; feel free to eat oats if you wish to avoid gluten.

          • Casein in dairy can cause issues with some people that have auto-immune diseases.

            Ref: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12198602

          • Its not illegal in Canada. it’s only illegal to sell it.

        • As long as you’re fine with the risk of exposing yourself to listeria, salmonella, campylobacter, ecoli, bovine TB, scarlet fever, MRSA, etc. etc. etc. Then it’s just peachy.

          • You have MRSA in your nose right now.  Don’t believe me?  Have it swabbed and tested.

            Which e coli strain has you troubled?  Your body is playing host to quite a few as we speak.

            Why would consuming raw dairy increase your risk of these exposures?  (Tip: it doesn’t.)

            Which butchered chickens are notorious for a greater than 30% rate of salmonella contamination?  Factory farmed, plastic wrapped grocery store chicken.  My friend’s chickens test with 0%.  And they are delicious.

            Likewise, the raw milk I drink has a cleaner bill than any pasteurized/homogenized milk against which it’s been tested (ten brands, and counting).

            Would I drink raw milk from a factory farm?  Nope.  But then, I wouldn’t drink ANY milk from a factory farm…

          • MRSA isn’t in everyone’s nose, and it’s hard to avoid because people pick there nose, and studies have shown people cannot keep their fingers away from their nose. Basic hygiene prevents this.

            Of course there is e coli in our body it helps with waste processing, vitamin k production and food absorption. The type of E Coli they’re worried about is O157:H7 which causes severe illness contracted by eating contaminated cheese or meat.
            Why would consuming raw dairy increase your risk of these exposures? (Tip: It can host them all, and it does.)

      • Why does it seem, as a vegetarian, i am getting railroaded away from the primary sources of protein in my diet [namely, grains and legumes] in favor of much less healthy things, [namely meat]. Grains have made up a significant portion of our evolutionary diet both in simplicity and ease of accessibility. and why to avoid legumes? i get dairy, but legumes? really? properly prepared legumes should be a part of healthy living and if not, please enlighten me as to my error in logic. 

        • Not sure why you think grains have protein in them.  I think you need to read up more on nutrition.  Also not sure why you think meat is unhealthy.  I will agree with someone that is a vegetarian for religious or ethical reasons, but there is nothing healthy about it.
          Grains were not a significant portion of our evolutionary diet, again not sure where you get that info from but it is false.  One ancient culture that did eat a lot of grains is the Eygptians and they have been found to have a lot of heart disease and obesity see article her by Dr. Eades http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/obesity/obesity-in-ancient-egypt/

          Dairy is healthy when raw and unpasturized and full fat, see my summary of it here http://www.myfourhourbodydiary.com/2011/10/07/healthy-gomad-with-raw-milk/

          Legumes are questionable, they contain anti-nutrients, specifically lectin, that is not fully removed with cooking.  A good article on legumes is here http://jdmoyer.com/2011/02/15/to-bean-or-not-to-bean-that-is-the-question-legumes-lectins-and-human-health/ and here http://www.marksdailyapple.com/beans-legumes-carbs/

        • It’s not that the idea of gains and legumes are wrong in anyway; it’s that we have been on a long path to make faming more profitable and be able to grow more on the land .. it’s the changing of the product that is the present problem.

        • http://www.4yourtype.com/

          This website will answer lots of your questions. Not only that, it will open your eyes to things you knew but weren’t relevant to you.

          I’m also reading The 4-hour body by Timothy Ferris. Really interesting.

          I was a vegetarian before, for my love for animals and I stopped not because I dont love them anymore but because I understand now that ocasionally I need the to survive. Things said and discovered now a days are revolutionary and wheat it’s certainly one of the things we need to stay away from.

          • I’m having trouble taking you seriously. Your link led me to a commercial web site selling protein powders and magic pills. Are you serious? You’d rather ingest this garbage than ingest real plant matter grown in soil? Call me naive, but I just don’t get this argument. I can accept the notion that wheat products, modified or not, (what isn’t) could not agree with some people’s genetic make up and perhaps affect their mood and/or metabolism, but I’d be interested in seeing the percentage of people adversly affected. I’m an active guy who eats well and my idea of candy is consuming a whole grain sandwich with tons of PC brand natural, crunchy peanut butter. I also love to eat legumes, fruits and vegatables. I’ve been eating this way most of my life and my weight is optimum and for the most part, feel great.

        • Grains and legumes are sources of carbohydrates, NOT protein. Grains have NOT made up a significant portion of our evolutionary diet, as we’ve only been eating them since the invention of agriculture & farming about 10,000 years ago. We’ve been around a LOT longer than that. Our DNA is genetically evolved to THRIVE off of meat. The idea that meat is unhealthy is a load of shit.

          • Legumes have plenty of protein, but also carbs.

          • You are cluelessly WRONG. Legumes are among the BEST protein sources in the plant kingdom.

        • Because it isn’t a significant part of our “evolutionary diet.”  If hunters and gatherers had any grain it was a small amount… certainly not significant.  Grain and beans become a large portion of our diet much more recently (in the evolutionary sense… humans were hunters and gatherers for much longer than horticulturalists).  Anthropologists have found that there was a decrease in health after humans starting eating lots of grains too. 

        • Seems to me you got railroaded into believing that your omnivore body would do better on a plant-only diet…  (that’s intended as gentle humor)

          How do you support your claim that meat is “much less healthy.”  (Tip: you can’t.)  Broths and butter are long-time medicines with legitimate science backing them up (e.g., butter made from milk produced while grazing plants are growing rapidly has unusually high ratios of minerals, enzymes, and other excellent nutrients).  They have been used around the globe for centuries as part of healing from illness and promoting robust good health.  

          Heritage grains aren’t the issue, but they are hard to come by.  As Dr. Davis says, you’ll pay a premium for them.

          Legumes?  It depends.  Fermented legumes (e.g., miso) seem to be better than non-fermented legumes.  As you say, proper preparation is important because, as is, they are not great for human bodies.  Along with molds and other opportunistic tag alongs, they contain substances that block protein absorption and can even initiate cell damage.  Their proteins are not easy to assimilate.  I almost never eat any.  I eat nuts, instead.

        • the only reason i don’t eat meat, unless i can get wild duck or something is because the world is now so toxic, and animals eating toxic garbage are not healthy to consume. meat in itself is not extremely unhealthy nor is it the amazing dietery miracle some meat lovers try to make it. almost any organic vegetable does more for the human body than a slab of steak – not to mention wild people did NOT eat cows at all. dairy is unhealthy in ALL forms. animals won’t eat/drink it after weaning, why should we. the healthiest, organic, grazing cow still releases her natural hormones into her milk, or white blood cells, red blood cells, and bacteria. in school i have personal centrifuged hundreds of milk samples and even the best contain garbage i would never ingest. you wouldn’t drink your neighbors breast milk now would you? then why rely on a cow to eat healthy enough to make their milk safe. vegetarianism is not in any way evolutionary, it is healthy considering how disgusting meat production is in this day and time, but humans are not naturally farmers, so anything that isn’t local, fresh, and in season is not natural to eat from an evolutionary stand point. dairy is disgusting, but i will eat eggs – animals in the wild steal the eggs of other animals because they are nutritiously sound, but you’ll never see a fox trying to get under a teat now would you!
          oh and one more thing, even though ancestors may have ingested some grains,they were not the grains that are available today by any means. what was once a wild indigestible grass has been transformed into a package for macronutrients so humans could feed vast amounts of people, small amounts of food, with vast amounts of calories. grains were made a staple food in the form of bread largely in europe and largely because of poverty.

      • Why avoid legumes?

      • I should avoid “peas, beans, lentils and peanuts”?  They all sound really harmful to me.  Do you even know what a legume is?

        • A legume is a bean http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legume
          “Well-known legumes include alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, soy, and peanuts.”

        • A legume is a bean http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legume 

    • Meat, Seafood, Eggs, Veggies, Fruit, Nuts, Seeds. See how many combinations you can make with the different foods that make up those categories.

      • not too many for a vegan vegetarian.

        • Which is one of the reasons being vegan/vegetarian makes absolutely no sense to me, and that’s beyond all the crucial nutrients you’re missing by not eating meat, eggs and dairy. That being said, I don’t feel like doing the math but the number of combos you can create with all the various veggies, fruit and nuts would easily provide you with a different meal for your entire lifetime. The fact that you called meat “unhealthy” in a comment above completely undermines anything you have to say though. Is this T. Colin Campbell?

          • perhaps soultranquil just bought into the PETA lies and misstated facts

          • Vegetarians often do eat dairy, and sometime eggs too. Vegetarian means you don’t eat the flesh of any animal. You may be mixing up vegetarian with vegan. Vegans follow a stricter diet, not eating any animal products (even honey is sometimes out, and often they won’t wear leather/fur, depending on their beliefs). Their are healthy vegetarians all over the world, but you can look at India in particular if you want to see how people can live as healthy vegetarians.

          • I can’t reply to onegirl for some reason so I’ll do it here, thanks Judy ;)

            onegirl, Soultranquil specifically said “vegan vegetarian” so I adressed the comment as such. While I don’t agree with vegetarianism I do agree that eating eggs and dairy is a step in the right direction and I do know the difference between vegans and vegetarians. I agree that a vegetarian can be “healthier” when eating eggs and dairy but I don’t think ideal health will ever be reached without naturally fed meat in the diet. 

          • Once again, you’re confusing opinion with fact. “I don’t think ideal health will ever be reached…”? Can you scientifically categorize “ideal health” for us, doctor?

          • You are cluelessly WRONG. “…all the crucial nutrients you’re missing”? Would you care to list these? Oh, wait, you can’t. You’re only missing ONE nutrient; vitamin B12, which you can easily get in supplements.

        • Veganism works against the body in ways that boggle my mind.  Even cultures that have claimed to be vegan for centuries turn out not to be (i.e., insect contamination of food stores provides “animal”-sourced ingredients that help counter the destructiveness of a vegan diet to an omnivore body).

          And, truly, if it’s about compassion, I always wonder if the people who claim veganism as the kinder choice are as meticulous about how the veggies are grown and processed as they are about how food animals are raised and processed…

      • Seafood is good. Unfortunately, they have been contaminated with mercury and other  toxic materials. Essential fatty acids are a safer way to go as long as the product is distilled.  Try a brand called Nordic.

    • Potatoes

    • dung

    • I know how you feel. I have eliminated wheat for about 3-4 months and eat other carbohydrates only 1 day/week (in the Four-Hour Body style). I have noticed a sharp decrease in appetite and even that I don’t eat as much meat as I thought I would — I eat more veggies. I have tried to take it easy on dairy, just to see whether it matters for me. No conclusive evidence yet, as I only started two weeks ago.

      I look at it this way: it’s your body, you have responsibility for it, so experiment. Decide what you want (less body fat, more muscle, lower weight, better blood work), then try things and measure the results. Within 2 years you’ll probably know 90% of what’s good for your body.

    • Paleo

    • I know what you mean. Would be hard to go wrong with all you can eat vegetables, raw nuts, and reasonable serving sizes of eggs, meat, dairy, rice, lentils, potatoes, fruits… 

    • TEFF- which is not a cereal. It is available in the U.S.

    • Fresh fruit and vegetables; no factory foods.

    • Vegetables, fruit, meat, nuts.

    • Well, you have to eat whole foods such as veggies, (some) fruit, legumes, proteins and fat. It may seem difficult at first, especially if you eat a lot of bread and processed foods, but you’ll discover that you’re way less hungry and look/feel much better after giving up wheat. You’ll be okay with the higher food costs.

      The most important thing to remember is that you don’t want to replace wheat calories with other simple carbs (sugar, corn, rice, etc). Some rice and corn is okay, but just don’t overdo it.

      One money-saving suggestion is to start a vegetable garden at home and cut back on eating out.

    • Yes — meat, with lots of fat on it. It’s all quite simple.

    • Someone said: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Now isn’t that fun?!

    • Do you know who your farmer is? Do you know what they are doing right now?

    • Rice.

    • Meat and vegetables….like we did when we were kids ….

  2. Really Macleans? This guy is an industry-conspiracy nut selling a book. And his “brand new” theory is called the Glycemic indexx’, which has been around for ages.You got pitched a foul ball here.

    • In addition to 25 years of clinical experience, Dr. Davis draws extensively from the scientific research literature. His book has 16 pages of references in support of his claims, which constitute a lot more than just unusually high blood sugar. His open letter to the Grain Foods Foundation addresses to your remarks: http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2011/09/an-open-letter-to-the-grain-foods-foundation-2/

      The original wheat plant had 14 chromosomes in it’s genome. Humans have 23. The modern wheat plant has 42. It is not inconceivable that some of the 28 extra chromosomes that have been added to the plant could have adverse consequences for the organisms consuming them.

      • I’m interested, where do you get your info from? Wheat with over double the chromosomes would hardly be wheat anymore. The varieties i have grown up around are very similar since I was a child with only few differences in disease resistance. Mostly its the farm practices that have changed to get the higher yields.

          • I can’t see your second comment to me on this forum but your reference to semi-dwarf is interesting.  Western Canadian Hard Red Spring wheat is not dwarf, or semi-dwarf, it is some of the highest quality milling wheat used largely in Canada.  The wheat you are refering to are grown mostly in the States in warmer climates.  It is usually a lower grade wheat.

          • Bread wheat has 42 chromosomes, and is a diploid hexaploid (A B and D genomes).  Durum wheat has 28 chromosomes and is a diploid tetraploid (A and D genomes).  All these occur naturally in the wild relatives of wheat.  Rye has 14 chromosomes and is a diploid monoploid (R genome).  Triticale is the only man-made cereal crop and it is a diploid hexaploid of durum wheat and rye (A, D, and R genomes). Because it lacks the B genome, it is more like Rye than bread wheat.  The semi-dwarf trait is a simply inherited trait and cannot be considered a huge genetic mutation. 

          • You might want to do some actual research on your own rather than just believing what somebody trying to sell books says to you.

          • Mike,

            I have started to. It’s a big project though, taking me back to basic chemistry, which I haven’t studied for many years. Luckily there are others out there who are up to date on the subject, and have been willing to break down the technical details into a format that is more digestible than gluten. That is, in fact, how I first came to know of William Davis and his book: through Robb Wolf’s interview with him:


            The charge that ‘he is selling a book’ is an easy one to make, and it casts too wide a net. There are actually people in the world who have quality information to share, and are worth listening to.

          • hey Mike.. you don’t agree with anything that this doctor is claiming??

        • It is possible to have doubling of chromosomes due to interruption of meiotic chromosome separation when gametes are being formed. So you can have a wheat plant go from being diplod to tetraploid for example. This actually occurs a lot in nature, and is where modern bread wheat comes from. Chromosome doubling wouldn’t affect the actual genes present in the plant, but would just change some of the rna dosing and gene regulation. It would still look like wheat, but be a bit biochemically different.

          The hybridization of emmer/durum wheat (tetraploid) with another related grass (diploid). http://webspace.webring.com/people/je/exobiology/Plants/c_doubling.html

          Where this guy goes wrong is the whole ‘hybridized mutant proteins’ thing. Hybridizing doesn’t change gene structure or the protein that a gene codes for. This is complete bull. You can get different regulation of the proteins that would be present in the parent plants, which could lead to phenotypic and biochemical differences, but the proteins themselves remain the same. 

      • Polyploidy commonly happens in plants, even naturally. Especially in hybrid species.
        Bananas are Triploid, tomatoes can even be more than that.

        Zebrafish (Danio rerio) even had a whole genome duplication in its history, naturally, so it often has 2-4 copies of every gene it has.

        Just because there is a doubling up on chromosomes does not necessarily mean its a bad thing.

        Also there is more than one gene per chromosome, there can be thousands.

        Please understand what you are talking about before you spew misinformation.

        • Sorry, I said “28 genes” but that should say “28 extra chromosomes”. Which should be an obvious error as 42 – 14 = 28.

        • I’m not a botanist, nor do I play one on the Internets, but it looks like what Dr. William is referring to with these numbers is the difference between Einkorn wheat and Bread wheat. The former has 2 x 7 chromosomes, and the latter is the modern variety with 7 x 7 sets — a hexaploid. This is according to Wikipedia. New traits were introduced to produce higher crop yields.

          There was no claim that in itself this is “necessarily bad”, as you put it. Rather, one wonders why the rate of celiac disease has doubled in 20 years, along with other health problems, and maybe the effects of hybrid plants like this is something that should be investigated.

          • I agree, there is a chance that it could be bad. I’m still a little skeptical about all this stuff myself, but it all does seem to be adding up.

            I also apologize for jumping down your throat in which I now see is a typo.

    • Whether it’s glycemic/insulemic index or the correction of a microbiomal dysbiosis that corrects the otherwise endemic western leptin and insulin resistance (as I believe), cutting grains out of diet really just works. That’s in the scientific literature in head to head comparisons with the Mediterranean/diabetes diets, and in those studies and in studies of the Kitavans (an island where no refined foods or grains are eaten) grain-free people have markedly lower leptin- and insulin-resistance than the western ‘norm’. Get your leptin sensitivity corrected, and you voluntarily eat 20-30% fewer calories each day, your appetite and weight regulate themselves effortlessly. Try it. 

      Macleans have been brave in putting this forward, but this is no foul ball.

    • (Bravo Macleans) Dr. William Davis’s book is a revelation.  (His work his far from what “mostlycivil”, and the Canadian Wheat Board might have you believe). Turns out his curiosity was inspired by the death of his mother from heart disease 12(ish) years ago, and since then he has helped thousands and now, thanks to a clever title (and the pursuit of vanity) perhaps 10s or 100s of thousands. (Perhaps if it were titled ‘Wheat Heart’ “mostlycivil” wouldn’t have  been as quick to judge.)  

    • @ mostlycivil – you sound so resistant to this which makes so much sense. Why don’t you give it a try before you dump on it. Or maybe you work for the wheat industry…..?

  3. I liked this article, thanks for the read.

  4. Maybe this is so for some people, but my husband is celiac and anything that contains wheat (almost everything, just read labels) makes him break out in hives and become very ill.

     I had to chuckle when the article said wheat caused obesity.  He is a very big man.

     I chuckled again when it said that you would not be so hungry when wheat was out of your system, as he has a problem getting enough bulk to ever feel full.

    Guess it must be something else.

    • It is something else. It’s almost certainly the other grains. Although wheat’s the worst (and most common) offender, the other gluten-free grains are quite capable of sustaining the same sort of insulin/leptin resistance. Also, a lot of gluten-free products are stuffed with other refined carbs that do the same. For me, I had to drop my daily slice of gluten-free rice/potato bread before the magic happened.

      That raging appetite you speak of is a result of leptin resistance, without grains that’ll dissipate too. For many, cutting wheat produces a big drop in the problems. But to really wipe them out you have to say goodbye to all grains and refined “foodstuffs. If you tried your husband on Paleo / Primal style eating, he’ll lose that “gluten-free belly”, and feel full too. Good luck :)

      • I don’t eat other grains and it does not make any difference to weight or hunger. I eat lots of organic fruits and veggies and no red meat. So each person is an individual with different reactions.

        • You’re right about our individual responses, and of course I know nowt about your circumstances. 

          I’m guessing you’re not eating paleo/primal from what you say about red meat though :)

          • I was very very obese until about 15 years ago when I became ill and basically stopped eating.  Weight loss occurred, and while my illness is still active and prevents me from doing much in the way of exercise, I maintain a constant weight by listening to my body.  I eat what I crave, but never very much, never to the point of feeling hugely full, like after a feast meal.  And whole wheat bread loaded with seeds and oatmeal is a mainstay of my diet.  

            Each of us has to find what works for us as an individual.  For me, toast is a comfort food both in the physical and the psychological sense.  Toast for breakfast leaves me feeling satisfied until mid-afternoon.  Mind you I often have an egg, tomato or avocado with it. I find that when I eat meals of meat and veg only I’m uncomfortable and in pain within a short period of time.  I just don’t do well on those carb-free regimes.

            The most important thing is to balance calorie intake with energy output.  In my former life I ate too much of everything, needing to feel over-full at every feeding, and even though I was very very active (hiking, biking, skiing, walking, swimming) I continued to gain weight because I ate high-fat, high-sugar foods. Now, however, my fat and sugar intake are minimal and even though I’m largely sedentary I maintain a much healthier weight, and I couldn’t do it without wheat.

          • “Toast for breakfast leaves me feeling satisfied until mid-afternoon.  Mind you I often have an egg, tomato or avocado with it. ”
            That’s the avocado(healthy fats) and the egg(protein & fat) keeping you full, not the bread(glorified sugar)

          • Just to be clear, if someone is consuming any plant matter at all (vegetables, fruit, nuts, grains, legumes, grasses, seeds) that person is eating carbs.  A “meat and veg” diet is not “carb-free.”  Plant matters is mostly carbs.

            It could very well be that because you have the condition you do, your dietary needs are different.  It could also be that, like many other people, you have so impoverished your digestive tract with grain products that it isn’t up to the task of dealing with real food.  If you wanted to try to eat a more omnivore-friendly diet, you’d probably need to make the switch gradually, possibly including supplements (e.g., digestive enzymes, vitamins, herbs that support the lining and processes, etc.).

            I have a slice of gluten-free toast once in a while, but mostly I just do without.  I eat some rice (a grass, not a grain) on occasion and have been known to consume a potato once in a while.  But mostly?  Meat, fish, fowl, dairy, and veggies.  Not much fruit.  I eat very cleanly in those categories and have seen my health become more robust than I ever would’ve have thought possible.  This is after decades of trying to eat according to the Heart Association’s recommendations, vegetarian recommendations, and other contrived plans.

            I once heard a doctor say to a group of outraged women that if they thought having “whole grain toast” for breakfast was healthier than having a piece of chocolate cake for breakfast, they were in for a shock.  In my experience, the effect on my body is identical and the doctor’s explanation of why made perfect sense to me.

            All of that said, the comfort aspect of food is important and not, as some would say, pathological.  Food is a symbol of nurturance.

            Also, as someone else pointed out, if you are using butter or any other fat-containing product on your toast, it’s not the toast that is keeping you full on its own, though the fact that it’s full of seeds probably helps (seeds, as a category, have a lot of fat relative to their mass).  Your calories in/calories out formula is incorrect and I think you are one of many who have been fooled by the trope.  I guarantee you that if you eat the same number of calories and change the source, you will have different results (in weight and other health indicators).  All calories are not interchangeable equals.

            Low-fat is not healthy.  It’s just a way to increase volume.  The argument against eating fats is that they have more calories per gram, which means you can’t eat as much volume.  Another way of describing high fat foods (including avocados) is to call them nutrient-dense.  When I gave up on low-fat, I found that I ate MUCH less.  Low fat foods have more sugar, in many guises, and would leave my body unsatisfied.  I noticed that once I ate fat or a protein/fat combo, the hunger stopped.  Aha.  Right.  For me it’s full fat, plenty of meat, lots of veggies, very little fruit and almost no grains or sugar at all.

            Good luck with your ongoing recovery.  Glad you’ve found something that appears to work for you!

          • Once again, your clueless ignorance is revealing itself. “Plant matters is mostly carbs.” WRONG. “Rice (a grass, not a grain)” WRONG.

        • ■Myth: obesity is a problem of the will (psychological) caused by caloric excess — overeating and/or underactivity
          ■Reality: obesity is a hormonal problem (physiological) caused by high-carb diets via their effect on insulin, which triggers metabolic changes that cause one to eat more and expend less energy.
          **Obesity is caused by carbohydrates, not by gluttony and sloth!**

          • Could you provide me with some doubly-labelled water studies showing that insulin causes weight gain on a hypercaloric diet?  Thank you.

          • Nonsense.  Obesity is caused by a combination of over consumption and a sedentary lifestyle.  Calories in vs. Calories out.  It’s basic math… but people shy away from doing the math because (a) they’re intimidated by math, or (b) they are too lazy to pay attention to it. I will confirm that (b) is the primary reasons why I’ve gained weight in the past.

            Write down everything you eat in a week and you will clearly see why you aren’t losing weight.  Either your consumption is too high, or it’s too low and your body is hanging onto whatever it can while you’re in starvation mode.

            There are people that thrive on a high protein diets and there are people who thrive on a balanced diet that include carbs.  Find what works for you.  In the end, people who are losing weight with high protein are likely eating less calories because they get full quicker. That’s where the math comes in.

            For me… eating high protein and not including carbs would bore the crap out of me.  That being said… everyone should be mindful of the protein they eat.  Some people just don’t eat enough.  Same with fat. The response to individuals who are not consuming enough fat or protein isn’t to tell people to cut carbs.  That’s just as silly as the “Low Fat” craze of the 80’s. 

          • It’s hard to know where to begin deconstructing your absolutely false argument…

  5. This hits home for me.
    After packing on a “few” pounds the last couple of years, plus a never before belly, I got so disgusted with myself and in May decided to change my eating habits and see what happens.
    I have never dieted, followed the Canada food guide more or less – even a natural grazer.  Now I have a morning meal of just protein – lean meat, fish, eggs and cheese.  Lasts me all day with no hunger pangs.  Dinner is any kind of salad or cooked veggies, sans starchy i.e. potato, yam, corn etc.  I love all beans so have those  at least every other day.   Drink extra water to keep the kidneys flushed.
    Four months later I am down twenty pounds.  No extra exercise – same routine, still have social drinks.  The first month I really, really craved pasta.  Now after the fact I am reading articles like this, hearing about the Dukan Diet (of Kate Middleton fame), Caveman or Paleo Diet.
    I think Dr, Davis is on to something here as the item I eliminated (except for the occasional tabouleh salad) was wheat!!   Just look at how obese many of our First Nation people have become.

    • Don’t bother excerising to lose weight.  It will only make you eat more.
      An ode to the no-carb lifestyle:  The hormone in charge of fat strorage is insulin.  It is the overproduction of the hormone insulin that makes us fat.
      And what drives insulin secretion from your pancreas?  Dietary carbohydrates, especially refined carbs such as sugars, flour, cereal grains, starchy vegetables (e.g., corn, beans, rice, potatoes), liquid carbs (fruit juice, pop).  These are the “fattening carbs”.
      Cut back on carb consumption to lower your fat-producing insulin levels, and you will release the fat from your body.
      Dietary fat and protein (meat) do not stimulate insulin.  So eat all the bacon and eggs you want.

      • Nadine – if you have even a shred of evidence of your broad-based and untenable claim, pleas provide it. k thx bye.

        • Nadine this is one of many taubes’ errors.  The vast majority of research shows that exercises DOES NOT make you hungry.  

          • I rely on exercise to make me hungry.  I have very little appetite otherwise and struggle to eat enough without it feeling stressful.  Exercise makes me feel hungry and to love eating to satisfy that hunger.

          • Then you are going against the vas majority of reasearch.  Please don’t extrapolate your own personal experience with the rest of the world.

      • No Nadine, you don’t have to exercise to lose weight… BUT…

        1)  When you are losing weight you are losing a combination of body fat and muscle.  You do not want to lose muscle… it’s what makes you look thinner!!  Exersise (strength training) will keep you muscle in tact and help you drop body fat alone.  Dropping weight without exersise could lead you to being skinny fat.  Who wants that?

        2) People who exersise SHOULD eat more.  Eating food is not evil.  It’s the difference between a healthy relationship with food and not.  If we concentrate on the calories in vs calories out (which i mention above while I dispute another one of your posts)… then it makes perfect sense to eat more when you are exercising.  For example… if you are a woman eating a deficit of 500 calories per day and your goal is 1400 calories per day… if you workout and burn 300 calories… you are now net 1100 calories.  At minimum a woman should eat 1200 calories just to function.  Of course she needs to eat enough food to make up that huge deficit.  If she doesn’t, she is eating a deficit of 800 calories per day.  Incredibly dangerous!! So yes, exercising with make you hungry and will make you eat more… but why wouldn’t you want to fuel your body after running it hard.  You wouldn’t drive you car without gas… why do it to your body?

        Oh, and in case you’re wondering I eat a pretty high protein diet.  I strength train and I fuel my muscles with lean protein.  But yes, I still eat bulgar, oats, bread, potatoes, etc.  As mentioned in my other post… find what works for you. I’ve lost 15 pounds of body fat watching my calories and exercising the past three months.  I did that by occasionaly eating a Teen Burger each month. No rules with what I eat… just following my calorie intake.  Works for me… may not for you.  But I can guarantee you, Nadine, that I could never lose the weight I did if I was following your advice.  Not because it wouldn’t work for someone else… but because it’s far too restrictive for me. 

        My point, Nadine.  Perhaps you should lay off the carbs are the devil diatribes.  They are not.  They may be for you… but they are certainly not for everyone.

  6. This info is good and has been known to me for some time. Watch the documentary ‘Fat Head’ it pointed me in the right direction and I’ve never felt better.

  7. I am currently 34 years old and was diagnosed with RA 3 weeks ago. I
    have been telling doctors the symptoms of RA for 10 my ears but was
    consistently told that I had gout [in spite of the fact that there was
    no elevation of ureic acid in my blood]. I’ve since discovered that RA
    is often misdiagnosed as gout. 2 years ago, I had a huge flare. Both
    feet swelled to the extent that I couldn’t walk on them. My hands were
    so swollen that I couldn’t hold a knife or fork. The pain was something
    far beyond anything I had ever experienced. The doctor gave me a pain
    pill. Luckily, a nurse friend told me that prednisone was the protocol
    approach to my problem. The drug chased the symptoms in about five days
    but the situation changed. Every morning I awoke with pain in two
    joints that were different than the joints that were in pain the day
    before. It was at this point that I saw my first rheumatologist. He
    told me, confidently, that I had a massive gout attack [in spite of all
    the testing to the contrary], The next specialist said that I didn’t
    have gout but he didn’t know what it was. Now that I have researched
    the symptoms of RA, I realize that I have been telling doctors the
    textbook symptoms for many years. I am currently taking folic acid and
    methatrexate. I couldn’t handle the prescribed anti-inflammatory so I
    quit it on my own. I am applying for medical marijuana for its analgesic
    and anti-inflammatory properties.


    • Stop eating wheat?

    • I’m 62 and have had RA for almost 40 years.  You want to stay away from Prednesone.  It was the first drug I was put on – it was like a miracle- but it has terrible side effects which I was unaware for ten years.  I’ve been taking Voltaren for probably 25 years and now it’s affecting my kidney function.  The bottom line is that you need to be taking some drugs or you will have too much pain and the joints will be affected faster.  Just be sure to find a specialist who really goes over the options honestly.  One thing I take religiously is a fish oil capsule – 3 times a day(1,000  milligrams).  There are studies now that prove that it is an anti-inflammatory.  Good luck  :-)

    • I’ve had psoriatic arthritis for 15 years.  Diet has no effect on mine.  Clearly you need a better rheumatologist.  This is, as you know, a life-altering disease, and you need to know all of your options.  Marijuana is fine as a pain-killer, but its rubbish as an anti-inflammatory, at least for me.  The only thing it really helps me with is getting a decent sleep.  It can also help dispel the nausea caused by methotrexate, which is just nasty, nasty stuff.  Good luck! Be the squeaky wheel, advocate for yourself.  

  8. BS, especially if you’re an active person.  What will people eat for energy?  Vegetables?  Vegetables don’t contain enough carbs unless they’re potatoes or yams.  Are oats taboo as well?  Moderate intake of grains are good for you, I’ve lost 70lbs this year and I eat plenty of whole grains, vegetables, and protein.  Balanced diet, cut out the junk, find your calorie maintenance level and reduce by 500 calories per day; you’ll lose the weight in no time.  I’m sick and tired of people over complicating something as simple as diet.

    • Oats are tricky. Cooked properly and traditionally (fermented in water a day or two before consumptions), they can be more digestible. But, try cutting out the grains and see what happens. I’ve done it (partly for health reasons, as I have unpleasent side effects to grains), and my brother (hardcore mountaineer) has done it for 2+ years. It isn’t complicated once you get used to it. And it does require eating more nuts to make up for hunger pains. Give it 90 days, though, and it really does make a difference. My diet is gluten/grain-free 80-90% of the time, with higher (quality! grain-fed) protein and veggies, nuts etc instead. Also recommended is to cut out sugar from unnatural sources–check sauces as well. That was actually the harder addiction to kick, but 80-90% cocoa makes up for it. And I really am healthier. Anyway, the point is, you CAN get enough carbs through non-grain or properly cooked grain sources and feel good. It  is complicated to change a habit, but this new diet can also be a habit and, once you get used to it, very rewarding from a lifestyle perspective. Spices and other things help enliven food. And yes, it’s ok to have a little bit once and a while, for politeness’ sake or for fun, but I’ve found I enjoy super sweet things much less and pasta not at all now. I’ll make pasta sauce and serve it on chicken. Much more satisfying. Pastas, breads etc are really just carriers for the fun stuff most of the time. On the occasions when they’re a centrepiece of taste, then a little bit is ok.
      Finally, It’s good to note that this grain-free lifestyle is also part of the paeleo movement. And again, before you knock it, google it, and form your own opinion.
      Good luck:)

    • alex, If I cut out 500 calories a day, I would still be fat but not be getting enough to feed a  newborn. I tried all those diets, and they simply do not work for me, they only made me sick. different people need different diets and this one works for me.

    • Enough carbs for what? To get diabetes and heart disease? Do you mean calories? Carb is not a measurement of energy.

      Any intake of wheat grain is bad for you, and other grains (except ground flax) could also lead to diabetes and/or heart disease.

      You can be thin, look great on the outside and still die of heart disease, end up with dementia and develop diabetes.

      It’s not about your weight, it’s about your health.

      • Evidence, please?  Any intake of grain?  yikes.

    • Don’t be too self-righteous.  More people than not,  lose a quantity of weight, but have trouble not gaining it all back. 

    • “What will people eat for energy?!” They’ll eat what they ate hundreds of thousands of years ago, back before any agricultural interference in the food chain, back when man was hunting and gathering: meat, tubers, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruit. Grains are utterly non-essential, were never part of our diet, ancestrally speaking, and by all accounts are posionous* to us. Gee whiz – it’s like we think we’ve evolved into some kind of super-species that relies on this specific fuel to run our highly-functioning bodies and brains. Keep it simple. Your body wants to use fat and protein as its main fuel source, not dietary carbohydrates. Period.   

      I can already predict the next question: “OMG BUT WHAT ABOUT FIBRE?!?!?!?!!” *sigh*

      *In terms of predation, most species on earth have some kind of “security system” to help ward off predators. Sharp teeth, pointy claws, venom… Grains have antinutrients inside of them geared toward making their predators feel ill after eating them, thereby conditioning those predators away from eating grains ever again. We humans, in our infinite wisdom, decide to eat grains anyway. Our intolerance to the antinutrients has been down-regulated, becasue we’ve been eating 8-10 servings of grains a day as dictated by a government agencey, so we don’t feel immediately sick when we eat grains anymore. But stop eating them for a month and then reintroduce them to your diet and tell me how good your Wheat Belly feels now…

      • I eat wheat as the staple of my diet.  I feel fine unless I change my habits.  When I eat the carbless diet I end up with belly pain and intestinal cramping.  I’ll stick with wheat, thanks.

        Our ancestors wouldn’t have continued eating something that made them feel ill; they were pretty canny about things like that.

        • If you read the interview at all, you would know that one of the main points is that what is considered ‘wheat’ today is nothing like the wheat of the past – and that’s a huge part of the problem.

          • Absolutely correct….usa companies like Monsanto literally control “all” food production critically starting right at the heart of usa….the farmer.  One must get your head out of the sand and realise without a doubt that all staple foods like wheat etc., are GMI.  Going organic is also neither easy.  The one thing that most all people don’t understand is GI, Glycemic Index.  Sugars are sugars and they are directly responsible for the metabolic production in a human body. 

  9. What’s left out of this discussion is the effect of the gluten that is found in wheat and other grains on  health an disease. Also, the importance of controling our insulin levels by staying away from starches and sugars, which results in weight loss. Sad to say that beer is one of the worst offenders!

  10. This article tied so many things together for me. I quit eating wheat the instant I read it four days ago. I wasn’t eating much to begin with but what a difference it makes. I was eating a regular meal of bacon, eggs and toast every morning and wondered why at 10 a.m. I was crashing and feeling like a pick me up of bagel, muffin or donut was needed to get me through to lunch. On day three without the toast, just the bacon and eggs, voila I didn’t even think about eating lunch until 3 p.m. and hadn’t crashed all day. The key line is: “amylopectin A, which is more efficiently converted to blood sugar than just about any other carbohydrate”

  11. Thank you for having the kahuna’s to speak out Dr Davis and also to MacLean’s for publishing the interview. Now if only Health Canada could get on the ball with their recommendations we just might stop or at least slow down the healthcare crisis.

    • If only it were as easy as just cutting out wheat.

  12. Funny he doesn’t comment on corn products which are much more prevalent in the food we eat. I think that has as much to with obesity as any whole grain product. Eating to much of anything is not good. Good to see that he realizes that if we want to have the old low producing “healthier “varieties of wheat back its going to cost much more. Most of our food problems can be traced back to wanting the cheapest way of putting food on the table regardless of the consequences.

    • I suspect improved farming practices would greatly lessen the supposed low production of the older wheat varietals.

    • I suspect his subject is wheat because corn has already been the target of many advocates with books and documentaries about how seed companies (again mostly Monsanto …sigh) have decimated legacy corn types. Wheat is a darling crop in many countries.

  13. I’ve begun cutting wheat out of my diet after watching my diabetic husband do the same and seeing what it meant for his energy levels and for his blood sugar (he now can take far less insulin, which means putting on less fat as the insulin stimulate fat production). The key for me isn’t the weight loss issue – its noticing how different you feel when you cut wheat and glutens out of your diet (i.e. no more mid-morning, mid-afternoon crashes and no more bloaty feeling after supper). I still eat oats, brown rice, cavena nuda, quinoa, etc. (i.e. the non-glutens) and am feeling much better (and less hungry overall….

  14. I have managed to stop eating wheat (it wasn’t easy) but I feel so much better too. And I have dropped the ten pounds I needed to lose. Recently, I went on a trip to Italy and was eating pasta etc. for three weeks over there and the thing I noticed most  was the uncomfortable bloating and arthritic fingers. As soon as I got home and got back on track, these symptoms went away. 

  15. lot of specious reasoning here:
    a) he says “if you have an english muffin, two hours later you’re hungry”
    of course you are!!! if I had a small cup of rice for breakfast, or a banana for breakfast, i would be hungry in 1 or 2 hours too. So, wheat can’t be vilified here.
    b) amylopectin A raises blood sugar super fast? I don’t buy that. I shifted from white to whole grain, and it helps stabilize my cravings tremendously.
    c) all food is naturally addictive. Cheese, chocolate, coffee,…i personally am addicted to bananas and anchioves. food has a natural feedback, where when you start getting hungry, you naturally have a response to eat something you know makes you feel satisfied. Nothing sinister going on with wheat in that aspect. its just the evil context he’s presenting it.
    d) why don’t populations that don’t eat wheat…like South American natives, or Chinese….why aren’t they all disease free? Sure, Chinese live in a polluted country, but as their calorie intake increases, they are getting the same diseases as the west.

    Personally, I think Gluten allergies are a problem for some, but vilifying wheat for those who aren’t is probably fear mongering. Having said that, you can probably avoid wheat for a week, and see how you feel.

    • I’ll address your questions out of order, they’re good questions.
      d) Because they often eat other grains and refined carbs which have similar metabolic effects to wheat. The Kitavan Islanders are one modern population who are wholly grain and refined carb free. Consistent with the hypothesis, they have no stroke, no overweight, no diabetes, no heart disease, no dementia and none of the common cancers of the west. Other smaller grain free tribes exist, none appear to have diseases of western civilization.
      a) Again, wheat’s the most common, but other grains can do the same metabolic disruption. Grain-free diet has been shown in clinical trials to reduce ad libidum caloric intake by 20-30%, and very probably works via reduction in leptin resistance. The increased satiety effect is real, and robustly found between different experiments.
      b) Whole grains may have very slightly lower glycemic and insulemic indices than white flour products, and they also likely cause slightly less gut microbiomal disruption due to retention of more of the evolved resistances to bacterial degradation. You will thus have slightly lower leptin resistance and hyperphagia than if you ate white flour. However, you will still have leptin and fasting insulin levels around 2 standard deviations above what you would if you ate grain free, and you’re still in the same pool of risk for western diseases. You’re smoking filtered cigarettes, but you still have a problem.
      c) Food reward is a natural part of eating behaviour, as you say. However, wheat is mildly ‘addictive’ in a pharmacological sense because it’s peptides’ direct actions on opioid receptors, which tasty food alone does not do. Perhaps this opiate action is more relevant in the constipation it produces in wheat eaters who don’t get enough fibre…

      • Thanks for the informative comments, Doc_Grok.

        In addition to the insulin & leptin regulation issues that present with grain consumption, I’m curious to learn more about the effects of grain prolamines and the leaky gut. In particular, the issue of molecular mimicry and auto-immune responses that could result from long-term exposure to them.

        A very recent paper points to an issue related to the leaky gut (I think):


        It looks like microRNA from grains gets into the blood and can effect biological function.

        • Thanks, I hadn’t seen that one yet! That’s quite a remarkable paper that opens up a whole new front by which eaten plants can affect physiology(!)

          • I saw that article recently too… I am not sure what to make of it, but it is quite interesting.

  16. So I would like to know if there is anyone growing “original” wheat and how it may be purchased.

  17. Comparing wheat to tobacco is completely fear mongering exaggeration.  And what dietitian would recommend only carbohydrate foods all day, it’s about balanced meals with protein and healthy fats.

    • Wrong.  But go ahead and eat the way your government is telling you and see how you feel.

      • What exactly was “wrong” with what she said.  Oh I see, you have nothing of substance to say – just parroting the other tin-foil hat wearing alarmists.

      • I wonder how you feel about vaccines? 

        The fact is that people are living longer than ever before.  The simplest answer is that obesity is caused by over-indulging in foods which are bad for us as individuals, valuing quick meals of “convenience” foods over time-intensive real foods, and, for many people, a sedentary lifestyle.  The fact that we now have to go to a gym, jog, or set aside time to get exercise is something we should all be concerned with.  The post-industrial society is not a healthy one, and wheat is not, for most, the culprit.

    • And as far as I can tell they aren’t adding loads of chemicals like arsenic, benzene and formaldehyde to our flour.  I suspect if we were to smoke tobacco without all the additives it wouldn’t be nearly so bad for us.

  18. Book: Good Calories, Bad Calories
    By Gary Taubes
    ■Myth: dietary fat and especially saturated fat cause disease and obesity
    ■Reality: fat is good for you, especially animal fats; carbs.
    It is sugar and refined grains (via their effect on insulin) that cause all the diseases of civilization: heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, etc…
    ■Myth: obesity is a problem of the will (psychological) caused by caloric excess — overeating and/or underactivity
    ■Reality: obesity is a hormonal problem (physiological) caused by high-carb diets via their effect on insulin, which triggers metabolic changes that cause one to eat more and expend less energy.
    **Obesity is caused by carbohydrates, not by gluttony and sloth!**

    • Actually, Nadine – aside from Taubes’ critique of the lipid hypothesis – there are more holes in that book’s logic than the plot of a Paul Walker movie.  Read James Kriegers critique.  I guess big books with lots of outdated reference impress you though. 

      Most of it should have been written in crayon.

  19. Is Sugar Toxic?
    By GARY TAUBES, Published: April 13, 2011
    Sugar is not just an empty calorie, he says; its effect on us is much more insidious. “It’s not about the calories,” he says.
    “It has nothing to do with the calories. It’s a poison by itself.”
    If Lustig is right, then our excessive consumption of sugar is the primary reason that the numbers of obese and diabetic Americans have skyrocketed in the past 30 years.
    But his argument implies more than that. If Lustig is right, it would mean sugar is also the likely dietary cause of several other chronic ailments widely considered to be diseases of Western lifestyles — heart disease, hypertension…
    …and *****many common cancers**** among them.

    • Eat sugar sparingly and moderately – what a concept.

    • You nailed it with “excessive consumption of sugar”…greed is bad; moderation is good. No food is poison unless you over-indulge or have a medical condition which renders it so for you.

  20. I am a bit baffled by the discussion of “original wheat” and the assumption through this article and the discussion that hexaploid bread wheat is somehow a modern invention.  Hexaploid bread wheat was grown in Europe as early as four thousand BC and in Asia as early as eight thousand BC.  It occurred due to natural crossings with wild grasses and then was selected by prehistoric farmers mainly because the seeds stayed on the plants longer so it could be harvested more readily as compared to the wild grasses from which it was derived. With the earlier wild types, the seeds would fall off on the ground before harvest and so were harder to collect.  This early seed fall was how the plant dispersed its seed so it could survive and spead.  This is also the reason that those plants could thrive in the wild and the hexaploid bread wheat could not – they did not have a good way of speading their seed, so could survive well as a domestic plant but not as a wild plant.  Durum wheat, used for pasta, is actually a tetraploid and developed a bit earlier, historically.  This “ploidly” has nothing to do with modern genetic engineering, but was apparently a result of natural crossing and mutations followed by ancient farmers choosing the best plants back in prehistory.

    Gluten intolerence has certainly been diagnosed more frequently in recent years and is a serious disorder.  But, gluten has been in our wheat all along and is the quality characteristic in flour protein that allows bread to rise properly.  Gluten in wheat is not a new development nor is it something that has been added artificially.  If one is gluten intolerent, that has to be managed by exclusion just as if a person is lactose intolerent or has a food allergy to peanuts or seafood.

    Cereal grains form the staple base of the diet for most people in the world and the development of high-yielding semi-dwarf cultivars was an important step in providing adequate calories to a large part of the world’s population.  That is why Dr. Norman Borlaug  received the Noble Peace prize for his work in this area, because of the recognition of the importance of a secure food supply to global stability.  We have the flip side of the problem in a lot of the developed world because our food is inexpensive relative to our earnings so we have the choice of what and how much to eat.  Unfortunately, a lot of us make poor choices and eat too much of an unbalanced diet.  While it is really easy to point at one thing (wheat, potatoes, meat, carbohydrates, proteins, or whatever else the current fad of the day dictates) a person really needs to look at the whole diet and lifestyle to try to make informed choices. 

    It is also important to recognise that a great deal of education or experience in one field of knowledge (cardiac surgery, general medicine or acting, for example) doesn’t neccessarily translate into an understanding of other areas of knowledge, such as nutrition, chemistry or genetics.  Hyperbole and exaggeration are great tools to feed on peoples fears so we tend to see accuracy thrown out the window to win an audience.  It may not be accurate or factual, but if it sells books, attracts television viewers and creates controversy, it is a good marketing tactic.


    • Thank you for some sane comments on this article.  Too bad you were not in on the interview.  This guy might be a MD but he sure is an idiot when it come to grains.  It is this type of media bullshit that makes the agriculture industry cringe.  Come ON McLeans, check the facts before you publish. It is embarrassing that a Canadian Magazine does not know the facts about wheat.  Sure shows the delinking of our “urban” citizens from their roots.

      • There is a vey good, well-balanced book called “An Apple A Day” written by Joe Schwarcz, director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society.  It goes through many of the myths, misconceptions and claims about food and provides a science-based discussion in a very readable form.  It should be more widely read.

        • This is a good book – Dr. Shwarcz would have a field day dissecting Davis’ tin-foil hat alarmism

    • I think you need to read the article again with a critical eye to the details… just a suggestion ;)

    • Great comments.  

      I suspect that the reason so many disorders seem to be on the rise is simply that people didn’t previously live long enough to A) develop them or B) get a diagnosis.  It’s also possible that something like gluten intolerance or Crohn’s disease would have left children weakened and more susceptible to the diseases which used to carry children away by the thousands every year.

      As medical advances have let more of live to maturity it’s hardly surprising that new conditions are showing up.  Mother Nature is cruel, but the strong survived. And they ate wheat, too.

    • FINALLY — someone who actually knows what they’re talking about. Perhaps the other half of these posters should go back to their horoscopes and tarot cards. :-)

  21. Regards to Doc,

    Wheat Belly!? I think its called type 2 Diabetes buddy. Its nothing
    new; Insulin resistance due to a life of “Carbicide” (eating lots of carbs,
    usually wheat and sugar).

    Balanced diet is key! As much as possible Organic!

    Why one day is it ok to eat loads of carbs, then be influenced the next day
    to eat none? Why one or the other? like some kind of food extremist… It’s like
    the/my stereotype North American is ether a Gym/health junky, Fast food junky or
    just plan junky. Are these people programed to only like or do one thing and
    never to let them cross at the same time? or dose one backup reasoning for the

    Food abuse can be as bad as substance abuse to the body. Although when
    people need there carb fix its legal, affordable and no one gets hurt. Unless
    its ice cream ;-)

    I agree with a little of what this guy says. He is a bit strong and narrow
    minded with his views though. (He reminds me of a late night infomercial)

    I agree that if some one wants to loose fat, stop or lowering eating gluten
    is a good idea. Only because we can eat a lot of it (in kilojoules) and
    quickly with out feeling overly full. Its quick for the body to store as fat if
    not burnt (higher GI). But this person is probably eating to much of it to begin

    Also as flour its great for holding together butter, sugar and chocolate to
    make a cookie, cake or pan au chocolat. But is it the flour that’s the

    Of cause wheat is addictive, its food! what about everything else? Try not
    eating meat for 5 days! think you will be over it by then? I know I wont be, ha

    I think we/humans like to blame individual things or people when problems
    occur and feel there is only “one simple thing” you need to do for “all your
    problems to be solved”. When its mostly simply not the case. Media and
    advertising are not educational, they are mostly bias and try make us feel
    guilty with the way we are when we didn’t really think there was a problem in
    the first place.

    Not the best saying coming from a chef but; Do you eat to live or, live to

    What he is talking about in regards to food is the tip of the iceberg when
    it comes to the food changes (in the passed 100 yrs)

    This also applies to corn, soy, Hawaiian papaya, Canola, beet, and some
    others. Soy, Corn and wheat are the big ones. As we can consume a lot of it.
    These three are fed to livestock in North America to make up 100% of there diet
    in most cases. Although when its time to get these animals to reproduce there
    diet is changed to more natural “expensive” feed as there chances of
    pregnancy are to low on GM feed… And “we” wonder why
    birth/pregnancy/Infertility issues are more common now when some eat a lot
    of these foods. But these “problems” create, more high paid jobs! and more cheap
    food! so that great, right!??


    These somewhat recently can and have cross pollinated with native plants.
    So far on a small scale. So now native animals have to eat GM…. this takes us
    back to the Infertility issues.

    GM seeds/plants are owned by big company’s (Monsanto) there copyrighted
    plants and are never truly even owned by the farmer.

    Example, I grow a wheat strain that’s been in my family for generations. It
    grows nicely and is suited to where I farm. At the end of the year I keep some
    grain to put in to my seed machine to grow for next year. Bob next door, starts
    to sow a crop of this new GM wheat the following year. good for him. At the end
    of the year I have lawyers from Monsanto at my door telling me I’m growing there
    GM wheat because its cross pollinated with Bobs crop. And its my fault. My
    options are sell/give my business to Monsanto or switch to GM.

    Where he talks about Gamma irradiation, these words are just to scare
    people. Some grains and meats get a dose to kill off micros and bugs instead of
    using poisons. I think its good.

     Scandinavian country’s being Gluten intolerant. This is because these people didn’t get and/or couldn’t grow these
    grass’s like or ancestors did.

    He says people do pay extra for organic goods like meat, eggs and bread.
    its only “extra” in relativity to GM. The last time I checked the organic meat
    section at the supermarket I could have eaten it all in one sitting, if I could
    afford it.

    Gluten affects people differently, these are often misunderstood.
    Intolerant means your ok with traces but if you have some you don’t feel the
    best. Allergic means you get an instant reaction like we all understand with
    peanut butter.

    In this article he is admitting it’s the gluten that’s the problem although
    only the gluten in Wheat? why? when everyone else that has wheat issues also has
    barley, oat, rye and spelt issues. (the grains that have gluten)hope not to offend anyoneEveryone is entitled to an opinion. It’s the way its communicated or
    understood that can be the problem.

  22. Is this guy a food scientist? A dietitian? Any credentials that he actually knows anything about carbohydrate metabolism? These are dangerous comments he’s making and I’m angered that MacLeans would post such an article.

    • So tell us Mr. RD what annoys you about this article. Are you worried that people will educate themselves and fire their Dietitians?

  23. Wow.  Articles like this make me wonder about the reputation of Macleans!  I’m in the ag industry and this is terribly off base.  This guys makes it sound like everyone in the ag industry is out to make people fat.  Have a little faith in the professionals folks.  I know a lot of good wheat breeders out there and they wouldn’t be doing what they’re doing if they felt like they were harming the well being of the human race!  Dear Macleans.  I sure hope to see a more balanced interview to clear the air on this dreadful piece or I’m cancelling my subsription!  There.  I threatened you! :)

    • Hi Ken – have a look at the above refutation of some of Dr Davis’ claims.  Unfortunately the mass public would rather buy into unsubstantiated alarmism over anything resembling balance.

  24. This article is a LOAD OF CRAP. Why the hell would any “author” tell people to stay away from wheat when it clearly states in the Canada Food Guide that adults, 19-50 years of age, should be getting 6-7 servings of grain products daily in order to lead healthy lives?
    Athletes should be getting all of those servings, if not more. How would any athlete be able to perform well without carbohydrates?
    Check the facts: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/order-commander/index-eng.php#1.

    • The authorities used to claim the earth was flat, those were the “facts” at that time. Don’t be a sheeple, open your mind and close the bread bag.

      • Facts are facts and this would not be supported by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, etc. if it were not the case.
        I have been an athlete all my life – we need carbs, especially whole wheat.

        I ended up losing weight (25 lbs) when I moved out after high school simply because I controlled my portions. Sometimes, bread is all that university students can afford!
        Now, I am 5’11, very thin and eat whole wheat regularily. You have to find out what works for you. But the previous comments about math and calorie burning are so true – you have to burn off what you put in. Simple as that.

        • you NEED carbs, people don’t die if they don’t ingest them. carbs are simply easy calories. if you don’t eat them. eat something else. you will survive, i promise.

    • Canada’s Food Guide is a load of BS. Do you know they used to recommend more servings of grains than fruits and vegetables in a day (looking at the chart I was given in school when I was a child it was 11+ servings of grains)? Now it’s slightly less but still WAY too much. This is a fact: wheat raises your blood sugar levels. It’s high on the glycemic index. I for one prefer not to have my blood sugar levels skyrocket. Once I have one serving of bread/pasta/pizza/whole wheat anything I want more. It’s addictive to the point where I don’t feel satisfied until I’m absolutely stuffed. Yet having a modest bowl of homemade vegetable soup and a salad satisfies me for hours. I will NEVER go back to following that load of crap food guide. My body looks and feels better than ever.

    • I’m afraid there isn’t just one set of facts here, because not everyone’s body is the same. For example, this author has researched his own body’s need for carbohydrates when exercising: http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/the-interplay-of-exercise-and-ketosis-part-i

      I think we get into trouble when we extrapolate what works for one person or a relatively small group of people to “everyone”.

      And since you’ve asked, why does the Canada Food Guide recommend grains when many people have developed grain-related illnesses and allergies in the past 50 years? Money. If you’re willing to invest an hour, search Youtube for “Fat Fiasco” and watch it.

  25. I say let’s resurrect einkorn or the hertiage forms of wheat.  Also, what about rice?  I am 1/2 Korean and eat rice daily.

  26. Also, I find it ridiculous that organic or more naturally grown veggies, etc., are more expensive.  What is wrong with this picture?

    • Organically produced crops are usually more expensive to grow because they are often lower yielding, or require more labour or field operations for weed and pest control. Some of the “organic” fertilizers can be more expensive than inorganic nutrients that are allowed in conventional production. Part of the land may need to be left idle for pest control and/or to allow the soil organic matter to breakdown to release nutrients for the following crops, reducing the overall farm production, so the producer needs to earn more from each unit of production to earn a living.   So, when something is more expensive to produce part of the extra cost is passed on to those who make the choice to buy it.

  27. to those advocating eating more seeds, grains are seeds

  28. Everything this guy says is true. Now, for a bit of perspective, google “the evils of dihydrogen monoxide”.

  29. Good luck figuring out where or when Dr. Davis acquired his medical degree… not anywhere on his blog. Also a little strange that ‘BUY THE BOOK’ is at the top of every google result related to him. Someone needs to do due diligence here.

  30. The author states regarding  Frankengrains ” their safety for human consumption has never been tested or even questioned.” This precedes a litany of the evils of grain, which it appears, has not been tested.

  31. As a celiac, I gave up wheat (barley,rye, etc) over 2 years ago. I have eliminated most sugar also. Yet, I have not really lost weight…so, what gives? Many writers blame sugar, also. Could it be that we just OVEREAT, full stop??

  32. You dont need starches, from pasta, bread, rice, corn. Try the paleolithic diet, meat, nuts, seeds, fruits, veggie. The starches are for starving people, poor people. They are just to fill you up.Eat well with your $$. After populations started to eat grains they started to shrink in height to five feet from six feet

  33. what do you suggest in place of the lunch time brown bag sandwich?s

  34. If I choose to take this article in the serious vein it appears to have been written and want to think of myself as a decent sort of chap, I must be deeply concerned over what seems to be a very great evil. Implicit in the tone of the article, the right thing to do is; be appalled, order the book, stop eating wheat, spread the news and become active in preventing this from continuing. (In any or no particular order.) But, the right thing to do isn’t necessarily the first thing to do. The first thing is to find more information. After all, something this serious could have far reaching implications -even if I’m completely unaware of the role wheat has placed historically and currently as one of the most important food crops known to man.
    The first question I should ask is “What is wheat”. It doesn’t take much time to find the answer to that question and to discover the immense gravity of the implications this man’s claims entail for all of mankind. Wheat is the third most common food staple world wide and the highest of the top three staples in much needed protein. Shorter, sturdier varieties have made it available to many millions of hungry people in climates where no other significant source of plant protein and other needed forms of nutrition are available.
    Now that I grasp the immensity of the issue, I have to ask. “Who is this guy? and Why am I hearing about this in McLean’s and not on CNN?” If I follow my nose, it turns out that this “Dr. William Davis” never actually says where the “Dr.” came from, or in which field of study it was earned. On the website for his book, he impressively says of himself “Since 2004, I have served as Medical Director of the heart disease prevention and reversal program, Track Your Plaque, an international meeting-of-the-minds to generate a collective effort to find better solutions to the scourge of heart attack and heart disease.”.
    It turns out however, he is also the founder, and it doesn’t appear to be more than a website with a list of “professionals” (who’s credentials are as shady as his own) that are endorsing his book. Also, the author of this article turns out to be a “fluff piece” writer for a number of magazines like McLean’s and Chatelaine where she also deals with such hard hitting social concerns as “the reasons why your once-BFF can suddenly leave your life.”
    Now that I have very good reason to doubt the credentials and integrity of the good “Dr.”, I must take a look at his claims. After all, gamma radiation and sodium azide sound pretty scary! Williams very rightly informs us of what the poison control people have to say about ingesting sodium azide, and we all know how evil radiation is. However, it turns out that these things are merely laboratory tools used to work on understanding wheat’s DNA and assisting in developing hardier and healthier varieties of the plant. Implying the ingestion of these things in wheat is like saying that driving a car puts you at risk of being in an accident with another vehicle that is being driven by a crash test dummy. In fact, every “fact” about wheat in this article is couched in terminology and tone specifically designed to make us fearful. If you were to read the same facts in an article that used a tone and terminology selected to praise wheat, and that added a few statistics on how many millions of lives have been saved worldwide through the development of these stronger and healthier varieties, you’d be looking for someone to award a Nobel Prize! Wait a minute! we’ve already done that! His name is Norman.
    {From Wikipedia:
    Norman Ernest Borlaug (March 25, 1914 – September 12, 2009)[1] was an American agronomist, humanitarian, and Nobel laureate who has been called “the father of the Green Revolution”.[2] Borlaug was one of only six people to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.[3] He was also a recipient of the Padma Vibhushan Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honor.
    Borlaug received his Ph.D. in plant pathology and genetics from the University of Minnesota in 1942. He took up an agricultural research position in Mexico, where he developed semi-dwarf, high-yield, disease-resistant wheat varieties.}
    The real evils here are that people like Williams are prepared to say things that prey on our fears in order to line their own pockets through book and diet plan product sales, and that writers like Kate Fillion and magazines like McLean’s are willing to engage in this type of criminal fear mongering journalism. I say criminal because of the potential articles like this have to negatively impact people around the world. A few years back media attention -completely uninterested in the truth of the details of social circumstances- was directed at child labour in developing countries. The result? Thousands of children turned to prostitution or starved to death when the factories employing them closed down.
    Why are we so quick to tolerate this kind of journalism and believe everything we’re told? I’m a 44 year old construction worker and it took me less than half an hour to expose this article for what it is. Shame on us for turning off our intellect. 

    • I did not like the article, its author and read it with a grain of salt, and despite his research not being backed 100% by science, yours doesn’t even allude to science.The reason that wheat is the number three food staple in the world is because of how easy it is to grow not of for being nutritionally robust but because its a high amount of calories thats can be grown easily, cheaply, with minimum space or effort. Corn and Rice top that list also for being cheap, easy, and full of calories. not to mention most of the corn, wheat, and rice in the world that is listed as “food staples” feeds animals and even factory fish, NOT PEOPLE. what food is then said to be used for human consumption is, for the most part, first turned into a deluge of other garbage products: citric acid, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin. etc. for the processed food market. people in poverty can be kept fat and sick on wheat diets with very little money, its not going to turn them into olympians but it will keep starvation at bay, so i guess in that light it does save lives – though doing nothing to improve the quality of life.

    • The last few lines of your argument sound so reasonable until you actually attempt to string those thoughts together. The journalist directing attention to child labor in developing countries were uninterested in the truth of the details of social circumstances?! really? exposing child labor and shutting down factories led to a boom in the sex trafficking and starvation of children world wide!?
      Ill begin deconstructing your argument by saying that the reason child labor and factories exist in developing nations is because of social circumstances set in places by the developed world. In the develop world factory farming and the farm bills have allowed USA farmers to produce food, mostly corn, wheat, and soy so far below the level of proaction, with subsidies, that we undercut the price for farmers in nearly any other country. it is actually cheaper for other countries to import corn, wheat and soy from the united states than it is for them to pay their own farmers a decent wage. any farmer that does not consolidate their farm into factory farm can not turn a profit and is then forced off their land when they cannot make tenant payments. displaced frames in mexico, south america, africa, and india, due to social circumstances as you called them, have no formal training or education so they loose their jobs in agriculture are forced to perform unskilled labor, usually at a factory or production plant, owned by a developed country such as the USA. due to a lack of international regulation of wages and conditions it is often much cheaper to higher children, children are less likely to form unions, complain, have smaller hands: beneficial to certain tasks, and (as sad as it is to say) worth less in economic standards, so they can be exploited. children starve because american companies and farm policy took away their parents jobs and policy in their own countries compound all of the problems of poverty as well as failing to protect citizens from outside interest.

  35. Wheat is not the Staff of Life

    You have heard the expression that wheat is “the staff of life” and a must-have in everyone’s diet. I thought so too until it was discovered at age 39 that I was highly wheat intolerant. At the time I made homemade wheat bread for my family and being the daughter of a dietitian, I added wheat to my family’s meals and snacks where ever possible. Once my wheat allergy was discovered, my weight dropped, my arthritis went away and my “foggy thinking” cleared up. I was a new woman. As a medical intuitive and health educator I have been preaching the “evils of wheat” for years.  But it is nice to have the medical validation.  So here it is in black and white from an expert – wheat is a no-no. Next to dairy products in my opinion, wheat ranks a close second on the major food allergen culprit list. If you want to lose weight, stop snoring, stop joint stiffness, improve breathing and digestive problems – stop the wheat! This article is verification of what I have known and taught for years.~ Caroline Sutherland, Internationally recognized Hay House Author of The Body Knows Series of books, Health Expert and speaker. http://www.CarolineSutherland.com

  36. I would like to ask if William Davis is talking about American wheat or Canadian wheat, or both. Another question is, is there a difference between American and Canadian wheat in terms of hybridization or content?

  37. I went paleo about 6 months ago. Dropped all grains and changed fats from those “healthy” ones to homemade lard, tallow. Switched to raw milk and making my own raw butter.

    I immediately dropped 30 lb; increased my dead lift, squat and bench by 30% and dropped my blood pressure, resting heart rate and my blood lipid levels went from “ok/normal” to “Jim, these numbers are incredible. You said you did this eating bacon and ribs?!?”. I am more attentive, alert and have significantly more energy to play with my kids. In fact, I now drag THEM to the play ground because -I- want to play in the swings and monkey bars! This instead of crashing on the couch at 6pm every night and fighting of sleep.

    During those 6 months, my regular exercise was about constant barring the increased energy levels helping me get my ass off the couch.

    Further, the first week was HELL. I had physical addiction withdraw. I spent a week alternating between cold sweats, vomiting, sleeping and suffering intense cravings for bread. I was depressed, irritable and quick to anger. This are all hallmarks of true drug withdrawal.

    So, in short, it worked for me.

    • You are so full of crap it’s got to be blowing out your ears. Physical addiction withdrawal? Cold sweats? vomiting? Intense cravings for freaking bread?

      What a total crock of bull. You make wheat sound like it’s the same as heroin or some other freaky drug, when it’s not even in that league.

      It’s freaking wheat for petes sake, it’s not addictive, you eat it one day, and you don’t the next. It’s no freaking big deal except in your messed up head.

       Lord almighty, I had to quit wheat because of intolerence some time ago, and not for one second did I have physical addiction withdrawal, cold sweats, vomiting, sleeping problems or intense cravings for bread.

      You seriously need to see a shrink man, you are one mixed up dude.

  38. To all those who think it is nonsense, give it a try.  Stop eating wheat for one month and see how you feel.  If you don’t experience withdrawal, if you feel exactly the same, then you’ll have your proof that he is wrong.  But I bet you’ll feel great once you get it out of your system.  You’ll feel so good and finally realized just how not good you felt all those years.  I’ve given up wheat (corn & soy too) and feel so much better.  Gaining muscle and losing fat too!  So give it a try.  If he’s wrong you’ve lost nothing, but if he’s right you’ll feel fabulous and be healthier.

  39. This is a very interesting article.  I am wondering if this chemical is present in other grains or just wheat.  Also, is this wheat that is grown in North America or wheat that is grown everywhere in the world?
    I look forward to getting answers, if possible.
    Ruth Clark
    Fashion Moves Inclusive Designs

  40. what studies, which scientists, and what sources can be provided to back this? I need more info

    • Read the book. The sources are provided. All the studies included.

  41. A little bit of everything – not too much of anything and a damn lot of laughter – even if you die – at least you were happy

  42. That was actually very useful information. Can we substiture wheat with rice and would that have the same effect?

  43. wonder why other grains (corn, rye, barley etc) are not equally bad, are they not processed before consumption too??

    • They do not have Gluten. They are still high carb however.

  44. I’m 31 and I’ve been on a whole-food/raw-food/paleo type of diet going on 3 years now, and has been one of the better things to happen in my life. My diet does not include bread, pasta, sugar, processed food of any kind. Generally I eat veggies, fruits, nuts & seeds, berries, meat. It’s made me more aware of what goes in and out of my body, and has made me listen to my body more. I spend roughly the same amount of money on groceries as I did 10 years ago, except my money is going to companies that are either local or somehow involved in organics. I’m sure corporations hate people like me, and if I were to create a website or write a book about it, they’d want to assassinate me.

    • That’s okay, only nutcases would buy a book from someone who advocates eating a raw food diet, anyway.

  45. What about G.G. Crisp Bran crackers? They are made with only the bran and there are virtually no carbs in them. My peristalsis is not functioning so I need them in order to eliminate. Nothing else seems to work like they do.

    • A tablespoon or two of ground flax seed daily, (do not use whole flax seed) will take care of your problem.

  46. I think you book is the greatest thing since sliced bread!  But  I was disappointed in one thing and I’ve convinced you didn’t write the recipes at the end because you have splenda in a recipe.  

  47. recomend looking at “eating right for your blood type”. interesting stuff.

  48. HA!  And they keep blaming other things for the rise in diabetes.  Our wheat is altered.  Our rice is altered.  Our corn is altered.  There are additives in so much of what we eat.  Maybe candy bars are the purest, most honest food group we have.

  49. Isn’t everything organic that is grown? even if it is genitically changed. Does it not come out of the ground. Moderation on all. Eat the real thing, lets cut the crap with verbage.

    • so i can spray the ground with poisons and genetically modify the food but if its pulled out of the ground its organic. thank god organic farmers don’t agree with you or id sell my house and buy a farm, because i wouldn’t touch that garbage food you say is organic.

  50. I am living proof of this. I had never read Dr. Davis’ book or even heard of the research on wheat amylopectin A, but I had heard that wheat was a major allergen, and so removed it from my diet….I ate rice pasta, rice bread, and stopped eating Tim Hortons…..within two months I had lost 17 lbs(mainly off my belly) and felt the best I had in years. I then went off the diet and immediately gained 5 lbs back. From now on its zero wheat!….

  51. I discovered I was celiac, a condition that required me to eat without ingestation of any grains, about 8 years ago.  It took my wife 2 years to find this out after I had been to 13 doctors, had 2 MRIs, an ECG, a CAT scan, and an incredible number of bloodwork tests.  Thank goodness I live in Canada as that would not have been possible in the U.S.!  Once my wife discovered this and we told a doctor, it took him over two weeks to tell me what blood test I needed to have to confirm my gluten intolernace.  Today, there is at least the blood test on all medical test forms, but that is not necessarily conclusive.

    That said, the absolute best way, even today, is not a blood test but rather an endoscopy that is a procedure to do a biopsy of the small intestine as an out patient of the hospital.  In that hour, it tests for villi that protrude like fingers from the walls of the small intestine that take the nutients from the food passing through.  In the case of a celiac or gluten-intolerant person, they show as being blunted so all food passes through rather quickly and you find yourself in the bathroom a couple of time a day.

    It takes two weeks to feel better from NOT ingesting any wheat or other grains, and 4 weeks to be better – all without any drugs being taken.  Amazingly, I am told that today there are over 15 million Americans who are undiagonosec celiacs.   

    The reason it took so long to discover my problem is that doctors only get 30 minutes of allergy education in their 7 years of medical training – and that is because tradgically the drug companies make no profit from doctors just telling patients to stop their grain intake!!  There is no medication to push to the patients so no funding to the doctors by the giant drug companies.

    This article is excellent and will now be passed on to others, including my local chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association.

    Good luck to others who will now discover the wonders of going gluten free.

  52. I don’t think it is just wheat but all types of flour.  I ate good old white bread as a kid, teenager and young adult and was not overweight.  Like with everything, small portions will NOT make you fat, it is the many many portions that do.  Don’t forget starch turns to sugar in your system, keep eating 2 slices of “wheat toast in the morning, a few crackers for a snack, 2 slices of wheat bread at lunch and a roll and cake or cookies at night which may include spaghetti, white rice, potatoes and a chocolate bar or a few cookies for dessert and you will gain weight.  Oh and no exercise!  As kids we played outside, not sitting in front of the TV all night and same as us adults, too much tv and not enough interaction with other people.  Cut out your carbs and you will lose a ton of weight, eat unprocessed food you will lose weight, but most won’t do that because they feel “entitled” to the fast and easy food available.  It’s a choice to be fit and eat properly, people wake up and realize you are your own problem.  The “old” days or ways were not so bad now were they.

  53. Put 100 diet experts in a room, and you’ll get 100 different lists of the 100 most unhealthy foods.  What they really feed is peoples paranoia about aging and health.  The truth if you look at the actual statistics, is that we in N America have one of the healthiest populations on Earth, and it’s never been healthier anytime in history.  We should not aspire to do things organically and use ancient grains, unless we want a life expectancy of 30 – 40 years.  The human body is highly adaptable to almost any diet, within reason. The examples of unhealthy people are the ones who eat too much of something, especially sugar, or who dont exercise, or who smoke too much, or drink too much booze. Simply eat a good variety, dont over eat in any category, get exercise every day, have fun every day, avoid job stress, hang out socially with fun people, avoid the fear mongering dieticians …… and you are highly likely to live healthy and happy for a long, long time.  It’s just common sense. 

  54. This guy isn’t skinny.

  55. i would like to know if we can get some original seed and grow a good wheat for ourselves? Kerry

  56. This confirm  me felling great after stop eating wheat for a week.I do not crave it and lost weight
    Before i was felling tired in middle of the afternoon and now I fell great

  57. I personally think this article’s headline is a bit misleading. To me, wheat is not what is causing obesity; it’s genetically altered foods that have been stripped of their nutrition that is causing us to be fat. And lack of movement. I dropped 130 lbs and all during my weight loss ate 100% whole grains and had no problem dropping the weight. Additionally, I lowered my cholesterol and my blood pressure.

  58. we really are not nourished by wheat…. grains are for the birds… seriously!.. this is why they have a crop and humans dont!

  59. It’s so refreshing to see someone saying the things that my body has taught me, itself.  

    And it’s not just wheat: I’m gluten intolerant (no celiac disease, so far as my doctor and I know), but there are some anomalies.  I can eat oats grown in Ireland with no problem.  I can eat McCann’s Irish Oats (with a little salt, butter, and cream), and be happy as can be.  But if I eat domestic oats, it’s all over.  I’ve wondered why.  Then I looked into the kinds of oats McCann’s uses v. what is available here.  Question answered for the exact reasons described in this article about wheat.So, it makes me wonder: if I were eating old versions of what, barley, and rye, would I still be gluten intolerant?Also, I yelled “Hallelujah” at the comment about LDL numbers and wheat.  It still blows my mind that people think that eating cholesterol causes blood cholesterol levels to rise and plaques to form.  No.  The plaques are a self-defense activity on the part of the body when it perceives weakness in the walls of blood vessels.  The cholesterol in our blood is created by our own bodies.The most weight I ever gained was on the American Heart Association diet.  Too many carbs, not enough protein, and not enough fat.  Now I eat very much in alignment with Nourishing Traditions and what do you know?  Great blood values and a body that makes sense.Thank you, Dr. Davis, for telling the truth!

  60. It’s so refreshing to see someone saying the things that my body has taught me, itself.  

    And it’s not just wheat: I’m gluten intolerant (no celiac disease, so far as my doctor and I know), but there are some anomalies.  I can eat oats grown in Ireland with no problem.  I can eat McCann’s Irish Oats (with a little salt, butter, and cream), and be happy as can be.  But if I eat domestic oats, it’s all over.  I’ve wondered why.  

    I looked into the kinds of oats McCann’s uses v. what is available here.  Question answered for the exact reasons described in this article about wheat. So, it makes me wonder: if I were eating old versions of what, barley, and rye, would I still be gluten intolerant?

    Also, I yelled “Hallelujah” at the comment about LDL numbers and wheat.  It still blows my mind that people think that eating cholesterol causes blood cholesterol levels to rise and plaques to form.  No.  The plaques are a self-defense activity on the part of the body when it perceives weakness in the walls of blood vessels.  The cholesterol in our blood is created by our own bodies.

    The most weight I ever gained was on the American Heart Association diet.  Too many carbs, not enough protein, and not enough fat.  Now I eat very much in alignment with Nourishing Traditions and what do you know?  Great blood values and a body that makes sense.

    Thank you, Dr. Davis, for telling the truth!

  61. I thought of a simple corollary: what we feed cattle.  “Corn fed” beef was virtually unheard of before WWII.  Prior to that, beef cattle took 2-3 years to reach market weight, were leaner, and ate a normal cow diet: pasture, hay in winter, possibly haylage.  Some might have occasionally had some grain as a supplement or treat, but it was never a fundamental part of their diet.

    Enter the war and huge demands for food production.  Exit the war, and suddenly we have a hugely ramped up corn industry that needs a place to sell it’s crop.  It’s cheap, plentiful, and aha!  Suddenly the amount of acreage per cow/steer plummets if you feed them corn.  Why?  Because it makes them FAT.  Quickly.  They can be at market weight in 12-15 months if you feed them corn and keep their movement restricted.  Voilà: feed lots.  Literally, barren lots, stuffed with steers eating corn instead of grazing.

    Suddenly, “corn fed” is the buzz phrase, the consumer price of beef drops and people start eating it more often.

    And, hey (pun intentional), why not make use of the stalks and outer leaves by fermenting it?  We can make silage (coming from the word silo) and feed that bulking stuff instead of haylage, which costs more.  Whee!!!!

    Changing the beef cattle’s diet to include grain, a food that they would NEVER self-select, made them fat.  The rich marbling that became all the rage is a product of adding corn (and soy, and grains) to their diets.  Unnatural food that turns to sugar and makes them fat.

    That must be why “larding needles” are so hard to find, nowadays…  

    • Also, feeding cattle (subsidized) corn (instead of grass) makes them more prone to / less resistant to (the harmful type of) E. Coli. A study by Cornell University determined that grass-fed animals have as much as 80% less of this strain of E. coli in their guts than their grain-fed counterparts. Also, the amount of E. coli they do have is much less likely to survive our first-line defense against infection: stomach acid. This is because feeding grain to cattle makes their normally pH-neutral digestive tract abnormally acidic; over time, the pathogenic E. coli becomes acid-resistant. If humans ingest this acid-resistant E. coli via grain-feed beef, a large number of them may survive past the stomach, causing an infection.

  62. I had to give up all wheat a year and a half ago due to celiac disease. My health dramatically improved after doing this. At least 10 health problems were resolved by going guten free. Today I’m perscription and even allergy pill free. You wouldn’t believe how many products we consume daily have wheat in them (everything from soup to salad dressing to candy).

  63. Right research with wrong conclusion.Just switch to old kinds of wheat,mentioned at the beginning of the article,and youll be fine-Einkorn,Emmer,Spelt.

  64. I was very athletic as a child and then around 12 years old I was getting sick with colds, flus and infections constantly, was drained of energy, and felt unwell all the time. I continued to have these problems and a host of other issues like inflamed joints, muscle spasms, migraines, stomach ulcers and other issues. I finally decided to try to take out different foods in my diet to see if anything would help, especially since I gained 30 pounds in half a year when I ate really healthy foods. I upped my protein, cut out my whole wheat and suddenly I felt incredible (this is 12 years later). I have been avoiding wheat gluten like the plague ever since and most issues have resolved because of it. I also got rid of most of that weight I gained, and I even grew 2 inches at 22 years old!!! Weird, I know, but it happened as soon as I started feeling better.  I recommend trying the gluten free diet for anyone who has a lot of health issues to see if it helps them, as well. :)

  65. This comment was deleted.

    • Regardless of whether it is true or not, it’s common sense to not be eating too much of the same thing. A lot of people do eat 6 slices a day plus pasta and etc, gain  A LOT of weight. Just like one should not eat too much protein, drink a ridiculous amount of water, etc etc. It’s all about portioning, and at least this article will get people thinking about what they eat. For you to insult whoever reads it and finds it interesting is a bit childish. How about if I say it’s “unintelligent” to go around and call people stupid? Grow up. 

    • Well based on my personal experiemce I can tell you this article is not a load of s#*@. I personally switched to a lifestyle change that removed dairy, grain ad legumes from my diet and saw incredible results. I even went through a wihdrawl period like what was mentioned in this article. About a week in I felt shaky, aggetated and on edge as my body began to break down fats for energy instead of the sugars produced from the removed items. After that period I never felt better in my adult life. I slept better at night had more energy my recovery time at the gym sped up, overall I felt healthier

      During the time like this is lost near 20lbs and felt amazing but summer came and I once again began eating bad re introduced dairy grains and legumes into my diet and I have put approx 15lbs back on, I began having restless sleeps and feel sluggish compared to what I was. I truly didn’t realize how unhealthy I was until I tried this change and I guarntee you’d be surprised as well if you attempted it.

      Look into the paleo lifestyle. Look up robb wolfe, he has some good literature on the lifestyle. Now I don’t believe this is for everyone it takes a lot of commitment and planning to do it but if you could live a 70/30 or even 80/20 without/with lifestyle everyone would be better for it.

  66. Eat right for your blood type. For the record, I’m 5’4″ 120 lbs, athletic, eat breakfast everyday and have low LDL or cholesterol. My IBS-like symptoms disappeared after I started eating for my blood type, for what my body needs. I have also worked in Health Care.

  67. I have a cat who was so fat, despite eating nothing but “premium” food, that the vet said it was only a matter of time before he became diabetic. I put him on a restricted diet with the same “premium” food. No change. Cut it back even more. No change. I then switched to a grain-free food (even more premium) 6 months ago. Within a day of switching he was tearing around like a kitten, and he’s 9 years old. The change was so sudden and so dramatic I actually re-read the ingredients on the bag, expecting to see ephedra or caffeine or some other stimulant. Nothing but meat and vegetable products. 

    He’d been a lazy slug his entire life; I had just assumed that was his personality. Six months later he’s still ripping around like a kitten, and he’s down from 16 lbs to about 13, and hasn’t looked this trim in years. And I’m not even restricting his intake like I was with the other stuff. He eats as much as he wants. He’s running round the room as I write this. My girlfriend switched her two cats to grain-free food and noticed the same – though less dramatic – increase in energy. Granted, there is not much one can extrapolate from carnivorous felines to omnivorous humans. But maybe grain just isn’t all that good for us. Lot’s of sluggish, overweight, pre-diabetic humans out there too. 

  68. Anything for making a buck on a new book.  And, tell me what does this Doctor knows about diet?  Nowhere in his cardiology studies would he have touch a book on diet.  I know, I’ve been through it..  Not too long ago we went through the  “fats make you fat”  “white food kills you”  and all those books and theories went the way of the dodo.  But fat people will try anything in the hope that they will look like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie.  I suggest that one eats what they feel like eating in moderation, exercise moderately and strive for peace of mind. McLean should stay away from this type of hype and instead on concentrating on helping the industry esp. around Xmas time, it should publish articles by dietitians on healthy eating.

  69. I have been telling people about this since `02. I had sleep apnea so bad I would stop breathing for up to a minute. Snored like Fred Flinstone. Quit white bread and dairy, and it was gone in two weeks.

  70. Can some please tell me type of bread  I should purchase.  Is a light rye okay?

    • Spelt bread.

  71. This is incredible. How can this be?

  72. Okay, great. I’m convinced, I shouldn’t eat wheat. So, why not add to the article what the hell I *can* eat instead (as a replacement)? “Protein”? In what form? I get a half hour for lunch at work. Not enough time to prep up a nice batch of short ribs or tofu stir-fry. Tell me, what shall I use to replace the peanut butter sandwich that I actually have time to eat?

  73. When he says not to eat wheat, does he also mean other grains or spelt etc.  OR is it just wheat he wants us to avoid?

  74. There are many wheat substitutes on the market…do a little research on the web and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Look for gluten free products.

  75. how did this discussion go off on a tangent so much to change the subject from avoiding wheat to avoiding meat???

    ps: i’ve been gluten-free for years on and off and weight-loss aside, it has made me healthier in other ways – my allergies/hayfever symptoms are less frequent, my skin is better, i have more energy, i feel less sluggish and fatigued, i can concentrate and focus better, etc. i am now g/f more often because now that i am an adult g/f products are more easily accessible!

  76. Eggs for breakfast, some protein and veggies for lunch, same for supper and add salad.  Fruit for snacks.  If you eat dairy (low sugar that is) do it thru the day.  A piece of cheese here and there will keep you happy.  Celery, green peppers, cuke slices, apple, all are good snacks.  I eat rice and potatoes in small quantities.  Good chocolate.  Limited wine/liquor – watch Dr. Rob Lustig’s lecture to see why liquor and spirits are bad….There’s lots to eat.  Just none of the stuff that’s advertised on TV.

  77. Oatmeal. Sprouted bread. Quinao. Vegetables and fruits. Nuts and seeds.

    • No doubt Mike Howard makes his living off wheat. He doesn’t realize it, but he is the one with the tin-foil hat, whatever that might mean. Let’s be clear. Dr Davis is a clinician, not a nutritionist or researcher. He is imparting clinical advice of a general nature. His advice is to eliminate wheat, and then check the results. Why not give it a try? It is not like wheat-free eating endangers health. 

      I recommend trying a grain-free diet for 90 days and then evaluating the results. My guess is that 60%+ of people would notice a dramatic improvement. The other 40% would notice no difference or only a slight improvement.

      I can’t say for sure, but imagine that the benefits of wheat-free eating are normally distributed. Life altering for some; no difference or even feel worse for others. In the face of the clinical evidence presented, why not see where on the curve you are. Can’t hurt. Might help.

  78. I’m still wishing someone would come up with a way to get zebra mussels to eat purple loosetrife.

    After being diagnosed with “pre-diabetes”, I lost 20 lbs. in six weeks following a change in diet recommended by consultant-dieticians at our local hospital. Weight now stable, it will likely take 6 months to lose the next 10 lbs which is my target. The weight loss is all pretty well all off the waistline which they wanted. Also my blood sugar is now completely within the ranges required. Yes, the only breads or crackers I eat now are rye or whole wheat, or “ancient grains”….not a lot of choice unless one does without altogether.

  79. i’ve read the book and been off wheat and most other grains for 3 weeks….not fanatical about it but definitely notice im sleeping better and more alert during the day…..the key seems to be protein for breakfast…..eggs and cheese or maybe a sausage or two and youve got lots of energy then veggies and meat for supper and no snacking before bed……this sort of info drives the organic people crazy but then organics is a marketing scheme and this threatens to undermine it.

  80. Read about the French….Dr. Dukans book….”The Dukan Diet”.  I AM A LIVING GINNY PIG FAITHFULLY HAVE USED HIS SYSTEM…..unreal!  For foods, simple….nothing “white”, no white flour, no potatoes, no rice…all which raise your GI Levels blowing the roof out of your system and then crashing right through your bottom basement….leaving your system not only dangerously unhealthy, diabetic and heart disease prone but you feel like a bag of you know what!  And your system is always starving. 

    By eating starches to fill that void starts the whole viscous circle all over again…..food wise speaking, YOU ARE NEVER SATISFIED. 

    My pantry contains the following, organic OAT BRAN,,,,cheap cheap cheap!  And SUPER DUPER healthy to burn fats etc., etc., research oat bran and see how good it is for you. 

    Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, full flavoured being the highest benefit for you and I have unflavoured for sateeing.  BE CAREFUL, DO NOT BUY PHONEY COCONUT OIL.  Health food stores ONLY and Whole Foods carries it too. 

    NO SUGAR!  Health food store again….ZYLITOL…sounds dangerous but it is a natural extraction of sugars form the bark of Birch Trees, or corn husks…..Again, RESEARCH!  No fat Chicken, no fat pork, cut the fat out of beef, steam your veggies…..all is explained the The Dukan Diet. 

    I lost 29 lbs at 5′-8″ from 210 trimmed and sexy again at 181 and I’m 58….and I mountain bike.  Good-luck.

  81. I would like William Davis to meet Barry Sears, creator of the Zone diet and author of many related books.  Dr. Sears talks about a balanced diet to control the insulin-glucagon axis.  Dr. Davis sounds as if our diets consist entirely of wheat products. 

  82. So what about whole grain ancient bread. How do you know what the grain quality is

  83. It was paid US legislators who forced this genetically modified product upon the world thru Monsanto….what else have they destroyed for us?

  84. How do you eat a sandwich?  So often I am on the run, or out camping, and wonder what “bread” product Dr Davis recommends if no wheat?

  85. I had given up eating wheat products – bread, cakes and biscuits – for a week before I came across Dr Davis and this interview. What persuaded me that I had done the right thing, and shall continue to do the right thing, was that I did feel different – not as sleepy, didn’t get tired so quickly, slept better and felt somehow fitter and more agile. I exercise in the gym here at work three days a week, but was puzzled that although I am fitter than someone else my age (62), I still carried that slab of blubber on my tummy.

    Well, even after a week that is getting smaller. By chance I ate a plate of pasta last night and did feel more lethargic and bloated – very much as I did until I gave up wheat.

    What I like about Dr Davis advice is that it is not hectoring or zealeous and doesn’t come across, as too many health gurus do, as some kind of snake-oil salesman: he simply suggests we give up wheat and see how we get on, confident that by doing so we will furnish the proof of his good advice ourselves. Well, I was converted even before I had heard of him. At first it is a little inconvenient to cut out bread, as so many of our meals seem to involve it in one form or another and I have to say a baguette of some kind was invariably what I ate for lunch. And I am very partial to pizza and would eat one at least once a week. But that is all out of the window. I have got over eating wheat in some form or another and have been starting the day on a banana or two and an apple instead of breakfast cereal. I do believe giving up wheat will prove to be a worthwhile decision.

  86. What are your thoughts on oats and rye?

  87. Perhaps once vertical farms take hold in Canada/USA wheat will be grown in the way it was in the good old days. 

  88. I have a couple issues with his comparisons. If you look up on a glycemic index you’ll see whole wheat’s rating higher on the chart, than low, but using chocolate as a comparison is horrible. People will instantly think of sugary candy when chocolate is mentioned. But chocolate is actually very low on a glycemic index, which is the index that tells you how your blood sugar will react when the food is ingested. I can’t argue the addiction point or anything else, but this comparison is flawed. Chocolate along with rolled oats are some of the slowest foods to get into your blood.

  89. I read his book “Wheat Belly”  in December 2011 and decided to give up wheat. I mean after all what did I have to lose! Well in 28 days I lost 8 lbs and three inches off of my waist! In addition I no longer “grazed” in the evening (or during the day for that matter). However, the biggest surprise for me was how it affect my diabeties. In only one week I eliminated one medication (which was 5 pills a day) and cut my once-a-day insulin dosage in half!  And yes, I had consulted my doctor before I did all of this. In fact the doctor also reduced my statin dosage by half because my good cholesterol was too low. Was it easy to give up wheat? NO, it’s in almost everything we eat but my health is worth it. I cannot get over how much better I feel and how my quality of sleep has improved.

  90. To me, wheat is poison. I have Celiac Disease. I also have glucose malabsorption and an allergy to corn. I think this article describes me. I eliminated all wheat (and other gluten containing food) from my diet just over a year ago. Now I only eat whole foods. I have never felt better in my life. I am 50 years old and fell like I am in my thirties. I have lost 35 lbs. in one year simply by going gluten-free and not eating the replacement foods.  

  91. Is wheat the only grain that has been tampered with?

  92. I don’t know how much of this is true but there are rumors going around that monsanto or one of those evil companies is crossbreeding crops with animals, they supposedly cross bred tomatoes with salmon and corn with scorpion genes, and soy and canola. I heard this from a second hand source and then I found it on this site http://forum.davidicke.com/showthread.php?t=136596, though I don’t trust David Icke not support him or any new age crap I do believe there are some crazy genome projeccts out there right now.  

  93. Excellent read.  Now I understand why I can’t stop eating bread when I start.  Is it the same for Spelt or Rye bread?  Are these all genetically modified too?

    Fruit, fruit, fruit, fruit, veg, nuts and seeds, that’s all you need.  I know that’s what makes me feel the healthiest if I stick to it, but it gets a bit boring after a while!  “Fit for Life” is the best book I’ve ever read about optimum nutrition, a timeless classic.


    • I recommend experimenting. I think all grains behave the same way, which sadly means no beer. I notice the same ravenous appetite for all types of grain bread, so I stay away.

      I’ve started eating bread based in almond and coconut flour, but I worried that my body would somehow metabolise flour like flour. It appears that my body doesn’t mind these flours, but I only know that by experimentation.

    • Davis is disingenuous when he uses the term “genetically modified”.  Every crop that we raise is “genetically modified”, and differs significantly from its wild counterparts — especially fruit, which is far larger, sweeter, more palatable, and easier to eat than its wild counterparts.  (Compare a wild banana to what we’re used to eating, for example: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/eb/Inside_a_wild-type_banana.jpg ).  Millennia of selective breeding has that effect.  (Note that this isn’t a recent phenomenon; an apple eaten in 1912 is as “unnatural” an organism as an apple eaten in 2012.)  This doesn’t mean that these foods are bad for you.  On the contrary, they’re better suited for your consumption.

      By all means, eat spelt or rye — but eat it because you like it, not because it’s somehow less “artificial” than wheat.

    • Fruit is mostly sugar. If you go vegetarian, you have to stick to vegetables, seeds and those nuts which you aren’t allergic to.

  94. should i completely cut out wheat or can i eat it in moderation

    • I recommend that you experiment. I read an interview with this author who claimed that cutting wheat 80% gives one only 20% of the benefit, and that cutting it out completely was necessary to derive the benefits. I decided to try it on myself before judging.

      I have had only traces of wheat in the past 4 months. I don’t know whether it alone makes a big difference to me, but I don’t really miss it, so I don’t plan to have any until I really begin to want it. At that time, I’ll experiment with eating wheat again and measure the results.

  95. Low carb diets cause water loss as you deplete your body of glycogen (liver and muscle).
    People on the biggest loser are also exercising which contributes to weight loss. 10lbs in 2 weeks is most likely water weight. But keep up the healthier eating anyways as your body will start metabolizing fat for fuel. Obese people do not typically need to compensate their exercise calorie burn with more food… So be sure to exercise! (ie. When lean people exercise they tend to get hungrier than obese people).

    Dietitian Jo

  96. From what i can read here….bread is no longer an option…what are we to feed our children for lunch any more….apparently sandwiches are bad..crackers are bad so no soup…we are told by school that lunches are to be easy and good for you

    THIS IS RIDICULES……Bread and Bread products such as crackers have been around for over 100 years…but obesity in children is in the last few years…..Fast food…inactivity…technology…etc…is one of the many problems

    I have 2 children 1 a teenager…one in kindergarden…neither overweight

    Each day my kids get two snacks which consist of 2 vegs/fruit and a ..lunch that  is either a sandwich…roll up…. or left overs

    At dinner 25% is meat/protien 25%  is strach and the remaining is a veg and salad representing 50% of meal

    Balanced meals are key….and no processed foods and/or fast foods

    Healthy options are always important…but labelng a food bad (ie:Bread) is not beneficial….there are many heathy attributes to many foods that peopleare not aware of….for example fiber in whole grain foods is very important..as one example

    Education in food is much more important than the does and donts

  97. Ugh… I’m so freaking hungry. Here in W. Texas, anything healthy is treated as the Great Satan. Mass produced GMO foods are nearly ALL you can find anywhere- even small “farmers” here prefer to grow Monsanto crops with roundup. I know, I’ve worked with a few that talk about the seed buying process for their small farms. These proud locals have thus far run out three small businesses dedicated to selling truly healthy food, in order to support the big grocers they perceived as “integral” to the local economy. In other words, dumbass redneck kids who don’t really need the money like to work together in big grocery stores during Summer break. Healthy living and critical thinking are considered “faggy” here.

    • I feel your pain. i cringe every time I’m forced to scan the isle of a supermarket because farmers markets ,at least we have one, are slowly becoming less crowded with farmers, and now is only open one day a week. i could cry!

  98. I found this article to be nothing more than an opinion, rather than a actual study done to prove anything. Rice is modified. What about spuds? Low carb diets are ridiculous (atkins).  A balanced diet is the key to anything – just keep to the simple basics based on the food guide and make slight adjustments based on activity levels, i.e. you likely need more protein if you do muscle training (not less of everything else mind you).

    That said: I have not tried to substitute my wheat for spuds and rice totally yet and this article has led me to at least give that a shot and see first hand.

  99. “If there’s all this evidence, why does the government encourage us to “eat healthy” by upping our consumption of whole grains?”

    Simple. Because the grain industry spends lots and lots of money lobbying the government to promote its product. Read Food Politics by Marion Nestlé. She talks about why the food pyramid looks he way it does, because The Department of Agriculture is full of former industry executives who are more interested in helping the grain industry than on public health.

  100. Like I read all your comments and I see the people who mostly talk shit about wheat were overweight sacks of lazy shit.  Who just ate whatever they felt and now when they stop it’s wheat all the way that caused the problem.  What about people in the middle east and people back in the day who mostly ate meat and wheat? Why are they not fat and have all these conditions?  You people are retarded.  Get some nutrition knowledge and chemistry knowledge.

    • being fat in the middle east, for a very long time, was seen as a good thing, especially if you were a woman. and many people who ate mostly meat and wheat historically were also farm laborers. burning 1800 calories a day in the most intense heat on earth, while in poverty, so you may not have always had enough meat and wheat, would probably have kept most people from obesity.
      oh it also killed them before age 50.

  101. I found myself at a party talking to 4 girls, all in our 50’s. What did we all have in common, auto immune disorder and rhuematoid arthritis. Why are so many people in their fifties sick? I am sure it started with Betty Crocker and Hamburger Helpers when we were kids. I fed my dog some table scrapes about 6 years ago and down she went in a seizure. We are raising our kids on scarey foods. My dog was my canary,it was usually MSG related. But in my search for a painfree life,after the doctor prescribed me Methotrexate,I found a blog that strongly suggested starch free. I tried it…total starch free.I use iodine test if I am not sure. I am pain free, never took the meds. I lost over 20 pounds. I never feel blotted,sleep apnea ended totally. I cant say I have a clean bill of health.I have a sedrate in the upper 60’s I was sure with no starch it would go down. Not yet, but I feel terrific. I hope this helps someone out there.    Here is hoping the post has a spell check, if not ,I am sorry. Sue K

  102. I have tried many different eating and diet practice, as of yet, nothing works. True facts are needed to help but who has the truth? There is all this focus on medical need for protiens, vitamins, omega-3, fruits, veggies, wheats, ect. Who is willing to just be honest for people. Can a person truly eat whatever? Is fast food the killing eating habit? Is organic really better than any grocery store? What really matters?

    • As a general rule, moderation is the best bet.  We need fats.  We need carbohydrates.  We need protein.  An overabundance or deficit of any of these can be harmful.  The amounts of fat and carbohydrates consumed, on average, by North Americans are higher than what we need (and, in some cases, high enough to harm our health), but that doesn’t mean that cutting these things out completely makes any sense.  Quacks who try to oversimplify health into a sound-byte — e.g. “Wheat is evil!” — are, well, quacks.

    • Different things work for different people, and some problems do require medical intervention.

      Even so, the common theme in “what works” tends to be to drastically reduce sugar and processed foods. Eat whole foods. There are arguments about how much in grains, carbohydrates, fruit, meat, fat, and so on, but most people agree that real food with less sugar usually helps.

  103. It drives me nuts when the media elevates a “scientific” story that is totally devoid of any scientific evidence to “newsmaker” status.  A PubMed search on “Davis W [Au] AND wheat” reveals that he has published nothing at all in the scientific literature.  There may be a reason that he’s bypassing scientific peer review and writing a book for popular consumption.

  104. I know this is off topic, but I have heard the same type of info in regards to Whey.  Is it the same idea?

  105. Off topic, but I’ve heard something like this for WHEY too – can anyone shed light on whether or not Whey is good or bad for us in general?

  106. I’m a believer. I just cut wheat out my diet 2 weeks ago. I feel so much better and my appetite 
    decreased so much. Yesterday I flunked and I got dizzy from all the wheat. LOL Today I’m on the mend. I almost cried when I saw this site. Thanks for posting it.

  107. In this Maclean’s interview with cardiologist William Davis, Davis claims that
    wheat is detrimental to human health because of the breeding techniques that have
    changed wheat into a hazardous form. As students at the University of Toronto currently enrolled in a nutrition toxicology course, we believe that this article generates
    a myth about the “evils of wheat” built upon misinformation and correlations that lack
    supporting evidence. Davis presents a significant amount of misleading science. This has
    resulted in misguiding its readers to believe that wheat should not be regarded as beneficial to human health. Gamma irradiation and sodium azide are both methods for inducing genetic mutations into plants and foods. Gamma irradiation is the purported “highly dangerous procedure” Davis alludes to. This procedure is used primarily for the prevention of food agriculture1. Its use has been extensively borne illnesses by killing microbial threats on studied and is highly regulated by various organizations at every level. The potentially harmful free radicals produced as by products after irradiation generally persist for milliseconds or less. Thus there are no significant toxicological concerns with respect to this process. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention2 considers sodium azide a toxin but its specific use for wheat is very limited today2. The chemical can be hazardous in all forms of exposure: ingestion, inhalation, and physical contact, although inhalation of sodium azide is more dangerous than ingestion. Thus the major concern for sodium azide use in agriculture lies in the policies permitting its use and regulation of its levels in food. Canada, a global source of wheat, has strict regulations of pesticide use and mutagenesis methods in agriculture3. Not only are there international laws in place, but also Canada has federal regulations dictated primarily by the Pest Control Products Act on pesticide use3. Provincial or territorial governments have the jurisdiction to impose more policies pertaining to sales, dosage and other uses of the pesticide but only if they are stricter than the federal laws. Consequently, policies and regulations are in place at every level to ensure the safety of food, and specifically wheat, and that international need and commodity is being preserved.

    It is clear that Davis is providing his information out of context, especially in

    regards to amylopectin being the main fat producing component of wheat. While it is
    true that wheat contains amylopectin A, it is important to note that amylopectin is the
    main component in the majority of starches eaten everyday, including rice, cereal grains
    and potatoes4. Since amylopectin is a starch, it is simply made up of glucose and is
    subsequently converted into blood sugar and used as energy5. Davis alludes to some
    pretty severe adverse effects after consuming wheat products with amylopectin, such as
    shakiness or a foggy brain feeling. However, thousands of people eat toast and other
    wheat products for breakfast and lunch everyday without experiencing adverse effects. Moreover, recent studies show that a diet containing starch can actually lead to a significant decrease in body weight and fat mass6. One study found body weight and fat
    mass decreased significantly on a starch diet whereas no changes were observed on a
    fat or sucrose diet6. Another study concluded that participants in both high starch and
    high simple carbohydrate diets lost weight during the trial6. It is clearly evident that
    many studies support the intake of whole grain products.

    Davis claims that eating wheat causes obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
    However, the results of both short-­‐ and long-­‐term studies have not demonstrated a correlation between wheat consumption and weight gain in neither human nor animal subjects. Canada’s food guide,
    developed by Health Canada, recommends grain products to individuals of all ages.  Moreover, wheat contains carbohydrates such as resistant starches that are associated with reduced risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, compared to soft drinks that contain high amounts of fructose6. Furthermore, Canada’s food guide, developed by Health Canada, recommends grain products to individuals of all ages. These recommendations range from 3 food guide servings for children aged 2 to 3 years old to 6-­‐8 servings for adults aged 19 to 50 years7. Clearly, wheat does not cause the adverse effects that Davis alluded to if we are encouraged to include it in our daily diet. 

    In conclusion, Davis made the above exaggerated claims as scaring tactics for his own

    financial gains by promoting the sales of his book, Wheat Belly. His book blames wheat

    as the cause of all evils and thus promotes a wheat-­‐free diet for its readers. However, it

    is important to remember that wheat has been consumed all over the world for

    hundreds of years and that it is an essential component of a balanced diet.
    Nutrition Myth Busters Team

    References: 1. Goldman R and Shields P. (2003). Food Mutagens. J. Nutr, 133 (3): 965S-­‐973S
    2.Mahmoud and Al-­‐Twaty. (2006). Effect of gamma irradiation and sodium azideon some economic traits in tomato. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, 13 (1): 44-­‐49
    3.3. Project Status by Crop -­‐ Minor Use Pesticide Projects. Agriculture and Agri-­‐Food

    Canada. Retrieved March 3, 2012 from: http://www4.agr.gc.ca/AAFC-­‐

    4. Canadian Diabetes Association. Available at: http://www.diabetes.ca/. Accessed

    February 2012.

    5. European Food Information Council. Available at:

    <http://www.eufic.org/article/en/expid/basics-­‐carbohydrates/. Accessed

    February 2012.

    6. Aller EE, Abete I, Astrup A, Martinez JA, van Baak MA. 2011. Starches, sugars,

    and obesity. Nutrients 3(3):341-­‐369.

    7. Health Canada. Canada’s Food Guide. Retrieved March 11, 2012, from


    • THANK YOU for some legitimate information, and a nice counter to the hype!

  108. I had digestive problems–including very painful and life-disrupting IBS–that were out of control. So in the fall of 2011, went to see a naturopath. Among other things, she took me off wheat for three months and I noticed several improvements right away: 1. not nearly as much intestinal gas and bloating; 2. no diarrhea; 3. arthritic inflammation in my joints went way down; 4. in 6 weeks, I lost 10 pounds. Nowadays, I eat mostly sourdough bread and breads made of other grains like spelt, kamut, rye and barley. But when I do cheat and eat something wheat-based–and particularly if it’s made with white flour–I suffer again from my old symptoms–gas, bloating, cramps and diarrhea. Before this experience, I thought that all this stuff about wheat  intolerance was garbage and that it was just a preppy trend celebrities like to propogate. After all, wheat and bread have been staples of the human diet from the time of ancient humanity, and are prevalent in the diets of every culture on earth in some form or other. However, after this experience, I would have to agree that there is substance to Dr. Davis’ arguement. That’s what the tampering of human beings has done, not only to wheat, but to many other parts of the human food chain. So much for playing God–look where it’s gotten us. We’re poisoning ourselves to death!!

  109. This guy loses all credibility right off the top when he evokes the Frankenfood boogeyman. We don’t reject good sources of nutrition because we can imagine a scenario where they are dangerous. We reject them if we have evidence that leads us to believe they might be dangerous, and none such exists for genetically modified wheat. His comments about sodium azide are ludicrous. If people were being poisoned by toxic levels of sodium azide, I think someone might have noticed. Toxicity is about dose, not the substance. Water is fatal, given a sufficiently high dose.

    As for wheat in general, he’s wildly overstating his case. Wheat is perfectly healthy to eat but, like any high-carbohydrate food, can be fattening if its consumed in an unbalanced way and without exercise. The bit about LDL ignores the fact that genetic predisposition is a much stronger predictor of atherosclerosis and heart disease than any particular diet choice. He totally misuses the NIH findings. Lots of foods create neurotransmitters that bind to pleasure receptors – that’s why we like eating.

    Good work getting press coverage for your book, Dr. Davis. Hope you are sleeping OK.

  110. After 65 years of eating wheat and wheat products, I have discovered that my body is allergic to wheat. I have a severe respriatory attack – my lungs and sinuses fill up with mucus when I ingest wheat – eg. bran flakes. My body finally had enough and said stop eating the stuff that is making you sick. I have been wheat free for three weeks and have lost 15 pounds of jelly belly and feel great.

  111. Frankenwheat-Isn’t our Gov’t supposed to protect us…

  112. Really? This is getting any respect at all? The government basically conspiring with the food industry to addict us to wheat? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Let’s see the research.

    Oh, and a cardiologist? Means nothing. He’s not a researcher, and just because he’s a doctor doesn’t mean he’s immune to woo-ism.

  113. Wheat & its byproducts, like soy, are in everything. The wheat and soy industries have hijacked our food supply. We are fat and sick like our grandparents never could imagine. I eliminated soy 2 months ago and just threw out all my wheat and flour. It’s tedious and time consuming to hunt for alternatives but once you know what to look for, it’s easy.

  114. I cut wheat products out of my diet at Easter, and I’ve lost fifteen pounds. I am also diabetic, and my blood sugar has improved tremendously. The joint inflammation that I was developing is gone, and I have more energy. Lose the wheat, and lose the weight is working for me and my wife. What can you eat? We don’t feel deprived. There are gluten free cookbooks out there. We even found a gluten free bakery that we love.

  115. Another quack doctor with bad science.

  116. i can’t stand trash tabloid tricks and i have a serious problem with this doctor’s methodology. he said “If you eliminate wheat from your diet, you’re no longer hungry between meals because you’ve stopped that cycle. You’ve cut out the appetite stimulant, and consequently you lose weight very quickly. I’ve seen this with thousands of patients.”

    so… just because he’s seen this with “thousands of patients”, that means it extrapolates to the hundreds of thousands of ppl he hasn’t seen because they don’t have a problem?

    i eat limited wheat myself (i try to stay away from starchy carbs in general) because i don’t like how it affects me – i get tired, groggy, dizzy, and craving more – but that doens’t mean i should impose my diet choice on the many ppl i know who have no trouble eating wheat and are slim and healthy.

    • Sadly, it sometimes takes trash tabloid tricks to get people to pay attention. I don’t like it, either.

      I strongly agree with your stance: look for theories you’re willing to give a chance to, experiment, pay attention to the results, keep what works and ditch what doesn’t.

  117. show me one….just one vegan that is over weight!!! They eat almost 100% carbs and typically a low fat diet as well. The fat you eat is the fat you keep!

  118. He lost me when he compared wheat to cigarettes.

  119. Here’s a “book-writer” – not so much a Doctor – trying to get rich and famous writing a book!! Eating too much whole wheat might be unwise for some people – but on the average & in moderation is ‘good’ for you. Too much jam or cheese whiz on the toast is
    where much of the damage is done!
    When this book-writer states that free-range eggs are good for you he hasn’t done any
    research on eggs. Omega 3 eggs are the healthy eggs – cutting down on cholesterol.
    And – was organic beef from 20 years ago better than organic beef of today? He makes
    it sound that way!!?
    Get some facts before you write your next book ‘doctor’.
    If there was no wheat to eat in this world – 25% of the population would starve to death –
    now there’s a fact.

    • um, do the research. Cholesterol isn’t the culprit and nor is fat…it’s the carbs, and the bread is the worst culprit because people think its so good! And I think the cardiologist is making sufficient money.

      • If he was a real good cardiologist – he would have many patients – and would have no time to write a book!

        • Yes, because nobody has ever taken time out from their career to write a book.

    • Your last point is absolutely true: wheat is what you eat when you have nothing else to eat. It will keep you alive. Just like urine is the last thing you drink when you have no potable water. It will keep you alive.

      People who can afford not to eat wheat should experiment with not eating wheat; many (most?) will find health benefits. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support that.

      As for trying to get rich and famous writing a book — what’s new about that?

  120. I’ve struggled with weight my entire life! I was only diagnosed wheat/glutten intolerant 7 years ago although the symptology was present when I went to kindergarten with a bowl of cereal and vitamin pill. They put it down to bad nerves and gave me medicine.
    It ultimately took me to my third hematologist who questioned why with iron infusions my iron remained so low.
    My question: I”m having such difficulty staying away from it because I get soooooooo hungry! Insatiably hungry! I recently lost 35 pounds. It just came off but now I’m in a starving cycle and its coming back. Help!

    • protein will always keep you from getting too hungry, chicken, fish, eggs!

  121. Check out comments on Amazon for the book ‘Wheat Belly”.. In there some folks explain how they changed their diet and lost weight easily/quickly by giving up wheat.. One person actually included about 5 detailed entries, over a year’s time, detailing what he did and the amazing changes in his body—due to giving up wheat. [Also explains what he eats now etc. etc….popular info as many comments were added by others over the year etc.]. I read this info as I was buying The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr. Hyman …[saw him on PBS special…amazing as well]…Anyway, WHO KNEW..that although not a GMO, wheat just isn’t the grain it used to be…so sad eh?

  122. Well my new ortho said to ditch the wheat… he also said ditch the statins I take for my cholesterol… well it has been around 4 weeks.. it is expensive to eat right and find good food, it does work as I can now walk normally and climb steps, 5 months ago I was told by 2 other ortho docs I needed total knee replacements at 51 years old.. I dropped around 10 lbs, no longer bloated feeling, my total cholesterol when from 181 to 173 with no drugs now, my sugar went from spikes of 141 to 107-120. Energy is way up, strength in legs and arms is way better…

  123. I have been saying for many years that the plant we call wheat is not healthy, bred to be high yield, addictive and forms concrete in our intestines (
    forms wheatpaste which is glue), among other negative side affects. As a child I could eat it, then by the 70’s only if it was from another country and now it seems all wheat flour is the same overly hybrid plant. Stay away from it completely and log what happens to you. Get muscle tested for it (kinesiology) Then when you have the facts that you created, about what is happening to your body, make your own decision about the common wheat plant. (
    Triticum aestivum L.)

  124. I am a type 2 diabetic. A couple of years ago, medications no longer did the trick for me, I had to start using insulin like a type 1. This past Easter my wife convinced me to drop wheat from my diet. (In general I replaced it with rice, and increased my potato consumption.) In a matter of 3 days it was obvious that I needed to cut down on the insulin (waking in the night with sugar lows, etc.) Within 2 weeks I completely dropped my fast acting insulin. By the time the dust settled, I had reduced my slow acting insulin by 50%. I’ve lost 35 pounds, not so much by dieting as by not being so darn hungry — cravy.

    I’m a real guy, it works for me.

  125. Just want to point out that gamma irradiation does not cause the food to become radioactive and the chemical changes that may result have thus far been found harmless despite rigorous testing (as the changes are most likely negligible). If you understand how radiation interacts with matter you will understand this. Also, white bread is nutritionally useless. People should either replace the white bread in their diets with wheat (pref. whole grain), or stop eating bread all-together. And wheat is not “less of a bad thing,” it is more nutrients. Telling people to “eat more wheat” means telling to replace white flour with wheat so that the nutrients of wheat is now in their diet, not simply to eat more. We all know portion size is a huge part of the obesity epidemic. So if wheat bread is as addicting as Davis claims, I guess many Americans should stop eating bread altogether.

  126. I kicked wheat, felt tremendous. Then lapsed back into it and felt the bloat, joint pain, and sluggishness. Put weight back on too. Time to kick again.

  127. This article + comment section is like one big giant plug for a raw vegan diet! :) – probably the most amazing lifestyle change I’ve ever made – And as a foodie I can say it is A+ – I’ve never once felt “deprived”

  128. he looks fleshy to me, doesn’t work for him

  129. you can get all the protein you need from vegetables you do not need to eat meat if you do not want to.

  130. I found your article most informative and interesting. I feel I must have been so ‘uneducated’ and foolish not to have cottoned-on earlier. It makes life feel so surreal!

  131. I’ve been wheat free for 6 months and I feel great. My chronic headaches are gone and my abdomen is more slender. No complaints here.

  132. WOW! I’ve had some issues the past several months that have now gone away after I stopped eating wheat and products containing wheat. My weight has dropped, I’m sleeping at night, I have more energy, I’m getting up earlier, my (high) blood pressure is going down and I don’t miss having breads, pastas or any of those other products containing wheat.

    I’ve been introduced to a whole new world of flours one can use in baking and I’ve made all the family favorite Christmas cookies and treats with some of these beautiful new found flours and every recipe has turned out to be incredibly delicious. I’m so looking forward to making breads.

    I’m at the end of my 3rd month with no wheat… I’m excited and looking forward to the rest of my healthy life. I wish everyone health and happiness…

  133. I agree that today’s wheat contributes to obesity. To experiment, I avoided wheat for one day, and ate anything else I wanted, even sugar, and lost 5 lbs – in one day! The problem is, wheat/bread/pasta is such a staple in our western diet – I grew up on that stuff and it is ALL I KNOW. It is everywhere, in every fast food restaurant, in every processed food item and with our busy working lives, we are now a society of convenience food eating. None of that is going to change. Telling people to avoid wheat isn’t a solution. It is all around us and unavoidable – making it too difficult for the individual to completely avoid on their own for any length of time. This Wheat Belly book is just like every other fad diet book – a quick sell that doesn’t actually help anyone. If there is actual scientific evidence that this frankenwheat contributes to the obesity epidemic and chronic diseases, then the government needs to step in and demand healthier options for people. Too much of our food has been ruined by factory farming techniques motivated by irresponsible capitalism. People need to demand that safe, healthy food be made available and affordable, everywhere. What is the definition of healthy food? Organic, grass-feed beef, free-range chicken and eggs, organic fruit and vegetables, low-GI grains and legumes. This is what the Canadian staple foods should be and they should be readily available to everyone (even in our fast-food society), regardless of their bottom line.

  134. As a GP in the Netherlands I advocate the Paleo diet to my obese and Diabetic patients; no bread, pasta etc. The results are stunning and reading “the evils of wheat” as well as “opening Panora’s breadbox” by Sayer Ji makes me confident that I’m giving the correct advice.

  135. let’s dispell a few ‘truths’ in the comments below: Red meat is NOT unhealthy….Too much is. Red meat is higher in cholesterol that fish or foul, but since we only get about 10-15% of our cholesterol from food, a normal amount won’t affect you. Also red meat contains protein and iron which we need. And about the lactose comment, we can digest lactose! Lactose is found in ALL milk, including breast milk, goats milk and others. Our digestive system creates an enzyme “Lactase” which helps us digest lactose. Those who are lactose intolerant produce less lactase and therefore have trouble digesting lactose. Wheatbelly isn’t saying wheat (in its natural form) is bad for us, he is saying the type of wheat grown today – to satisfy the demands of society – has been altered and isn’t healthy.

    As far as what we can and should eat: Try not eating processed foods for a few weeks. Pure veggies, fresh meat, fish and cut back or cut out the bread.

  136. To add to my previous post, his book isn’t just about losing weight. You can be unhealthy and not overweight. If you read the finer points throughout this nutrition and health guide, he mentions several times that its not only about being overweight.

    • Or you can be like me, 35 pounds overweight and still one of the healthiest people around, despite eating healthier than 95% of the population. I’ve about given up ever losing it without surgery.

  137. I cut out wheat one month ago and I’ve dropped 23 pounds!!!! Also, my migraines have vanished and for the first time in three years I did not suffer PMDD (to a suicidal degree) through my monthly cycle. My husband, who was more or less forced to cut wheat because I do the cooking, has dropped 15 pounds and no longer needs to nap for two hours after work.
    Call it anecdotal, call it placebo… I don’t care what you choose to call it, for me it has absolutely changed my life. I will never ever touch wheat again.

  138. All this mental energy devoted to what’s going into our mouths seems to be the height of American navel-gazing. I live by Julia Child’s advice: everything in moderation.

    • I agree but I also acknowledge the points made about the *quality* of modern wheat. I see no reason to consume toxins in moderation when they should actually be minimized as much as possible.

  139. I don’t eat bread, pasta, fruits, meat, beans, cheese, corn, peas, sugar, poultry, white rice, potatoes, no condiments except tobasco…and no cereals….either to much sugar, to much bran or wrong fiber….or suffering animals. Brown rice is excellent !!! Fish is excellent (attention for mercury though…and don’t eat farm raised)…protein shakes and organic free range eggs…zucchinis, sweet patatoes, asparagus, spinich, perrier water, etc. The rest make me feel boated, tired and gives me acne…especially fruits (which they taste awful, full of pesticides and expensive and useless…it will prevent you from losing weight). People don’t believe my age. You need to eat about the same 10 foods. If you buy the best of the best of those 10 foods, you will be able to afford it. Lose the crackers (should be put in the fridge) and all the expensive spices and condiments, mayonaise and crap. You will be muscular and thin

  140. What we can eat: lots of healthy meat, fats, oils, nuts vegetables and fruit is what one can eat. This is the opposite of what we have been told about fat and oil and ‘whole grains’ so it is quite a shock!

  141. Wheat is evil. Dairy is evil. Meat is evil. Thank krist on a popsicle stick for kale and plums!

  142. “Everyone said, ‘No one will pay a premium for those.”

    Just look what,-even poor! -, people pay for cell phone plan. Is there a bigger insanity? How about $4-$5 for Starbucks drinks?

    A few years back I would by apples above $.6 … Then comes Whole Foods and shows the way. Now you cannot find apples below $1.30

    People will pay.

    • Ooops, sorry. I would not by apples above $.6 ….

  143. Okay, so wheat is bad for us. What about people who are growing heirloom varieties of wheat that haven’t been hybridized by the wheat industry? Are these products going to cause the same rise and fall in blood sugars?
    Also, there are many other whole grains that people eat; oats, barley, spelt, rye along with various kinds of rice. Should be wary of these products,too?

    • wheat like rice is an essential storage grain for emergencies. heirloom would be ideal but in general it is not great for maintaining a healthy weight and fitness. A diet high in fats and proteins is ideal for this despite all the false propaganda about how eggs are bad because they have cholesterol. That is like saying all carbs are bad or if we eat fats we get fat and if we eat mostly proteins we get muscles. All false.

  144. Silly man…companies are putting wheat into products because of the demand for it. And not because we are addicts demanding more wheat!! Whole wheat lowers blood sugars, is high in fiber, is filling and helps me lose weigjt.

  145. When you strictly minimize your carb intake with a proper high fats and high protein diet you will naturally move away from processed carbs and white wheat flour because of the desire to maximize your enjoyment of the few carbs you are allowed. If all you can have are 30 grams or 50 grams per day and you blow them on a big “empty” piece of cake you will very quickly choose not to repeat that mistake in favor of a large salad of celery and zucchini and tomato slices with some yogurt/kefir with fruits and nuts or chocolate milk Mmmmm

  146. I started the Wheat Belly diet 8 weeks ago because my family doctor told me I was close to pre-diabetic (my brother has it, father had it [passed away] and two cousins were killed by diabetes). I not only dropped 15 pounds, I feel much more energetic, alert, sleep better, and have no more reflux. I’m staying on it at least 6 more months and plan to see my physician in January for another blood test to see if there is medical improvement.

  147. Why does he looks so fat…..?

  148. That is the biggest load of bs I have read in a long time, human beings have been eating wheat since the beginning of time.

    • but the wheat eaten today is nothing like the wheat they ate even 50 years ago. its been so manipulated its a totally different crop.

      • My husband eats tons of wheat, corn, and rice, with beans, black beans, red beans,etc. and other legumes. A little bit of meat once in a while, eggs, milk and is skinny as a rail and has perfect blood sugars.

  149. Dr. Davis,
    What should I eat to keep my stomach full rather than wheat?

  150. is there somewhere we can buy or grow wheat seeds that haven’t been genetically modified? we have a farm and would like to grow our own wheat. it’s pretty scary to eat the kind of wheat the government is telling us is good.

  151. i’ve read many of the comments, and i’d say most of the commenters haven’t read the article.

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  154. In other words, we can only eat leafy greens without any dressing. Yeah, right.

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