Wheat Belly Total Health by William Davis

What Belly caused quite a stir when it came out; was eliminating wheat the panacea the author purported? In this follow up, he tells us it wasn’t and urges readers to take a stronger and more encompassing stance by removing all grains completely. Although a lot of the evidence is fairly specious (there just isn’t enough evidence at this time), he does make compelling points for his stance.

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The book breaks down as follows:  Part one is a discussion of why the elimination of all grains is essential for total health. Part Two deals with surviving the ‘withdrawal’ of grains and reads surprisingly like an addiction program (purposely since the author considers grains to be opiates/contain opiate-like effects). Part Three deals with total continuous health into the future and how to reap the benefits of a better mind and body.

The author wrote the book to appeal to a large audience, whether a person had read the original Wheat Belly or not.  This includes those who removed wheat but still had health/weight issues or those who had never heard of the book before. Indeed, since this is a follow up book, the author corrects/updates a lot of the assertions from the first book. That makes it ideal for the first time reader as well as the those versed in the ‘wheat is bad’ mantra.

The author appreciates the sobering reality that removing grains will be hard; this isn’t simply “don’t put them in your mouth, stupid!”; William Davis does try to find scientific evidence to help bring about desire and willpower. But a lot of the book is also empirical evidence from those who removed wheat or grains; as such, one has to wonder if a bit of placebo effect is going on. But the subject is discussed in detail with an emphasis on enlightenment on the subject.

The recipes and changing eating habits will take work: in avoidance at the supermarket of hidden grains, in dealing with the psychological effects and withdrawal, and in fixing meals at home that still satisfy. The recipes at the end are probably the least successful aspect of the book but there is a stand alone cookbook out there that is better.  I’d recommend that over trying to follow the recipes in the back.

In all, a lot to consider and one of many ‘findings’ about food opiates like sugar and wheat, leaky gut, healthy stomach microbes, paleo, etc. I think in the end we will find that different diets (either weight loss or health) will appeal to different people/be more effect in different people. It’s certainly worth trying.

Reviewed from an ecopy provided by the publisher.

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