Since I have been driving around in my car quite a bit these days I have embraced a new hobby – Audible. I have never been one to listen to books, but as I get older I have been looking for ways to maximize my learning opportunities. Listening to information can sometimes be easier to digest when you are just going about your day and listening.
Book Review: Wheat Belly
I have been curious about Wheat Belly for a while since it has remained on the New York Times Bestseller list for quite some time now. It is all over the media about how we should avoid the devil that is wheat and I wanted to try to get a little more understanding about the effects it has on the body.
Wheat is very allergenic and causes a lot of gastrointestinal stress even more so today due to the ways it has evolved since the Industrial Revolution (post World War II). Gluten can be worth the effort to remove from your daily eats since its elimination can offer massive benefits. Although the facts are not up for debate, I did not completely agree with the author about how easy it is to cut out of your diet. He advises that one should tell their friends that they have a wheat allergy and have had to undergo a total diet overhaul.
This leads Dr. Davis to another point and that is emphasizing in that you cannot trust food that you do not prepare yourself. Of course not…but we live in a world where business lunches, dinners with friends, Bachelor viewing nights and travel are part of our reality. The author talks about general healthy living that involves avoiding junk food and heavy amounts of sugar. His target audience is those individuals struggling with health and their weight even while following what they believe is a nutritious diet that includes a lot of “healthy whole grains” such as whole grain breads and other processed wheat products. I do not promote eating processed junk foods, but I also think our best approach is to minimize wheat in our diet. I think it is very hard to eliminate it completely. One slip up with a beer or a cracker and you could spin totally out of control. If I am advised to cut anything out completely all I crave is that particular food.
One of my fundamental beliefs is the importance of food quality and choosing organic whenever possible. Davis does not really focus so much quality, but does emphasize a diet in mostly natural foods – greens and vegetables, moderate amounts of fruit, meats and starches such as sweet potatoes. His on the go snack suggestion besides nuts is cheese which is really the only dairy he believes in consuming on a regular basis.
I spent many years as a carbatarian (it is a actual word if you look it up). I basically subsisted on a diet strictly based on processed wheat. As a result my body shape easily feel into the “skinny-fat” category. It took me a long time to get healthier and see myself as more “bikini-ready” and that was through serious changes in my diet. What I eat on a daily basis evolves as I learn more, but I probably consume a minimal amount of wheat every week – most likely a few servings of Ezikiel bread and sometimes more if social occasions pop up. I learned a lot from the book so I think it is great if you are interested in nutrition, but I think it would help if the message and the takeaway advice from the book was not so black and white. I am well aware that we all tend to live more in a gray area.
Question of the day: How much wheat do you consume on a daily basis?