Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Wheat Concerns Saga Finale? Part IV
The last BIG gluten free pro/con question asked me, "Have you read or heard of the Wheat Belly book?"
The answer is: YES!
I have no motivation to bash those who love the book and/or followed Dr. Davis diet. This post is for those harried people out there who read the Wheat Belly book and are scratching their heads wondering what is next on the 'to do list' of health hurdles to jump. For those who are wondering what to believe and what not to believe. So, before you read further, I know I will be stepping on toes for those who have lost weight, who feel better, and who love Dr. Davis. Let's still be friends and just agree to disagree. :)
On to my personal review of the Wheat Belly book. I need to make a disclaimer that I am not promoting any medical advice nor trying to tell you what to believe or not believe. This is merely MY PERSONAL OPINION of the Wheat Belly book.
As I read Wheat Belly, I found myself saying "Really? Really, he believes this stuff?" It was very frustrating to read as there were a lot of stories to prove his position; there were lots of words that said studies show. As I said in my first post, don't let the buzz words be the litmus to make a decision. Be an informed consumer on any subject and check the studies IF it is telling you to radically change your life.
As in my last post (Wheat Concerns Saga Part III), I told a story about Laura Ingalls Wilder's life who was so small in size that it should be blamed on the unmodified wheat. (No, I don't think that!) I could have told the story and then said, "This real life example proves my theory is correct." I think most of you would say "No, it just happens to support what you want to propose as truth, but that is not a factual way to prove your theory." As I read the Wheat Belly book, Dr. Davis would say he noticed his patients had this success or that success in better health and he attributed it to giving up wheat. There was NO documentation that wheat is all the patients gave up to get to the health level. If I give up doughnuts, fried foods, SUGAR, pop/soda, all manner of processed foods and don't super size my foods, I will lose weight AND I will feel better. As I said in an earlier post (Wheat Concerns Saga Part II), you won't find super-size portions in the gluten free foods and the variety of gluten-free foods that you can eat will be limited. You will lose weight, when you don't eat as much!
I have a family member who was Type II diabetic. Her diet was changed (wheat was still a part of her daily routine) to more vegetables and no desserts. She is now off her meds!! The diabetes was not a wheat induced problem but poor food choices in general. I can't say it enough....PROCESSED FOODS ARE NOT GOOD FOR YOU!!
Just for good measure, there are NUMEROUS broad statements made in the Wheat Belly book. Yet another example: (pages 184-186) Davis states wheat is the cause of alopeci areata (hair loss...baldness!) with no studies to prove his theory; no evidence; not even a patient who gave up wheat as an example for this claim. I really don't care that Davis made the claim except that these bold type claims throughout the book are off the wall and too many people are reading them and believing the book in total which has some truths and LOTS of misinformation.
This brings up another interesting point. Davis labeled wheat products as: HoHos, Scooter Pies, Lucky Charms, Fruit Loops, TV dinners, etc. (page 7)! I am sorry, but this is NOT true whole wheat products but processed, dead foods that used highly refined flours and high amounts of sugar. He talked about how fat he was and then got off these "wheat products" and magically lost weight. Anytime you stop eating the junk food, the desserts, the processed foods which make you crave more and leaves you hungry, you will lose weight. This is basic 101 weight loss plan and not 'a wheat is the bottom of all problems.'
It bothered me throughout the book we were made to believe that refined flours were equal with whole wheat/whole grains. An example: Davis says (page 33) , "two slices of whole wheat bread is really little different, and often worse, than drinking a can of sugar-sweetened soda or eating a sugary candy bar." He says (page 8) whole wheat bread has a glycemic index of 72. He sites a study done in 1981 for his data (page 33), yet here is a study done by Harvard Medical School saying 100% whole grain bread has a glycemic index of 51! There are other studies out there saying the exact same 51 glycemic index for true 100% whole wheat bread.
Hum?...maybe I should put a plug in for the Nutri Grain Mill as this gives you the best whole wheat flour for all your baking and making it a healthy choice to get the 39 nutrients, fiber and low glycemic index foods back into your diet! It also will mill all the non-gluten grains with no cross-contamination and giving all the wonderful nutrients found in the non-gluten grains.
I am not going to go on and on about different parts of the book that made numerous blanket statements, but I have one last red flag to make you step back and think about all the information Wheat Belly is promoting and read it with caution.
Davis recipes are in the back of the book and he is coming out with an entire cookbook for his 'new diet' plan. His desserts give you sugar choices to use, one being Splenda!! Davis says (page 239) " The compromise I draw in order to re-create several familiar dishes sans sugar is to use the artificial or non-nutritive sweeteners that I believe are the most benign and well tolerated by the majority." I would challenge you to simply google Splenda and check for yourself whether you think it is a benign substance to consume! There are NO benign artificial foods we can ingest that won't have consequences.
Bottom line, be an informed consumer. Do not let marketing ploys suck you in to eat and cook certain ways. Food chains are all too aware of the latest fads and trends. They are marketing you to make you believe you are getting the best foods. Why would potato chips say "Gluten Free?" There was NEVER any flour in a potato chip. It is all about convincing you to buy their products through marketing.
Get informed by taking the time to do your own research and not letting talking points lead you down a slippery slope. Keep things simple and basic. Enjoy life and stop to smell the roses. :)