Monday, March 19, 2012

Wheat Belly

Wheat Belly
Author: William Davis, MD
Rodale Books, 2011
304 pages

When I came across Wheat Belly (subtitled Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back To Health), I was intrigued. I mean, seriously . . . what nerve? Give up bagels, sandwiches, tortillas, naan, and pita? Not to mention cake, CUPCAKES, and assorted other sweet things. Are you crazy? Yet after reading only a few pages, I decided to give up wheat, just to see what happened. It's been three and a half weeks, and I'm still wheat-free.

As far as diet books go -- and believe me, I've read several -- this is about the most well-written and well-researched I've come across. The author starts out by giving us a sort of history of wheat, arguing that the genetic changes in wheat over time -- along with how it's processed nowadays -- isn't good for us humans. It's a convincing argument, but there were a few times when I thought I might be able to fill in the blank and insert anything (dairy, meat, sugar, whatever) considered "not good for us" over the last forty years or so. Still, like I said, the argument is convincing.

The next section of the book goes through several health problems/issues, such as celiac disease, inflammation, diabetes, skin conditions, dementia, etc. and presents studies that show removing wheat from the diet can improve conditions or maybe even make them go away entirely. Some of this was section was a bit too scientific for me, but I kept going.

Following the health section, there's a sort of call to action, with a list of foods to avoid as well as foods that are acceptable. This is followed by a recommended eating plan (for one week) and some recipes. Some of the recipes looked pretty tasty to me, and I'll probably try a few of them soon.

In case you wondered, I've lost 9.8 pounds since I gave up wheat shortly after starting to read Wheat Belly. I don't know how much longer I'll keep it up, but for now, I'm wheat-free.

OK, my next book is going to be a mystery/thriller from Iceland, so if you've missed that genre lately, check back again in a week or so. :)