Saturday, February 23, 2013

Book Review: Wheat Belly

Wheat Belly takes a comprehensive, witty examination of the effects of wheat on the human body. The author, William Davis MD, is a preventive cardiologist and begins the book by reviewing the history of wheat and it's relationship to primitive and modern man. He relates that modern wheat is far removed from the wheat our ancestors first cultivated thousands of years ago.

Today's wheat has been altered by intensive hybridization to provide processed food manufacturers the greatest yield at the lowest price. Now this grain has been transformed into an ingredient that causes blood sugar to spike more rapidly than eating pure table sugar. It also has addictive properties that cause the body to cycle through hunger, overeating and fatigue. Dr. Davis exposes the connection between wheat, weight gain and fat buildup in all the wrong places.

I often find non-fiction books will draw me in for one or two chapters and then bore me too much with repetition of the same point to continue. I did not have that problem at all reading Wheat Belly. Each chapter disclosed another piece of the puzzle of wheat which kept my interest.

I was impressed with all the scientific and academic language Dr. Davis used. It was obvious that he wasn't just relating his own conclusions but thoroughly researched each point he made and backed up everything he said. Dr. Davis witnessed over 2,000 patients regain their health after giving up wheat and came to the controversial conclusion that wheat is the single largest contributor to the nationwide obesity epidemic.

The most disturbing things I learned from Wheat Belly:
  • Common wheat, upon digestion, yields polypeptides that possess the ability to cross into the brain and bind to opiate receptors which demonstrates wheat is addictive. 
  • When administered to typical people or people with uncontrollable appetites, opiate-blocking drugs yield reductions in appetite, cravings and calorie intake, as well as dampen mood, and the effect seems particularly specific to wheat containing products. 
  • Wheat is an appetite stimulant so when you go off wheat your appetite stabilizes and there are no more constant hunger pangs. 
  • Wheat is directly linked to many adverse health effects like diabetes, heart disease, immunologic and neurological disorders like celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis and dementia. 

The final chapters of the book offer readers a user-friendly, step-by-step plan to navigate a new, wheat-free lifestyle. Many recipes are listed and a week long sample menu is also included.

My biggest take away from the book- I'm now wheat free and transitioning my family that way as well. It wasn't so long ago I never could have imagined even trying a gluten free diet for a month. After all I've learned about the ill effects of wheat I'm resolved to stay wheat free for the rest of my life.

This post is shared at: Natural Living MondayLiving Green Tuesday
(Note: This post contains referral links. Read my disclosure policy here.)


  1. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing! I've wanted to know a little more about the book.

  2. Hi Nicole, I'm in the middle of reading this book and can't put it down. Just joined your blog and look forward to following you! :)

    Will you join my blog?

    Thank you,
    Angela :)



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