In this eight-part video series I interview cardiologist Dr. William Davis MD, author of Wheat Belly, one of the most popular health books of the decade. Learn how wheat sensitivities, wheat intolerance, and wheat allergies impact your body and lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic inflammation, and skin disorders. Dr. Davis has since gone on to write Wheat Belly Total Health, Wheat Belly Cookbook and Wheat Belly 30 Minutes (or less!) Cookbook.
Dr. William Davis reveals that his decision to stop eating wheat didn’t occur overnight. In fact, his personal experience in college, his startling blood sugar and triglyceride levels on a low-fat vegetarian diet, and his patients’ remarkable results all informed his decision to cut out wheat.
Compared to other common, everyday foods, whole wheat products are high on the glycemic index. In other words, wheat consumption significantly raises blood sugar. Unfortunately, repetitive high blood sugar is inflammatory. When Dr. Davis’ patients eliminated wheat from their diet not only were they able to lower their blood sugar, but he found that people consistently reported weight loss. Even more impressive, conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory problems, inflammatory bowel disorders, mood disorders, and food cravings drastically improved or were eliminated. These remarkable results led Dr. Davis to ask why.
Dr. Davis discusses why Health Canada’s Food Guide is unnatural and explains to me why wheat is the perfect provoker of inflammation. He discusses the fact that the gliadin protein and its breakdown products increase intestinal permeability and leads to inflammatory and immune responses, even in people without Celiac disease. (1) He also notes that wheat germ agglutinin (2) is a potent bowel toxin and talks about how consuming wheat alters bowel flora, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems and yeast overgrowth.
While he recognizes that we may want to whip up mock grain-containing comfort foods during the holidays or on special occasions with fun, whole food recipes, Dr. Davis certainly doesn’t believe that there is any room for commercial imitations. In this video he explains which ingredients in pre-packaged gluten-free foods disrupt blood sugar and raise insulin beyond imaginable levels.
These are the four ingredients Dr. Davis cautions against: potato starch, tapioca starch, rice flour, cornstarch.
Starch is a complex carbohydrate used by plants to store energy. It’s made up of long chains of sugar molecules. Starchy foods such as oats, corn, potatoes, and wheat make up a large part of the Western diet, but all starch isn’t created equally. Whole beans and sweet potatoes are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, while rice flour and tapioca starch have been stripped of any beneficial nutrient-rich and fiber-rich parts in processing and raise blood sugar more quickly.
Beyond the issue of gluten, gliadin and agglutinin, the grains of grasses (wheat, spelt, oats, rye, etc) can spike your blood sugar. This componds the effects of the grains and contributes to some of the leading diseases in the world today.
For more information on the importance of keeping your blood sugar balanced, click here
In this video Dr. Davis gives a list of recommendations to heal the gut from the use of grain. A change in diet is the first step on the road to healing but there are other supplements that we can use to repair and regenerate tissue. High dose probiotics
, Omega 3s
, Vitamin D
...these are products that I use with my clients everyday!
Dr. Davis claims that "...if the grain discussion was about nothing else but autoimminuty, that alone would be a huge issue." Dr. Davis goes on to speak about the work of Dr. Alessio Fasano, a medical doctor and author of 'Gluten Freedom
'. Dr. Fasano is a world-renowned celiac expert and director of the Center for Celiac Research & Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children. He explores topics from the myths being spread about celiac disease to the search for markers of gluten sensitivity, how research is zeroing in on the gut “microbiome” and the center’s ground breaking work into celiac disease prevention.
Dr. Davis speaks about the development of bowel permeability from consuming various grains and how that can lead to multiple food sensitives to otherwise healthy foods.
Check back soon for more videos...
1. de Punder, K. and Pruimboom, L. (2013). The dietary intake of wheat and other cereal grains and their role in inflammation. Nutrients. 5(3): 771-87. Available here
2. Pellegrina, D., Perbellini, O., Scupoli, M.T. et al. (2009). Effects of wheat germ agglutinin on human gastrointestinal epithelium: Insights from an experimental model of immune/epithelial cell interaction. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. 237(2): 146-53. Available here