Whole wheat foods attacked in new diet book

by Josh Sosland
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EMMAUS, PA. —A broadside attack on all wheat-based foods is looming with the upcoming publication of a new book published by Rodale Inc.

While wheat and other grain-based foods have been placed under intense siege from a range of diets over the past decade and earlier, including Atkins, South Beach and gluten-free, none has been quite as direct as in the new book “Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, and Find Your Path Back to Health.”

The 304-page book was written by William Davis, who like Robert Atkins is a cardiologist. Rodale, which has published other diet books that include “The South Beach Diet” and a series of “The Biggest Loser” books, also publishes health related magazines, including Men’s Health and Runner’s.

Publicity released by Rodale in connection with the September release of the new book touts the benefits of a wheat-free diet as including:

o Weight loss of 20-50 lbs in the first few months
o Alleviation of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes
o Recovery from intestinal woes like colitis and celiac disease
o Marked improvement in overall cholesterol and L.D.L. counts
o Improvement of bone density and reversal of osteopenia
o Cessation of skin conditions from psoriasis to oral ulcers and hair loss
o Reduction of inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis pain

Rather than focusing on “refined grains” widely maligned in the nutrition community, Dr. Davis is highly critical of whole wheat products.

Excerpts from promotional material issued in connection with the book follow:

"Think America’s obesity epidemic is the result of too much fat and sugar and too little exercise? What if the real culprit were the 'healthy whole grain' products aggressively marketed to us by food companies and endorsed as “heart healthy” by government agencies? In his explosive new book Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health (Rodale Books, September 2011; ISBN: 978-1-60961-155-2; $25.99 Hardcover; 304 pages) renowned cardiologist Dr. William Davis makes the case that wheat, the world’s most popular grain, is also the world’s most destructive and dangerous dietary ingredient.

"In Wheat Belly Dr. Davis exposes the shocking truth about modern-day wheat and its effects on brain and body —exaggerated blood sugar surges (two slices of whole wheat bread — yes, whole wheat bread — have a greater impact on your blood sugar than a candy bar), bone cartilage damage, acne and rashes, heart disease, diabetes, and even neurological disorders (including delusions of schizophrenia). Informed by decades of clinical research and backed by case studies of men and woman who have experienced life-changing transformations in their health after waving goodbye to wheat (Dr. Davis has put over 2,000 of his at-risk patients on a wheat free regimen and seen extraordinary results), 'Wheat Belly' is an illuminating look at a familiar food as well as an affirmative life plan for regaining health and losing unwanted pounds.

"The notion that a foodstuff so fundamentally ingrained in the human experience can be bad for us is unsettling. But this is not the same grain our forbearers [sic] ground into their daily bread. Wheat has changed dramatically in the past 50 years under the influence of agricultural scientists who have genetically altered it beyond recognition with little or no questioning of whether these agricultural “evolutions” are compatible with human health. In “Wheat Belly,” Dr. Davis reveals modern wheat’s connection to everything from weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease, to neurological disorders like dementia.

"Dr. Davis examines the fact that despite all our best efforts (eating 'better,' exercising more), we’re heavier than ever. Once upon a time someone weighing over 250 pounds was a rarity, today it’s a common sight. Wheat bellies — the result of years and years of consuming foods that trigger insulin (the hormone of fat storage) — are everywhere. Ironically, the national trend to reduce fat and cholesterol by eating 'more healthy whole grains' is what has made us fatter and sicker, all the while making the food industry richer and richer. Wheat has become the national icon of health thanks to the actions of Big Food and government agencies such as the U.S.D.A. and other 'official' opinion-makers like the American Heart Association, the American Diabetic Association, and the American Dietetic Association. Under their directive, most Americans now consume foods made with wheat flour at every single meal and snack — to dangerous results.

"'Wheat Belly' is a truly groundbreaking and eye-opening book that is sure to have people talking."
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