Wheatbelly, the new diet book by William Davis MD, seems to be up there with “50 Shades of Gray” in that everyone and their mother has read it. The back cover screams this startling question in all caps:
“DID YOU KNOW THAT EATING TWO SLICES OF WHOLE WHEAT BREAD CAN INCREASE BLOOD SUGAR MORE THAN 2 TABLESPOONS OF PURE SUGAR CAN?”
I didn’t, that’s for sure. There was a lot I didn’t know about wheat before reading this book.
“No longer the sturdy staple our forebears ground into their daily bread, today’s wheat has been genetically altered to provide processed-food manufacturers the greatest yield a the lowest cost; consequently, this once-benign grain has been transformed into a nutritionally bankrupt yet ubiquitous ingredient that causes blood sugar to spike more rapidly than eating pure table sugar and has addictive properties that send us on a roller coaster of hunger, overeating and fatigue. Dr. Davis sheds light on wheat’s connection to weight gain and fat buildup in all the wrong places, as well as a host of adverse health conditions from diabetes to heart disease to immunologic and neurological disorders like celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and dementia. Finally, he presents a compelling argument for eliminating wheat products from the diet entirely, with strategies for making the transition both simple and permanent.”
The best parts of this book are the case studies that Dr. Davis shares about the miracles that occur when people eliminate wheat from their diets. He talks about Gordon the baker who had starting losing his hair in clumps or Kurt who had a rash on his back for seven years that no doctor could heal. Take them off wheat and Kurt’s rash disappears, and Gordon loses twelve pounds and his hair grows back. Exciting stuff.
Once you’re all jazzed up and ready to become a case study yourself you can dive right in to the recipes he includes. You can make crab cakes, shirataki noodle stir-fry, wheat-free pizza and flaxseed wraps. There are desserts too, everything from apple-walnut ‘bread’ to dark chocolate tofu mousse.
It’s an interesting diet but a hard one to stick to, as there’s bread and wheat everywhere. Following the Wheatbelly path means no BLT’s or Clubhouse sandwiches, no garlic bread or morning toast, no pie or pizza crust, no croissants. But, make the sacrifice and that wheatbelly you’ve been carrying around will disappear, at least according to this book. Something to think about as you crack open another can of beer on the back patio.
Maybe when patio season ends it will be time to switch to red wine and gluten free pizza. Or maybe just hit the gym a few times a week and enjoy your bagel and lox.