What is the Wheat Belly Diet?
The wheat belly diet introduces an epiphany that came to Davis after one family vacation. After noticing his large belly, he realized that he needed to make changes in his lifestyle.
Through some observations of his diet, he realized that carb-rich meals made him feel tired and sluggish, which boost him to ditch wheat.
According to Davis, wheat is a perfect, chronic poison because of over processing and large genetic change over recent decades. He goes as far as to tell that wheat is the primary cause of diabetes and obesity in the United States.
Davis has referred to present wheat as being genetically changed and noted that it consists of a new synthesis called gliadin that is dangerous to health.
Gliadin is a protein discovered in wheat that makes up gluten. Gluten has gliadin and another protein called glutenin, which both provide wheat is a flexible and soft structure.
Despite this claim from Davis that gliadin is a new synthesis in wheat, it naturally happens in ancient grains. Moreover, only very little research indicates that these proteins cause harm to health.
The Wheat Belly diet encourages its follower to skip all wheat consisting foods, as well as different food, such as potatoes, high fructose corn syrup, fried foods, and legumes.
While different people insist that this diet has changed their health, different researchers and health experts have dropped it for its lack of research-backed practices.
How to follow the Wheat Belly Diet
The main rules of the diet include removing foods that consist of wheat, other grains, or gluten and focusing on a diet containing whole, unprocessed foods. It also boosts general workouts, although no specific suggestions are given.
Though the diet features skipping gluten, Davis discourages people from adding gluten-free alternatives since they have fat-boosting starches, corn, tapioca, potato starches, and rice.
Foods to eat
The wheat belly diet provides a food list that is allowed on the diet, including a visible of the Wheat belly food pyramid, which has poultry, meats, and fish as its foundation, followed by seeds, nonstarchy vegetables, nuts, and some fruit.
Moreover, it highlights listening to your natural hunger cues of the body instead of focusing on calorie counting or portion sizes:
Non-starchy vegetables: avocado, bell peppers, asparagus, broccolini, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, celery, cauliflower, collard greens, dandelions, chard, eggplant, cucumber, kale, lettuce, jicama, radishes, spinach, onions, mushrooms, squash (all types), sprouts, tomatoes, zucchini.
Fruits: blackberries, apples, apricots, blueberries, cranberries, cherries, lemons, rasp, limes, strawberries, berries.
Meat, Poultry, and fish:
Grass-fed meat like elk, beef, pork, lamb, and wild game:
Fish and shellfish like clams, catfish, lobster, cod, halibut, crab, trout, salmon, tuna, and mussels,
Poultry like duck, chicken, and turkey
Eggs: whites and yolks
Dairy: full-fat cheeses like feta, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, Gruyere, mozzarella, Monterey jack, swiss, stilton, ricotta cheese, and some yogurt and milk.
Fermented soy products: tempeh, miso, tofu
Fats and oils: plant-based oils like coconut, avocado, and olive oils
Raw nuts: Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, butter, walnuts.
Raw seeds: flax seeds, chia seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
Flours: non-grain flours produced of almond, coconut, chickpea, peanut, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, and sesame.
Herbs and spices: allspice, bay leaf, basil, cardamom, chipotle seasoning, chili peppers, caraway, chives, cilantro, cinnamon, cumin, dill, fennel, fenugreek, garlic, chili powder, marjoram, mustard, mint, oregano, onion powder, paprika, parsley, rosemary, pepper, sage, saffron, star anise, salt, turmeric, thyme, and tarragon.
Sweeteners: stevia, monk fruit extract, erythritol, xylitol.
Beverages: tea, water, coffee, unsweetened milk options like coconut or almond
Dark chocolate: nothing under 70–85% cocoa and no more than 2-squares
Although the diet allows some non-wheat grains, like quinoa, amaranth, and rice, Davis suggests removing grains completely from the diet for good results. Additionally, allow foods without artificial flavors and ingredients like sodium nitrate present in meat.
Foods to avoid
Although skipping wheat is the primary focus of the diet, different other foods are also restricted like:
non-wheat grains: all should be skipped, according to the book “Wheat-Belly-Total-Health,” including buckwheat, amaranth, millet, corn, rice, sorghum, quinoa, and teff.
Wheat and grain products: baguettes, biscuits, breakfast cereals, bagels,
cake, bread, crackers, croutons, doughnuts, pancakes, pizza, sandwiches, noodles, cookies, pita bread, pasta, taco shells, tortillas, triticale, waffles, sprouted grains, and wraps.
Flours and starches: millet, amaranth, quinoa, wheat flour, also corn, potato, tapioca starches, and rice.
Beans and lentils: beans (butter, black, kidney, pinto, lima, red, Spanish), lentils, garbanzo beans, peas
Peanuts: should be withdrawn raw
Processed foods: frozen food, fast food, potato or veggie chips, processed, premade dinners, and cured meat
Fats and oils: margarine, hydrogenated oil, foods with trans-fat, grapeseed, polyunsaturated oils like corn, or sunflower oils
Soups: canned soup, premade broths, court bouillon, and stocks
Desserts: chocolate bars, cakes, ice cream, whipped cream, icing, most candies, pies, ice cream bars, tiramisu.
“Sugary” fruit: dried fruit, bananas, grapes, mango, pineapple, applesauce, papaya.
Sugar-sweetened beverages: fruit juices, energy drinks, soda, teas, and specialty coffees
Alcohol: cocktails, wheat beers, or different sweetened alcoholic beverages
Sweeteners: high fructose corn syrup, agave syrup, honey, nectar, maple syrup, sugar alcohols like sorbitol, and mannitol.
Additionally, those interested should follow particular eating rules outlined in the Wheat Belly book to get optimal results.
Can It Help You Lose Weight?
Although Davis declares that this diet will cure dozens of ailments and illnesses, most people try the Wheat Belly Diet to reduce weight.
The diet improves eating whole, and unprocessed foods and skipping a western diet that focuses on nutrient-depleted foods containing high salt, sugar, and fat. Moreover, it finds wheat and gluten as the primary causes of obesity and weight gain.
One review study adding 13,523 people discovered that those following a gluten-free diet had reduced body mass index, higher HDL, waist circumference, cholesterol levels compared with those who did not skip gluten.
However, the authors say that those who followed a gluten-free diet were also more likely to reduce processed foods from their diet, follow a healthy lifestyle, watch their portions, which more likely led to weight loss than gluten removal.
Beyond this research, there is some experimental research that looks at the gluten-free diet and weight loss in this exercise celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, making it hard to know gluten’s role in weight loss.
That said, research of 12 research in 136, 834 people discovered that a diet high in whole grains was linked with a lower BMI and reduced risk of weight gain, keeping into question Davis’s claim that grains are the culprit of weight gain.
Whole grains are the best source of fiber, helping you feel full for more time and manage food consumption in a better way. In contrast, refined grains, like white bread, cookies, pasta, and low fiber and cause unstable blood sugar levels and more hunger.
Whenever ultra-processed foods are changed with whole, unprocessed foods, you will likely get weight loss since these foods are commonly reduced in fats, calories, and sugars. Therefore, although different people who follow the wheat belly diet report weight loss, it is likely because of less consumption of processed foods and engaging in healthier food choices like vegetables, fruits, and lean protein, instead of skipping gluten.
Possible benefits of the Wheat Belly Diet
Although weight loss is the primary aim of the Wheat Belly Diet, there are different possible benefits.
Whole, unprocessed food
The Wheat Belly Diet focuses on eating ad diet with whole and unprocessed foods. A two-week study discovered that participants who consume an ultra-processed diet ate significantly more calories than the group who consumed whole, and unprocessed food.
Moreover, the group of people who are on an ultra-processed diet got weight by the end of the research, while the group who consume whole, unprocessed foods ended up reducing weight.
It may be assigned to the higher protein and fiber consist of whole foods, which help to manage food consumption and hunger. Therefore, the wheat belly diet’s stress over whole foods likely leads to good health.
No calorie counting
The Wheat Belly Diet targets natural hunger cues rather than calorie counting. This natural eating style has been indicated to lower anxiety surrounding food while also supporting weight loss efforts. In one review in 11,774 men and 40,389 females, those who consume natural were less likely to get obese or overweight.
The ingrown eating style has been shown to lower anxiety surrounding food while also supporting weight loss efforts. In one review in 11,774 males and 40,389 females, those who consumed intuitively were less likely to get obese or overweight. However, eating is more likely to give results when a person is allowed to get access to every food type.
Potential Side Effects
Despite several anecdotal achievement stories, there are different downsides to the Wheat Belly Diet.
Requires scientific research
Davis challenges a gluten-free diet that induces weight loss and different health benefits. This limited research to back up these claims, particularly in those without celiac disease or sensitivity of non-celiac gluten.
For example, his interest that gluten proteins are the result of genetic engineering lacks the validity of science, as glutenin and gliadin are present in both new and old wheat varieties.
Moreover, the diet claims to cure more diseases based on particular anecdotes from Davis’ patients and followers of the diet. Though these stories appear beneficial, without the right research, it is hard to know if these results can be shown for each person.
Western society eats more processed carbs, which can raise the risk o type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Therefore, reducing these foods can be helpful. However, unrefined grains, whole grains are linked to a low risk of ailments despite Davis’s claims that they are harmful.
The Wheat Belly Diet is similar to low-carb diets, such as the Atkins diet, which also improves limiting carbs. However, 2018 review research found no evidence that a high-carb diet was harmful or connected to weight gain or poor health. Therefore, it is likely that the carbs type is more helpful for health rather than carbohydrates.
You must remove large food groups to follow the diet correctly, such as wheat, starchy vegetables, and other grains, lentils, beans, and certain fruits. For most, this overly restrictive diet leaves some room for economic, flexibility, social, and cultural, which may be overwhelming, difficult to follow for the long term, and enjoyable.
Although high gluten-free products are found on the market, the Wheat Belly Diet discourages followers from consuming these products, making food selection even extra difficult. Additionally, this type of restrictive diet may cause a negative relationship with food since it defames the variety of foods. If you get a history of disordered eating, this diet may worsen your relationship with food and should be skipped.
May cause nutrient deficiencies
Avoidance of wheat and different grains may raise your risk of increasing a deficiency in some nutrients, including vitamin B12, folate, iron, and different trace minerals.
Additionally, those who follow this diet may not eat enough fiber, which is important for a healthy gut, balancing blood sugar, heart health, and helping weight management. Avoidance of carb-rich foods may cause extra consumption of fats, which may lead to extra everyday calorie requirements.
The Wheat Belly Diet: Sample Menu
Breakfast: Plain yogurt with almonds and berries
salsa and Grilled chicken breast, 1/2 cup brown rice, steamed vegetables with extra-virgin olive oil
Baked eggplant with mozzarella cheese topping and tomato sauce, mixed green salad spritzed, and extra-virgin olive oil
Short-Term and Long-Term Effects
The foods you can consume on the Wheat Belly Diet plan are healthy and you should lower weight quickly if you adhere to the plan. Weight loss can affect more than just your look: research has indicated it can improve heart health, lower pain, boost energy levels.
For example, someone who is prediabetic and loses only 15 pounds can lower the risk of diabetes over 3-years by 58%. Because the diet is new, not much attractive about the long-term results, but serious health results are not anticipated.
Wheat is not wrong, it is not wheat that is managing to gain weight, it is the calories you are using. Only eat extra vegetables and fruits as part of a balanced diet, and you can decrease calories and lessen weight while still occasionally eating foods that have wheat.
When it comes to using flour recipes or baking, try some of these naturally gluten-free flour alternatives over wheat flour: chickpea, brown rice, quinoa, coconut flour, and almond.
Remember that wheat is hiding several sauces, condiments, dressings, etc. Skip any that having flour or included sugar, sticking with basic flavor enhances or condiments like herbs, vinegar, real bone broth, and spices.
Different types of alcohol and beer also have wheat. Hard wine and liquor are better options. However, watch the quantity you eat and what you mix.
You might get that even when you remove wheat from your diet, even all gluten sources, you still do not see any big improvement in symptoms you are trying to remove.
Remember that gluten is not the only reason causing the digestive problem or weight gain. Other inflammatory foods or habits can lead to things like obesity, digestive troubles, fatigue, and brain fog. Other common allergen foods apart from wheat to try lowering or removing, such as during an elimination diet, include conventional dairy products, shellfish, nuts, and eggs. For some people foods consisting FODMAPs can also induce digestive problems, including IBS symptoms. Some experts even suspect that for some people, FODMAPs are the real problem component for NCGS in wheat products, in place of simple gluten.
There is also some evidence that some people may feel better improvements when targeting more on consuming a high vegetable and moderate carb diet that does add some wheat but lower things like some more meat, cheeses, sugar, and refined oils. For example, the 2010 Annals-of-Internal-Medicine issued the article Low-Carb-diets and every Cause-Specific Mortality showing that low carbohydrate diets that have high animal fats and foods may be linked with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and different causes of mortality.
So whether you choose to remove or add some wheat in your diet, first and foremost remember that consuming whole and real foods is the key to long-term good health.
Without wheat, focus on adding extra anti-inflammatory foods to the diet to repair your digestive system. It helps to keep your focus on the positive rather than feeling stripped of what you are giving up. Try new ways to make organic animal food or wild fish or raw dairy products, seeds, nuts, fruits, and probiotic foods to keep everything interesting.
Most low-carb recipes that you already like to prepare at home and enjoy are suitable for the wheat belly diet. These include things like stir-fries, omelets, grilled fish, stews, burgers, chicken dishes, and much more. Some ideas lower for gluten-free, wheat-free, low carb recipes can help to get you started over the wheat belly diet:
Low carb breakfast like eggs, green smoothies, protein shakes, and veggies with eggs.
For lunch, large salads with healthy fat and protein, such as lettuce cups, avocado, or collard wrap filled with things like shredded chicken, veggies, or pizza made with a cauliflower crust.
For dinner, crockpot beef or chicken, lettuce wrap tacos, fajitas, or mixed salmon with veggies or grass-fed burgers.
Snacks are as 1-2 cage-free hard-boiled eggs, protein smoothies, one handful of nuts with fruit, or some varieties of grass-fed beef jerky.
Low-carb desserts are prepared from things like coconut, chia seeds, or almond flour.
The Wheat Belly Diet has resulted in an abundance of gluten-free lifestyles. It emphasizes consuming a diet of unprocessed and whole foods, which may cause weight loss if you normally depend on ultra-processed foods.
However, there is no research to support removing grains or gluten from your diet as a way to reduce weight. A diet abundant in whole grains is connected to better weight control and complete health. If you get celiac disease, wheat allergy, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and avoiding gluten. But if you are looking to stop gluten for weight loss, there are healthier and more sustainable diets found.