Review: Wheat Belly Book by Amy Dungan

Most of us living the low-carb lifestyle can tell you that wheat isn’t as healthy as mainstream nutritional experts would like us to think. If asked why we believe this, many would say because of the effect wheat has on insulin, not to mention the dangers to those with Celia disease or gluten sensitivities. But there is a surprising side to this debate that I fear too many don’t know about. I learned all about this in the eye-opening book Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis.

Wheat Belly gives us the history of wheat. While that may not sound terribly interesting, I assure you it is, especially if you are concerned about hybridized foods. You’ll learn all about the modifications made to wheat in the last few decades, and how they affect human health. One fact that surprised me was how much insect repellent/weed killer ends up in today’s wheat supply. I was assuming wheat was genetically modified. Turns out I misunderstood the process, so I asked Dr. Davis to clarify. Here’s what he said:

“Wheat was changed employing techniques that were crude, tough to control, less precise than modern genetic modification. In short, wheat was changed using techniques that were far WORSE than genetic modification. That’s how bad this thing is.”

So wheat was hybridized using primitive methods, with the intention of making the wheat supply hardier. Round-Up anyone?

Dr. Davis talks about factors other than gluten that can cause health problems. He lays the groundwork showing us that wheat can effect a variety of bodily functions. From intestinal inflammation to schizophrenia, wheat can contribute to a large number of problems, including an opioid-like physical addiction. Ever hear someone say “But I could NEVER give up my bread!”? That’s because they are addicted. Wheat has unique effects on the brain and nervous system, creating a “high” of sorts. You’ll also learn how wheat stimulates the appetite, not a good thing when you want to lose weight.

Other amazing information in this book includes facts about wheat and pH balance, diabetes, aging and heart disease. Then you’ll get to the really good stuff – how to quit wheat, or as Dr. Davis terms it, a radical wheat-ectomy. He then lays out a nutritional approach to help you improve your health and kick wheat to the curb for good. You’ll find recipes and menu plans as well, always a plus in any book.

I especially like Appendix A, where Dr. Davis shares a list of foods that are the most common wheat offenders. Some foods on that list will surprise you! And where would this book be with out its scientific backing? All us science nerds can happily immerse ourselves in several pages of references, backing up the claims made in Wheat Belly.

Not only is this a very informative, and possibly life-changing book – it’s also well written in Dr. Davis’ unique style. It wasn’t dry at all, which can’t always be said of books on this topic. A must-read for anyone concerned with nutrition.

© 2012 by Send Amy your comments to Amy Dungan.

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