Wheat Belly: Don’t Believe Everything You Read

By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

wheat bellyWheat Belly, by preventive cardiologist William Davis, MD, explains how eliminating wheat from our diets is the key to achieving permanent weight loss and relief from a wide range of health issues including digestive disorders and immune problems.

Davis says that excess fat is not related to inactivity or high-fat diets, but instead is due to our love of foods like bread, pasta, muffins and cakes.

In this book, he offers dieters a step-by-step plan to creating a wheat-free diet lifestyle so as to achieve dramatic weight loss and optimal health.

Wheat Belly Basics

William Davis explains that there are many dangers associated with a diet containing wheat.

Insulin Response

He states that wheat has a unique composition of complex carbohydrates – 75% amylopectin and 25% amylose – that has an especially negative effect on the regulation of blood sugar.

While all carbohydrate foods have an influence on our blood sugar levels, our response to wheat is more severe due to its composition.

Fat Storage

He also says that when we eat wheat it not only triggers an insulin response that promotes the storage of fat – especially belly fat – but due to the presence of compounds called endorphins, it also increases your appetite so that you eat more calories.


Wheat also contains a protein called gluten that causes celiac disease, a condition that Dr. Davis describes in detail, as it is the most commonly diagnosed wheat allergy.

However, gluten has also been implicated in many other disorders including Irritable Bowel Syndrome, arthritis, neurological conditions, Candidiasis and gastrointestinal cancer.

6 Possible Benefits to Following the Wheat Belly Diet

  • Weight loss of up to fifty pounds within the first few months.
  • Alleviation of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
  • Recovery from ulcerative colitis and celiac disease.
  • Improvement in blood cholesterol levels.
  • Reduced inflammation and pain in rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Alleviation of hair loss and psoriasis.

Most dieters experience cravings and withdrawal symptoms when they first eliminate wheat from the diet but you can soften the blow by gradually tapering off your wheat intake over a week.

Wheat Alternatives Not Recommended

Wheat Belly advises dieters that many of the wheat-free foods available on the market are not truly healthy foods because they contain ingredients like cornstarch that will make you fat and diabetic.

Because Davis believes that a low carbohydrate diet is healthier for us he advises limiting gluten-free grains like…

  • oats
  • quinoa
  • millet
  • amaranth

He says they are best restricted to ½ cup servings and only consumed once used the wheat withdrawal process is over and ideal weight has been achieved. This holds true for legumes as well.

alternatives to wheat flour

Good Wheat Flour Alternatives

The recipes in Wheat Belly replace wheat flour with ingredients like coconut flour, ground flaxseed, and nut meals because these are nutritious foods that don’t produce abnormal responses similar to those of wheat.

Even fruit is limited on this program because it is high in sugar but small servings are permitted such as two strawberries, ten blueberries or a few wedges of apple.

Recommended Foods

Chicken, turkey, beef, buffalo, ostrich, salmon, eggs, cheese, spinach, tomato, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, apples, oranges, avocado, raw nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts), pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, coconut flour, Shirataki noodles, olive oil, coconut oil, mustard, herbs, spices, tea, coffee, red wine.

Sample Wheat Free Diet Meal Plan


Pumpkin muffins with cream cheese
Coffee or tea

Morning Snack

Handful of raw almonds, pecans or pistachios


Turkey avocado flaxseed wrap

Afternoon Snack

Berry coconut smoothie


Wheat-free pizza
Mixed green salad
1 glass red wine


Chocolate peanut-butter fudge

Costs and Expenses

Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health retails at $15.

Click here to purchase this book for a discounted price (Amazon).


  • Provides unique information about the potentially negative health effects of wheat.
  • Encourages the consumption of vegetables, raw nuts, and seeds.
  • May assist with the alleviation of a wide variety of chronic health conditions.
  • Includes a seven-day meal plan with wheat free recipes.


  • Most dieters experience cravings and withdrawal symptoms when they first eliminate wheat from the diet.
  • Limits the consumption of many healthy foods including fruit, legumes, and gluten-free grains.
  • Encourages the consumption of artificial sweeteners.
  • The Wheat Belly Meal plan is relatively high in fat.

3 Key Things You Need to Know

1. Where I agree with Dr. Davis

gluten free junk food

gluten free junk food

If you are eating gluten-free, you need to avoid the processed gluten free products. Avoid the white rice crackers and snack foods as they are full of processed white rice flour. Avoid the wheat free cookies and cakes because they are still sweets!

Instead, make sure to choose these healthy food options: quinoa, brown rice, more fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, vegetable starches, beans, peas, other legumes, brown rice breads and flours, and gluten free oats.

2. Why Davis and other experts believe wheat is unhealthy

  • One example I have for you is that we feed wheat to animals to fatten them up. Why would we want to fatten up?
  • The modern day wheat crop is less nutritious than it used to be. This is true with most big business food systems across the world.
  • Most argue that this modern wheat crop does not digest well in our intestinal tract. This is not proven, simply a theory.

3. How people lose weight by avoiding wheat?

We find gluten and wheat in almost all mainstream food products out there. Any bread you get at a restaurant, most all cereals, and even condiments contain gluten.

By sticking to a wheat-free diet, you have to avoid a lot of tempting restaurant foods and desserts like donuts and pizza. You are almost forced to do more home cooking, and be more mindful of your eating. You have to check food labels. All of these actions result in weight loss, and it may just be from making better food choices overall.

FYI: 0.2-0.8% of people are estimated to have Celiac’s disease (a condition that means your body does not tolerate gluten).

Dr. Davis lectures about his diet

For the most part, the Wheat Belly diet is a sound plan, but you don’t need to follow it 100%. Just make sure to eat a healthier diet full of your fruits and vegetables, and you should do well.

I Still Eat Wheat and Gluten

However, I do not eat a lot of wheat. Instead, I choose more brown rice, sweet potatoes, rye crackers (they contain gluten), sprouted grains (which have a higher vitamin and mineral content), and quinoa. I generally don’t eat grocery store bread unless it is a sprouted grain bread or was baked recently at the bakery.

If you are going to eat wheat frequently, I recommend choosing a sprouted wheat or an ancient grain wheat (this means it is from a more nutritious wheat crop).

The Books

Dr. Davis currently has two Wheat Belly books available.

Wheat Belly which is available on Amazon here.

The Wheat Belly Cookbook which is available on Amazon here.

This article was also co-written by By Nicole German (RD, LD)


  1. Jess

    Have you tried this “trendy” diet for yourself? Every. single. person. I know who has committed to it for various health reasons (UNRELATED to weight), have seen major, life-changing success and change. No more medications. No more Type II Diabetes. No more inflammation, arthritis, anxiety, depression….. to name a small handful of conditions and issues. This is the ONLY thing I have had success with after bouncing around to different nutritionists for years, being vegan, raw, vegetarian, practicing ‘everything in moderation’.. I have tried it all. This is the only thing that gives me energy, has healed my gut (which is really what WB is all about), and has reversed my diabetes. This way of eating changes lives — it SAVES lives. I’ve seen it many times, I’ve seen it for myself.

  2. Steph

    With recently being diagnosed with celiacs disease, I’ve been on the lookout for more information to help navigate my diet. This is not book. With just a little research, for people with true problems with gluten, this is nothing more than a fad low carb diet that is latching onto wheat as the boogy man selling point.

  3. Movistar26

    There is something to be said in Dr. Davis’ studies. He’s not merely selling it as weight loss, but also cognitive functions, joint pain and overall health. I’m a vegetarian that has already cut back on bread, cookies, pies, etc., however, my husband and I decided we would try this for the the 30 days (we’re not being super “strict” but definitely have cut out even more than we already have. It won’t hurt.

  4. Tracey

    I’ve read the book. I liked it, to a degree. But, common sense tells me always, that if I have to stop eating ALL of something, someone is being extreme. Which is what I think you we’re saying and I got that. That is just not necessary unless you are allergic. Which, fortunately I’m not.

  5. Ashley

    This diet may not work for everyone, but it definitely works for many. Im not quite sure what qualifications you have that gives you the ability to state what is “partially true” and what is “nonsense” in regard to this way of eating. This is pretty much one of the worst blogs I have ever come across. Please- don’t quit your day job…

  6. Jessica

    A problem that I have with the Wheat Belly book is that it offers a lot of information – that I cannot check because I’m no scientist nor medical expert – about wheat and then in the end, offers a low carb diet.
    The book is supposed to inform us about wheat but it is selling so well because it promises weight loss, which to me seems like a double agenda.
    That said it did make me become more aware of wheat and what it does and does not do for me. I now eat spelt bread, and less bread and wheat products than before, but I will not do the Wheat Belly diet. I have to wonder also, if it’s doable and desirable for a longer period of time.
    Davis also seems to assume that the Paleo style of eating is a good way, which I dare to question, as I don’t believe in eating meat, and I think that many people will replace the wheat / carbs by eating lots of meat and other foods that I personally don’t see as ‘healthy’.
    Lastly: in the video and on pics Dr. Davis looks bloated and not slender. Not healthy, in short. Which continues to surprise me.

    • Jim

      I do believe that like so many diet trends – it all comes down to what works for you. For the last decade we’ve had a real love/hate relationship with carbs – particularly those from grains. If lowering the amount of wheat works for you, then follow it. If not, then don’t give up the bread.

  7. Leon

    “Complete nonsense”?

    I’m not being merely contrarian here, but I think if you’re going to debunk something as big as this you’ll have to do far more work. I don’t think such a scant “article”, by a nutritionist, can stand up to a cardiologists’s entire book that cites anecdotal evidences from over 30 years of medical practice.

    I am not blindly opposed to what you say, because I am not one who thinks MDs are automatically smarter or better informed – especially not about nutrition. In fact, I value the nutritionists far more than MDs for that subject.

    But… Davis presents a case of hard core study and observation over decades, and adds results of other information sources. So you may be right, and he may be wrong, but his work seems compelling to me.

    • Ted

      I don’t think she was trying to debunk anything. She was just pointing out a couple of areas that aren’t fact based on the research that is out there. She agreed with a lot of his theories.

  8. Spectra

    Ever since I eliminated most processed foods, I simultaneously cut way back on my wheat consumption. I eat mainly veggies, fruits, lean proteins, nuts, popcorn, and the occasional handful of cereal. That’s the extent of the wheat I eat…what’s in the cereal. So while I don’t go out of my way to eschew wheat, I find it’s extremely easy to cut way back on it if you cut out processed foods.



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