Book Review: Wheat Belly Total Health by William Davis

Putting Iron In Your Fire And Other Ways
To Improve Your Health

Grains Cause Deficiencies, But All Is Not Lost, Says Cardiologist

Wheat and other grains are such staples of human diets that people refer to sharing a meal as “breaking bread.”

But it’s more likely that the bread is breaking us, even the whole-grain versions, says cardiologist Dr. William Davis.

Among other problems, the consumption of wheat and other grains can lead to significant nutrient and vitamin deficiencies, putting people’s health at risk, says Davis, author of “Wheat Belly Total Health,” (www.wheatbellyblog.com), the latest in his bestselling “Wheat Belly” series.

“People are always told to replace their white-flour products with whole-grain products as a path to better nutrition,” he says. “But that’s just replacing something bad for you with something less bad.”

Here are three examples of nutritional deficiencies that Davis says a grain-rich diet can cause, along with ways to restore the nutrients to your body.

•  Iron in your fire. Feeling lightheaded and low on energy? Finding it hard to maintain your concentration? That could mean an iron deficiency. Blood loss is a more common cause of iron deficiency, but grain consumption isn’t far behind, Davis says. Remove grains from the diet and normal iron absorption will return. That may be all that’s required, he says, though in some cases iron supplements are needed to speed up the process.

Eggs and meats are among the best sources of iron. Other iron-rich foods include spinach, chard, kale, molasses, pumpkin seeds, lima beans and kidney beans.

•  In the pink with zinc. Grain-consuming people might find themselves suffering from skin rashes, distortions of taste, unexplained diarrhea, wounds that heal slowly and other chronic health problems. If you have a zinc deficiency, don’t feel singled out. So does about 25 percent world’s population. Davis says that’s because grains have a compound called phytates that block zinc absorption dramatically. The solution? Don’t eat grains, but eat zinc-rich foods such as meat, poultry and shellfish. If you can’t fill up on zinc-rich meats, nutritional supplements such as zinc gluconate, zinc sulfate and zinc acetate can help, he says.

•  The magnificence of magnesium. Magnesium deficiency has real health implications, Davis says, and a diet rich in “healthy whole grains” virtually assures a deficiency. A lack of magnesium contributes to osteoporosis, and also is associated with hypertension, higher blood sugars, muscle cramps, low birth weight in infants, migraine headaches and heart rhythm disorders. Increasing your consumption of magnesium-rich foods can help. They include almonds and other nuts, peanut butter, spinach, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.

“One thing you do not have to do is correct deficiencies that develop as a consequence of eliminating grains,” Davis says. “There is no such deficiency. In fact, the opposite is often true. Nutrient status improves without the nutrient-blocking effects of grains.”

About Dr. William Davis

William Davis, MD is a cardiologist and author of several books that have sold nearly 3 million copies, including the No.1 New York Times bestseller “Wheat Belly.” He has appeared on major national media including the Dr. Oz Show, CBS This Morning and National Public Radio. Davis has built a substantial online presence on his Wheat Belly Blog, (www.wheatbellyblog.com), with more than 300,000 visits per month. He is a graduate of the St. Louis University School of Medicine, with training in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease at the Ohio State University Hospitals. He also had advanced training in angioplasty at Case Western Reserve University Hospitals, where he served as Director of the Cardiovascular Fellowship and Assistant Professor of Medicine.

Amazon Review

5 StarsHow Do You Follow Up A Classic Health Book? Write Another One!

reviewed by Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Man 

By this point, I’d find it hard to believe that there’s anyone who hasn’t at least heard of Milwaukee, WI-based cardiologist Dr. William Davis’ runaway New York Times bestselling book released in 2011 called Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health. That singular book has played such an instrumental role in combating the message we continually hear from so-called health experts about the need to consume more “healthy whole grains” in our diet and people are waking up to the truth about how grains are destroying their health. Even those who aren’t as deeply ingrained (all pun intended!) in the health community are aware of the powerful message Dr. Davis shared about in that book that is still having a major impact and touching the lives of countless numbers of people with more than a million copies of that instant classic in print and counting. But now he’s back with even more compelling information that is sure to become a classic as well.

In his long-awaited 2014 follow-up book WHEAT BELLY TOTAL HEALTH, Dr. Davis applauds those who were able to successfully remove the wheat from their diet, but now encourages them to extend that dietary abstention to ALL grains and even most carbohydrates that are wreaking the most havoc on their health. That doesn’t mean a no-carb diet (as the biased media likes to describe it), but rather a customized plan tailored towards the individual to figure out what level of the appropriate kinds of carbohydrates is right for them to keep their metabolic and hormonal health markers in check. And guess what? That’s going to be different from person to person which is why this book shows you what things to be on the lookout for in your pursuit of optimizing your health. The idea that we are all a bunch of robots who need the exact same nutritional approach to health is long gone.

So what do you get from this new book that Dr. Davis didn’t already share in WHEAT BELLY? Plenty! The book is broken up into three major parts:

Part 1: Dr. Davis explains the problem with consuming any grains in your diet (it’s a far different grain today than it was in Biblical times), the unique and damaging role (to both the cows and the humans who consume the meat from those cows) that grains have played in “fattening” up the cattle, and why we should be gravitating towards making humanely-raised, grass-fed, grain-free cows and other animals as the primary sources of our healthy nutritional plan.

Part 2: You’ll learn why going grain-free is more than just about getting rid of the belly, but rather about putting your health in the best possible position it can be. You get very practical advice on how to make this transition as smoothly as possible with tricks and tips that have helped so many of Dr. Davis’ patients and readers. And expanding up what his neurologist colleague Dr. David Perlmutter shared in his 2013 New York Times bestselling book Grain Brain, Dr. Davis gives all the preventative measures in dealing with such neurodegenerative diseases as seizures, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease and well as many other quality of life issues. They’re all related to nutrition which will be revelation to so many who read this book.

Part 3: This is where you get to the really good stuff in this book because you’ll learn about the kind of damage all those years of consuming grains have had on your health and Dr. Davis helps you overcome and fully recover from what he describes as “Post-Traumatic Grain Gut Syndrome.” When you do that, he explains the powerful therapeutic impact that will play on key blood health markers like cholesterol, blood sugar, inflammation and more. It’s in this section that you learn about other things that can impact weight and health, including thyroid, endocrine function, autoimmune disease, and more. Plus, you won’t want to miss what Dr. Davis has to share about those of you who are doing all the right things and yet you aren’t seeing the weight come off (this chapter alone is worth the price of admission!).

Dr. Davis is one of the most articulate, smack-you-in-your-face-with-the-truth, and truly witty health personalities of our day and WHEAT BELLY TOTAL HEALTH puts that on full display for all the world to see. Reading through this book, I could tell the passion that Dr. Davis has for this subject is stronger than it’s ever been before. He really stepped up his game to another level this time around with a bit more pep in his step as well as a greater sense of urgency than he did in WHEAT BELLY. The time is NOW to absorb information that is going to change your life and that’s exactly what you’ll get in this book.

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