It’s hard to believe all the bad things that can happen to your mind and body when you eat something as seemingly harmless as wheat! If you’re allergic to wheat and gluten, okay, I understand that it can make you sick and possible kill you. But if you’re a regular person (like me) who has been eating wheat your whole life, then it’s another story. Until last year, I’ve been eating wheat regularly without a care in every shape and form – as bread, pasta, cakes, cookies, croutons, etc., etc., etc.
No problemo! Right?
Last year in June after a combined trip to Washington D.C. and New Orleans, I came home with the expected weight gain. It’s a sure thing with me. I go on vacation, I gain weight. Voila! So I decided that it was time (yet again) to lose some pounds, but instead of going on a diet, I decided to give Paleo a try. I’d been reading about it beforehand and it seemed like a pretty good way of eating and living. After all, a lifestyle change is always way better than any diet.
I lasted about a month and a half on Paleo before traveling brought me right back to START! Urgh. Over the fall and winter, I was living the Paleo lifestyle on-and-off, but then December came with more traveling and the HOLIDAYS!
At the turn of the year, I was once again working on finding my way back on track…and that’s when I found the Wheat Belly book.
…and then I read it … and then I felt it!
This is a really great book to read for anyone who’s interested in food, diet, health… The author keeps it pretty light (as light as possible) with catchy chapter titles and anecdotes from his practice as a cardiologist, BUT there are large parts of the book that are pretty tough to get through and LOTS of very hard words to chew your way through…
In any case, it’s a complete book in the sense that you get a complete history of wheat from the early days when wheat as we know it today didn’t even exist, till present time when wheat seems to be everywhere. In the end you also get tips on how to live a wheat-free life and recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts without wheat.
The focus of this book is, of course, on the health hazards and negative effects on your body that come from consuming wheat…and the list is really long.
- Wheat stimulates appetite (page 53)
- Wheat affects the mood (page 44, 51)
- Wheat causes obesity and the “wheat belly” that can lead to diabetes (p. 55)
- Wheat causes high blood sugar that can lead to diabetes (page 62)
- Wheat causes Celiac disease and/or immune-mediated gluten intolerance (page 90)
- Wheat causes acidity and disrupts the body’s pH that can lead to acid re-flux and bone loss (chapter 8, page 116)
- Etc., etc., etc.
In a nut shell, wheat can kill you. That’s the message that the author wants to get through to you and why he’s arguing for the total elimination of wheat.
People who eliminate wheat from their diet typically report improved mood, fewer mood swings, improved ability to concentrate, and deeper sleep within just days to weeks of their last bite of bagel or baked lasagna. Page 44.
Yeah, yeah, yeah…you might say.
Year, yeah, yeah…I said. And then I thought about how I hadn’t had any wheat in the last week or so and that I actually felt pretty good. I know from earlier that eliminating wheat (and all the carbs) causes a nice weight loss, so maybe it’s not all games.
Then a few days ago, when I was sitting at work, someone brought me a chocolate croissant. Although it was a very nice gesture (thank you), I really didn’t want to eat it. Bread is not Paleo and I’m trying to lose weight. It was too big, and I’d just had lunch so I ate about half of it.
…AND THEN IT HIT ME!!!
It was the craziest thing I’ve experienced. Immediately after eating this croissant, I felt like a wave of pain suddenly crept from the back of my scull, across the top of my head to my forehead. I felt pain creeping up the right side of my neck and my shoulders felt tense… and then I got a headache. It felt like every nerve in my head was tightening up, and I spent the rest of the afternoon feeling so bad that I had to take an aspirin as soon as I got home.
WOW! If that’s not a negative effect from eating wheat, then I don’t know what that was.
That experience right there totally convinced me. William Davis, MD – I believe you!
From now on, I am certainly going to do my absolute best to live a wheat free life 🙂