'Wheat Belly' Author on Why Going Grain-Free Is the Key to Weight Loss

In the last several years, gluten has become diet enemy number one. Most people are ditching it or trying to reduce exposure to it without really understanding what it is and why they are giving it up. One of the main forces driving people to turn away from grains is  William Davis, MD, a board-certified cardiologist and best-selling author of the Wheat Belly book series. In case you don't know, gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. And with close to half of Americans being classified as diabetic or prediabetic, Davis is now pushing people to not only give up wheat but all grains. Yahoo! Health asked Davis some important questions about this move, here's a bit of what he had to say: INPOST-bread YAHOO HEALTH: Usually cardiologists tell us to eat more whole grains. Why do you think removing wheat and grains from our diets is the healthier move?

WILLIAM DAVIS: Because [some cardiologists] drank the Kool-Aid called “healthy whole grains.” Let me explain: Studies demonstrated that if you replace something bad (white flour products) with something less bad (whole grains) and there is an apparent health benefit — and there is: less weight gain, less heart disease, less Type 2 diabetes, less colorectal cancer — then the conclusion drawn is that a lot of whole grains must therefore be good.

But that is fundamentally flawed logic. The next question should have been: What is the effect of complete elimination of all grains, white and whole? The answers will not be found in those same epidemiological studies, but this question has been addressed in many clinical studies that demonstrate weight loss (not less weight gain), reversal or dramatic improvement of Type 2 diabetes in most instances, reversal of autoimmune conditions, and other benefits....

Sadly, many of my colleagues’ interest in preventing heart disease ends with the statin drugs hawked by pharmaceutical companies who fund and publish their own studies. [Most] primary care doctors and cardiologists do not deliver information that empowers the individual. Incidentally, all the strategies I promote through the Wheat Belly message, such as wheat and grain elimination, vitamin D supplementation, recovery of ideal thyroid status, fish oil supplementation, etc., all came from my efforts to provide people with more effective solutions for heart disease. I have not witnessed a single heart attack in years among the thousands of people who follow these practices, many of them high-risk for heart disease.


You advocate the removal of all grains, but single out wheat as being the most offensive. Why?

When people say they eat plenty of “healthy whole grains,” they typically do not mean eating lots of amaranth. They nearly always mean they eat plenty of wheat products, and then perhaps some corn, oats, and rice, too. Wheat is, by far, the most dominant of grains in the diet. (As much corn is grown as wheat, but much of the corn is fed to livestock to fatten them up.)

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Wheat is also the most offensive of all grains, especially since geneticists and agribusiness began altering the wheat plant. Products made from the high-yield semi-dwarf strains of wheat created in the 1960s and 1970s underwent changes that amplified their adverse health potential. Such semi-dwarf strains are now grown on 99 percent of wheat farms. Foods made from modern wheat exert more negative health effects than other grains, such as appetite stimulation, joint pain and inflammation, skin rashes, autoimmune diseases, high blood sugar and diabetes, and gastrointestinal disruption such as acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome.


Why is weight loss such a common benefit of dropping the wheat?

I call modern wheat the “perfect obesogen”: a food crafted to make you fat. There are several reasons for this:

  • The gliadin-protein-derived opiates stimulate appetite — and the effect can be dramatic, even responsible for food obsessions.
  • Gliadin-derived peptides and wheat germ agglutinin (another protein in wheat and grains) block the satiety hormone leptin that tells you that you’ve eaten enough.
  • The amylopectin A carbohydrate of wheat and grains — which is responsible for rises in blood sugar that exceed that of table sugar — trigger insulin that causes fat deposition and blocks fat mobilization. That, in turn, leads to blood sugar lows perceived as jitteriness, fogginess, and hunger two hours after eating.

To make matters worse, many food manufacturers include wheat in nearly every processed food on the shelf, from licorice to taco seasoning. It is effective at stimulating appetite — you want more, you buy more. Put all these effects together and a lifestyle of eating plenty of “healthy whole grains” is an assured way to gain weight. But, once you come to recognize this, you are now empowered in an extraordinary way to regain control over appetite and weight.

Keeping all that Davis has to say in mind, are you ready to kick grains once and for all? If the answer is yes, and it should be, take a look at the BodyRock Low-Carb Lifestyle E-book. The book will guide through a 14 day plan for change, equip you with 15 wonderful meal ideas and help you understand the adverse ways in which gluten may be impacting your health. But the help doesn't stop there, included are tips on how to make this lifestyle change a lasting one.

Make a change for the better, today! Purchase and download Low-Carb Lifestyle, here.

Have you already given up grains? What changes have you noticed?

Source: Yahoo!Health

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