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

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  14,034 ratings  ·  1,660 reviews
A renowned cardiologist explains how eliminating wheat from our diets can prevent fat storage,
shrink unsightly bulges, and reverse myriad health problems.

Every day, over 200 million Americans consume food products made of wheat. As a result, over 100
million of them experience some form of adverse health effect, ranging from minor rashes and high blood sugar to the unattrac...more
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Rodale Books (first published 2011)
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Why We Get Fat by Gary TaubesGood Calories, Bad Calories by Gary TaubesWheat Belly by William  DavisDr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution by Robert C. AtkinsThe Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Jeff S. Volek
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3rd out of 71 books — 52 voters
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Community Reviews

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Keith Akers
Oh God, do I have to read this? No. I refuse. I don't have time. I'm not angling to be the one to pick through the errors, and write the "definitive refutation." So this isn't a "refutation" of the book or even an indication that wheat may not, after all, contribute to the obesity problem.

Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are real, and they may be more widespread than people realize. I know some vegans who are gluten intolerant and there's even a blog, http://getoffgluten.blogspot.com/ whic...more
Ngaire
I'm so glad I read this book. The science behind it just blew me away (Davis exhaustively footnotes everything). I'm down with the idea that tampering with crops to make them drought resistant and pest resistant and produce higher yields can also make them kinda toxic to humans. I'm willing to try this to reduce my constant fatigue and headaches. Figure it can't hurt. Plus, American bread sucks so much anyway that I don't mind giving it up (honestly, who puts sugar in their bread?). Pasta is goi...more
Laurel
Before reading a book like this I like to check over some of the critical reviews, just for kicks. I'd already purchased it, so after reading the reviews, I was regretting that I bought it. Then I read it. I liked it. A lot.

You may have heard that if you want to know if a book is true, you should put it to the test. I would challenge the critics to do that. I have never gone without whole wheat, and I'm going to put it to the test because I find his information to be credible. I'd like to be inf...more
Daniela
The book The Wheat Belly by William Davis, M.D. should be required reading for everyone in the world.

We've all heard about the No Carbs approach in diets like Atkins, South Beach etc. Efforts have been made to explain and counter arguments about toxidity etc. were made to discredit all of those diets as they were too restricting. So the word of warning right off: Davis agrees with the low carbs recommendation to the extreme. He calls his book The Wheat Belly, as wheat is the widest used and mos...more
Gail Kavanagh
It seems like hardly a day goes by without some new diet scare or conspiracy theory being aired, but every now and then you get both at once, and my brain, for one, does a Homer Simpson – “I’m outta here!”

So is the genetic modification of the humble wheat plant really to blame for the sharp rise in all mankind’s health woes, including diabetes, heart attacks and oh yes, cancer - or is it a conspiracy by drug companies and wheat growers to create an addictive, ubiquitous product that will make u...more
John Stinson
I have a few friends who have gone wheat free and have experienced some positive health benefits so I thought I'd give this a read.

In this book cardiologist William Davis explains how eating wheat leads to a wide range of health issues including digestive disorders, immune problems and yes, schizophrenia ... due to its especially negative effect on the regulation of blood sugar. Wheat was OK a hundred years ago but has been GMO'd beyond recognition. (I just saved you reading the first 200 pages...more
Erin
Let's be honest--I'm going to be in favor of this book because of my point of view. I'm supporting my own (research-free) thesis that wheat is bad for you. And this dude's an MD, he backs up his science with footnotes, the subject interests me, and I've had personal experience giving up wheat in my own life (although I haven't been able to stick with it for long periods, but I eat way less than I used to) and know the positive changes it can have on the body. I read some reviews have called this...more
Lauren
I have long suspected that wheat did not like me as much as I liked it - so, I decided to kick it to the curb for an experiment. This book was the first one I found in my search to back up my assertions, and I learned a lot from it.

Davis is a cardiologist, and the book is filled with stories of patients who gave up wheat under his guidance and have seen complete 180s in their health: people who couldn't walk because of severe arthritis, others who were extremely obese and depressed, and those wh...more
Benjamin Sobieck
As the husband of a diagnosed celiac (not the trendy self-diagnosed kind, the objective and measurable autoimmune reaction to gluten protein kind), I gave this hot book a real chance. After all, we're living in a virtually wheat-free home already (I still eat wheat bread). Bottom line: It takes a decent idea (reducing wheat consumption) and blows it way out of proportion.

To me, there are five main weaknesses to the author's argument:

1) The author's anecdotal evidence. When the patients eliminate...more
Eric
wheat is murder
Sharon
When I began reading Wheat Belly, I had already decided to give up Wheat since I must eliminate it to follow the FODMAP diet (I'll explain that after the review), and wanted to see if this book addressed FODMAP (it doesn't), or what else I could learn about wheat with regard to digestive disorders.

It's tough for me to decide if this book should get two or three stars. It does have some useful information, but it's sandwiched in alarmist-style marketing. The book is also *highly* repetitive. The...more
Melissa
Was this ever painful. I stopped 1/4 of the way through. He should call this the Atkins diet. It's not wheat he has a problem with. It's carbs. He puts most fruits and beans on his be careful list. That kills his credibility right there. And although he has "references", 90% is not referenced and is simply anecdotal. So essentially, based on his theory a vegetarian diet would be bad with all those legumes, whole grains and fruits I guess. Since people following vegetarian diets have much less ri...more
Erica
Fast, fascinating read, and if even half of what he says is right, wow.
I'm inclined to think most of what he says is right because so much of it I directly experienced just a few months before I read it. Perhaps I have a mild wheat allergy that makes my case a good example for him--at least one of my aunts has a life-threatening wheat allergy, so it's not far-fetched.

I started cutting back wheat a few months ago on the advice of another book, and had all the withdrawl symptoms Davis talks about...more
H3dakota
Frankly, I have mixed reactions to this book. It seems to be well researched until you hit the dramatic claims made with no backup. The opening chapters about the history of wheat & how it has been altered over the past 50 years? Fascinating stuff, no doubt. However...

If I read one more time that stopping all wheat consumption would CURE DIABETES, I was going to scream. I agree that changing to a low carb diet & controlling your weight CAN manage type 2 diabetes to the point of potential...more
Tiana Warner
Call it "The Carnivorous Squirrel Diet." I liked the book up until the last chapter. He outlines (perhaps in too much detail) reasonable, scientific evidence to support why a diet free from genetically modified wheat is better for you in every way. While he states that you should cut wheat altogether, I'm going to argue and say that if you eat wheat that has not been genetically modified, you will not suffer these consequences, since the genetic modification is what causes the problems. But I di...more
Faye
What a great start to the year. A month ago if you'd asked me if my little weight problem had anything to do with the wheat I consumed, I'd have said no. About my ongoing exhaustion with little exertion? Of course not.

I started this book on Dec 28 and stopped eating wheat at the same time to see if it made a difference. Felt good - almost instantly deflated half of my muffin top. (Sorry if this is too much information.)

On New Year's Eve, I ate some brie wrapped in croissant pastry. You, know,...more
Andy
I don't know how to square it with the First Amendment, but there ought to be a law that these health/science/diet books have to be reviewed by the FDA or something. I'm not saying they should be censored or banned, but just have some 0-10 quality rating. They are making medical claims and are used like medicines to address health issues, but the average person has no way of telling what is bunk.

Wheat Belly is toward the bunk end. It relies largely on anecdotal evidence (stories about some pati...more
Tiffany Hughes
I had a friend read this and she jumped onto the gluten free bandwagon and had great results so I was looking forward to learning more about the science behind it. This book is motivating but truly only provides over-generalizations, no true research, and just anecdotal evidence. It doesn't delve into other possibilities for obesity but tries to completely blame it on wheat. Guess what folks, a few years ago the fad was to blame corn, before that sugar, trans fats, wheat again (I recall all the...more
Nancy
Mar 11, 2013 Nancy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Recommended to Nancy by: Mary Lynn
Who knew?! Who knew that all I had to do is to cut wheat gluten out of my diet?! On the one hand, Dr. Davis has me convinced that WHEAT = POISON and even though I am not normally a suggestible person, I am now afraid to eat wheat. On the other hand, I feel GREAT, I have lost 4 lbs - a little more than a pound a day and, for the first time in my life since I was a child, my stomach is not bothering me. Really - I was chomping on Rolaids when I was five. This morning, I had grapefruit juice and 2...more
Yasmine Alfouzan
Atkins diet in disguise. Listen, folks, according to this book: you're not ONLY supposed to cut out wheat, nope. You are supposed to cut out all gluten, all gluten-free products (with rice, oat, and all grains basically), most fruits, and anything with carbohydrates (potatoes, corn, beans). Of course you will lose weight, how much meat and fat can you eat in a day?

ASSUMING it's true (it's not, because it's anecdotal and some pseudo science) I will never ever attempt this diet and limit what I lo...more
Roslyn Ross
-The only important piece of information in this book is that we have grossly engineered the wheat plant into something even more toxic than I already knew it was.
-Reading about the history of our cultivation of wheat is interesting. From now on I will only eat older varieties.
-The fatal flaw in this book is that this poor author does not seem to be aware that changing the plant was not the only change we made. Prior to about a hundred years ago, we never ate wheat that had not been soaked/ferme...more
Gary Patton
Mar 25, 2014 Gary Patton rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone interested in not dying earlier than they have to.
Recommended to Gary by: Dr. Gifford-Jones + Bob Simpson & Linda Cooper.
Shelves: wellness
Dr. Davis, the author of this book is a renowned U.S. cardiologist.

Would you believe that modern hybridized wheat is deadly? Did you know that modern hybridized grains are principally responsible for the plague of obesity and insulin resistance in North America?

Can you believe that, after all of the years of healthcare professionals telling us to eat whole grain bread, that it spikes our blood sugar level worse than does white bread?

And if that's not bad enough, there are other dangers that "Wh...more
Pat Herndon
Bait & switch. Someone already wrote this book....Dr. Atkins! Paleo?

I say all of this because this book proposes one premise that is simple and appealing, just quit eating wheat and the pounds will drop off. Lots of us would love to think how wonderful such a simple solution to weight loss could be. And, the book begins with a firm assurance that this is all it takes. But, then the author begins to mention avoiding other starchy foods. By the time he wraps up, he is advising vigorous avoida...more
fleegan
My husband decided to go wheat/gluten-free over a year ago. I didn’t get it. He was never diagnosed with Celiac Disease nor an allergy to wheat. I was kind of mad about it because it seemed to be terribly limiting food-wise. Not only was it inconvenient, but it was more expensive because it pretty much means you can’t have any processed foods. Everyone knows that processed foods aren’t good for you, but they are cheap and convenient.

We both work and have different schedules so the only meal it r...more
Crystal Smith
My mindset when I approached this book was one of skepticism. I am always leery of diets that recommend the complete abandonment of something natural that people have been eating for centuries. At least I had always thought of wheat as natural. According to this author, it is not quite as wholesome as most of us believe.

The apparent disconnect between wheat's healthy reputation and reality is the main thesis of the book. The author argues that wheat has been so transformed by hybridization and g...more
Rosemary Ellis
I am not intolerant to gluten or living with celiac, but am striving to improve my lifestyle and diet, and took a look at this book at the recommendation of a friend. Dr Davis, a cardiologist, basically equates modern wheat / wheat- based products as poison to the human body, capable of not only causing food cravings but of contributing to, if not causing, serious diseases.

Some of what Davis says about wheat seems to make sense. Eating any high-glycemic foods can cause cravings, after all. But...more
B
The first hundred pages of the book were quite interesting and eye opening. Indeed there are a lot of potential downfalls that we as a society have suffered as a result of mass processed wheat. Unfortunately we have to read through almost an additional hundred pages of vilifying wheat before we get to the concrete eat this, not that. I found that second hundred pages rather tedious, I'm already on board and ready to give up wheat, and now you are going to walk me through the complexities of ever...more
helena
Obviously this is a "pop science" book, and having now quit wheat twice and seen marked reductions in my fibromyalgia symptoms, I was already in agreement with the premise when I purchased the book. That said, the book brings to light some fascinating research on the dramatic effects of wheat on the bodies of the MAJORITY of humans.

I do wish that the science and data were presented a bit more concisely, and that there was a bit less of the hyped-up "OMG PANIC" language. But it's still fascinati...more
Jason
From personal experience I knew wheat in our diet is bad news, but had no idea how truly bad. My wife is a Celiac and cutting wheat fixed a laundry list of ailments that she was suffering from, including allowing us to get pregnant with our third beautiful baby. My son (4 years old now) had suffered from breathing, coughing, "illness onset asthma" and skin issues that all disappeared when wheat was removed from his diet. My oldest daughter suffers acid reflux when she eats wheat, and while I had...more
Carolyn
This book is potentially a life-changer and should be awarded more than 4 stars, but because it is overly technical and a bit confusing in places, it gets 4 stars.

Suffice it to say that the wheat we eat today is not the wheat that our parents grew up on. It has been genetically modified to be stronger, yield more grain per stalk, and to resist pests, drought and disease. Naturally, this has come at a cost, which is that chemically, today's wheat reacts differently in our bodies than wheat of 50...more
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“Aside from some extra fiber, eating two slices of whole wheat bread is really little different, and often worse, than drinking a can of sugar-sweetened soda or eating a sugary candy bar.” 3 likes
“Carbohydrates trigger insulin release from the pancreas, causing growth of visceral fat; visceral fat causes insulin resistance and inflammation. High blood sugars, triglycerides, and fatty acids damage the pancreas. After years of overwork, the pancreas succumbs to the thrashing it has taken from glucotoxicity, lipotoxicity, and inflammation, essentially “burning out,” leaving a deficiency of insulin and an increase in blood glucose—diabetes.” 2 likes
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