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Wheat Belly - Livin' the Good Life

Apr. 12th, 2012

10:06 am - Wheat Belly

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Part of the instructions my Naturopathic doctor gave me regarding diet was to "keep doing what you are doing." There has been some speculation around our house that eliminating grains might contribute to malnutritian. Aren't grains a part of a well-balanced diet? I grew up believing that bread was a staple of life and necessary for good health. Besides, it tasted so good!! Like most kids, I ate it every day.
William Davis, MD, a cardiologist, has a whole different point of view, and he lays it out in his book WHEAT BELLY. A "wheat belly" looks no different from a "beer belly". A large, protruding belly is a wheat belly. Technically, it's too much "visceral fat", meaning the abdomen and all its organs are stuffed and surrounded by fat. The author claims that wheat is the culprit. He says that the wheat that is grown today is genetically very different from the wheat grown 60+ years ago. He claims that eating today's wheat is the cause, or at least contributes to, many serious health problems like: heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and gastrointestinal diseases like celiac disease. I can swallow this, because in my case my belly swelled up and hurt when I ate bread. In fact, ANY grain seemed to do that to me. When I stopped eating grains a year ago, my daily stomach aches all but vanished. Very compelling.
The author claims that people who can not seem to lose weight do so very easily when they cut out wheat. Though my goal was not to lose weight but to improve my digestion, I lost 15 pounds effortlessly with the elimination of grains. He says that wheat has an addictive quality (comparing it to nicotine) that makes it hard for some people to give up without a lot of anguish. It was not hard for me, as the absence of pain was very motivating.
One thing I found interesting was that he brought up the very true observation that people in the 50s and before were slimmer. Look at old family photos and you will rarely see an obese person. TV shows from the 50s showed all slim adults and children, with an occasional slightly chubby person who was seen as unusual and often made fun of for it. Look at the people on TV today and compare. The author said to go out in public and really notice how many overweight people there are. I did it the other day at the market. I was shocked to observe that almost everybody was carrying a "spare tire". Almost EVERYBODY! Sit outside a school as it lets out for the day, and look for the same thing. So many young adults and children, at the prime of their lives, are noticably overweight. (I don't remember overweight children in my schools in the 50s. In the 60s, during high school, I remember a handful.) The author believes that wheat is the cause.
I highly recommend this book. I learned SO much. For 266 pages of fascinating details, check it out!


Date:April 13th, 2012 04:37 pm (UTC)
I use wheat as a sleeping pill. If I can't relax and go to sleep, I will eat some cereal or bread and I usually go to sleep right after. I think it also explains how I use to HAVE to take a nap right after lunch (since I use to eat sandwiches everyday.) This is not good and I'm finally after all these years seeing the correlation. So I have cut way back. Does this book give ideas on how to eat, not just what to give up? Are all grains just as bad? I still eat my oatmeal every morning.

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Date:April 13th, 2012 05:13 pm (UTC)
According to the author, all grains have the potential to cause problems, even oats. But, wheat is the main culprit. Yes, the book definitely steers you toward an alternative diet and gives grain-free recipes using nuts and seeds in place of grains. He even has a pizza recipe using cauliflower as the crust. I'm going to try it.
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