Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health

Author: William Davis, MD
Publisher: Rodale
Date: August 30, 2011

Billed as "a provocative look at how eliminating wheat from your diet can help one to lose weight for good, shrink unsightly bulges and reverse a broad spectrum of health problems," there is one rule with this diet: Eliminate wheat in all forms.

While the book's concept is that the hybridization of wheat is taking its toll on human health in forms ranging from diabetes to neurological conditions, it also recommends avoiding substitutions such as potato flour, rice flour and corn meal because "these too increase the metabolic insulin response." Scientific studies are cited throughout the chapters, but some were in very small subject populations or flawed in design.

The author makes multiple references to dietitians who may not support eliminating an ingredient without medical reasoning to do so, and also states vitamin and mineral supplements are not necessary when "substituting with appropriate foods." However, because there is very little guidance provided about what the author would consider appropriate substitutions, Wheat Belly dieters who don't work with an RD could potentially set themselves up for deficiencies in vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, calcium and vitamin D.

Bottom Line: The first 12 chapters of the book are spent trying to justify why wheat should be eliminated, while only one chapter and a few appendices explain what is allowed on the diet. Theoretically, eliminating wheat, corn, potatoes and these types of starches could lead to weight loss because it would restrict calories and carbohydrates. But it would take a lot of will power (not to mention food creativity) to follow.

Note: A companion Wheat Belly cookbook was released in December.

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