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I am late to learn of the Wheat Belly discussion.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 04, 2012 at 3:46 PM

I have not bought the book, but from their website and others, the list of prohibited items appears to be waaaaay too restrictive for me, although I'd like to try the program.

Could I expect any appreciable results with a modified elemination of the worst items?

Eg. if wheat is so bad, fine, but why can't I have a yam or sweet potato?

Sorry for the unsophisticated querie, but even my paleo cookbooks allow for more food items. Thanks for taking the time and effort to respond. 6:44 AM AK Time 12-4-12

A08b210e4da7e69cd792bddc1f4aae4b

(1031)

on December 05, 2012
at 02:47 AM

Taubes is very careful about how he articulates his hypothesis; it's very unlikely that he's in it for the $$$ (or LOLZ!). http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2011/11/taubes_on_fat_s.html

Medium avatar

(10601)

on December 04, 2012
at 11:58 PM

I was reminded by this thread to reread Guyenet's piece again.http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/08/carbohydrate-hypothesis-of-obesity.html Obesity is rarely genetic and does not result from involuntary responses from the liver and fat stores to macronutrients, nor to arbitrary or intentional action by insulin. Guyenet's central theme is that obesity is driven by the brain.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on December 04, 2012
at 10:05 PM

You know where he's written about it jake3, don't be coy. It's part 3 of the carb hypothesis so far as I remember, though he uses the word "perhaps" so many times it's more an insinuation than a theory. And you're right about "rice belly", which usually is associated with a buddha-like belly. Beri beri edema is usually not in the belly

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on December 04, 2012
at 09:19 PM

Davis might have co-opted the term "beer belly" rather than "rice belly." As far as I'm aware, and I'm open to learning more, Taubes is asserting that the lipid hypothesis is wrong and that the carb hypothesis is correct. He's even co-leading NuSi in an attempt to test that hypothesis. Where has he written about a fructose theory?

Medium avatar

(10601)

on December 04, 2012
at 06:49 PM

Ad hominem attack???? On someone who cynically abuses the term rice belly and tries to sell books thereby? How much care was taken by the journalist in formulating the fructose theory? These are literature dredges used to sell an author's viewpoint, and the OP correctly identifies this author's bias against high glycemic carbs in general. We are not served well by half-cocked pseudo-science.

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on December 04, 2012
at 06:13 PM

An ad hominem attack is out of place in this forum. Davis and Taubes, are, in general, careful writers, although Davis' ideas on acid-alkaline balance have been debunked many times before. Taubes, in particular, is very careful to limit the scope of his assertions.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on December 04, 2012
at 06:10 PM

You can expect results if you have a problem to fix. I got my fasting blood glucose levels down from 200 to 100 within a couple of weeks by severely restricting all high glycemic foods, which at the time were mainly wheat-based breakfast cereals, raisins and white rice. If you don't have a problem for which you can measure your results accurately, don't expect miracles.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on December 04, 2012
at 06:01 PM

I don't care for Wheat Belly's approach. The title itself is a cynical co-opt of the term Rice Belly, or beriberi, a very real illness and having nothing to do with American's cosmetic infatuations. Like Taubes, Davis throws everything up against the wall hoping something will stick. As the OP notes his tirade doesn't end with wheat, but extends arbitrarily to other high carb foods he doesn't like. It's NOT ancestral, paleo, or the way 7 billion people in the world lead healthy lives today. It's all about him making $$$$$.

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3
Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

on December 04, 2012
at 04:43 PM

Wheat Belly is a book by Dr William Davis. He focuses on elimination of wheat products only. Sure, he recommends low sugar and generally a bit low carb, but his focus is on eliminating wheat and maybe just cutting back a bit on the other stuff. If you do what he says and completely eliminate wheat, you'll probably see great benefit. If you cut down on wheat, you'll probably see more modest benefit, but it's absolutely better to cut back on an unhealthful food than to keep eating tons of it! So, absolutely, eat yams and sweet potatoes if you're going on his program.

I think you're mixing up Wheat Belly with two other programs.

  1. Low carb. In a low carb diet, yams and sweet potatoes would be disallowed along with wheat, sugar, and any other carbs. Low carb might be worth exploring for people who are overweight, have type 2 diabetes, or other Metabolic Syndrome issues like high blood pressure.

  2. Paleo. In a Paleo diet, you'll eat the kinds of foods that human beings have been eating for a million years, and therefore presumably are adapted to pretty well, as opposed to eating foods we have not had time to evolutionarily adapt to. So once again, wheat and sugar are out, as are vegetable oils and some other stuff. Yams and sweet potatoes are definitely in!, though again if you have diabetes or need to lose weight, it might be prudent to go easy on those. Paleo folks are primarily interested in good health, so we go paleo and then tweak it for our individual needs.

Whichever approach you choose, remember that some people see a long list of banned items and figure it's impossible and don't try at all. Don't do that! Half way is definitely better than nothing at all. More importantly, eating wheat is like smoking. At first it seems impossible to quit. If you can get over the hurdle, then you won't miss it at all. I see donuts these days and I have zero temptation. ZERO. Why would I want to compromise my health when there are so many delicious alternatives? But did I have no temptation on day 1? No. Like a smoker, I had to quit a few (or few dozen) times before it took. But it takes.

So don't be overwhelmed by the list of banned foods. Just do the best you can each day and trust that over time the two-steps-forward-one-step-back progress will get you there. Starting with Wheat Belly is good if you feel overwhelmed, because it's far less restrictive than Paleo, and you're bound to get some decent results. If at some point you want more improvements beyond what eliminating wheat can get you, then come check out Paleo! It seems impossible, it seems no fun, but at least for me I enjoy my food much more than I ever did, because there's no guilt attached and I'm looking and feeling a lot better!

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on December 04, 2012
at 09:19 PM

Davis might have co-opted the term "beer belly" rather than "rice belly." As far as I'm aware, and I'm open to learning more, Taubes is asserting that the lipid hypothesis is wrong and that the carb hypothesis is correct. He's even co-leading NuSi in an attempt to test that hypothesis. Where has he written about a fructose theory?

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on December 04, 2012
at 06:13 PM

An ad hominem attack is out of place in this forum. Davis and Taubes, are, in general, careful writers, although Davis' ideas on acid-alkaline balance have been debunked many times before. Taubes, in particular, is very careful to limit the scope of his assertions.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on December 04, 2012
at 10:05 PM

You know where he's written about it jake3, don't be coy. It's part 3 of the carb hypothesis so far as I remember, though he uses the word "perhaps" so many times it's more an insinuation than a theory. And you're right about "rice belly", which usually is associated with a buddha-like belly. Beri beri edema is usually not in the belly

Medium avatar

(10601)

on December 04, 2012
at 06:01 PM

I don't care for Wheat Belly's approach. The title itself is a cynical co-opt of the term Rice Belly, or beriberi, a very real illness and having nothing to do with American's cosmetic infatuations. Like Taubes, Davis throws everything up against the wall hoping something will stick. As the OP notes his tirade doesn't end with wheat, but extends arbitrarily to other high carb foods he doesn't like. It's NOT ancestral, paleo, or the way 7 billion people in the world lead healthy lives today. It's all about him making $$$$$.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on December 04, 2012
at 06:49 PM

Ad hominem attack???? On someone who cynically abuses the term rice belly and tries to sell books thereby? How much care was taken by the journalist in formulating the fructose theory? These are literature dredges used to sell an author's viewpoint, and the OP correctly identifies this author's bias against high glycemic carbs in general. We are not served well by half-cocked pseudo-science.

A08b210e4da7e69cd792bddc1f4aae4b

(1031)

on December 05, 2012
at 02:47 AM

Taubes is very careful about how he articulates his hypothesis; it's very unlikely that he's in it for the $$$ (or LOLZ!). http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2011/11/taubes_on_fat_s.html

Medium avatar

(10601)

on December 04, 2012
at 11:58 PM

I was reminded by this thread to reread Guyenet's piece again.http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/08/carbohydrate-hypothesis-of-obesity.html Obesity is rarely genetic and does not result from involuntary responses from the liver and fat stores to macronutrients, nor to arbitrary or intentional action by insulin. Guyenet's central theme is that obesity is driven by the brain.

2
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on December 04, 2012
at 03:50 PM

Wheat Belly is one of the programs out there. I agree that it is far to prescriptive.

However, it is very valuable to start extremely restrictive for 3-4 weeks. Then you can add back in various tubers and night shades -- even dairy -- to see how it effects you.

1
00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on December 04, 2012
at 06:10 PM

A simple way to learn about the bare bones of Dr. Davis' program is to watch his recent interview on the Dr. Oz show. I agree with Michael: you seem to be combining Dr. Davis' ideas with other dietary programs.

1
Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

on December 04, 2012
at 04:25 PM

In my opinion, the most valuable step you can make is information gathering. Read this theory, read the Whole 30 theory, look into intermittent fasting, etc etc.

You'll naturally sort out what is important or applicable to your personal needs. The more you know, the more automatic the decision-making becomes.

1
86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on December 04, 2012
at 04:21 PM

You don't HAVE to go crazy strict Paleo at first. Ease into it...then, when you feel ready, try out the "gut cleanse" where you are strict Paleo for a month (followed by reintroducing various foods to see how your body reacts).

To answer your question...YES, you CAN see results with a modified elimination. Even just eliminating sugars, wheat/soy and processed foods will help you a lot. If "Results" means weight loss, then I would still say keep the sweet potatoes and yams on the lower side.

For now, try it out and do what you want. No need to jump right in...this is a lifestyle, not a quick diet. You will quickly learn the best ways to eat/live for your body, health and lifestyle.

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