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Thoughtful reviews of "Wheat Belly"

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  • Thoughtful reviews of "Wheat Belly"

    I've been happily wheat-free for almost a year now, so I was initially thrilled to see this book by Dr. Davis. After reading some of the exaggerated claims he has been making on his blog, and having him shrug off my feedback about one of these claims, I have rethought my promotion of his book.

    I will still be promoting wheat-free, but will share other resources that are more grounded in evidence, like PB!

    Here are a couple of insightful reviews by a couple of my favorite Primal bloggers:
    Evolutionary Psychiatry: Slam-dunked and Wheat Belly
    Wheat Belly | Hunt.Gather.Love.

    Dr. Kurt Harris has said he will be reviewing the book as well.
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  • #2
    yea the woman from evpsych destroys the book. i loved that review.

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    • #3
      I got it and it is now collecting dust :/
      Have high hopes that journaling can keep me on track: www.southerndink.com If you are on twitter hit me up so we can keep each other motivated: http://twitter.com/SouthernDink

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      • #4
        Do you guys think these help "the movement" ?? I understand Wheat Belly isn't necessarily a "go paleo/primal" type of book, but supposedly the prescribed diet is reminiscent of both? he also advises against replacement foods (gluten-free options, etc) so isn't it generally a step in the right direction? I haven't and don't really intend to read it, but a friend picked it up and she's enjoying not eating wheat and is claiming better energy, etc. She is also going to share it with her sister and some friends of ours are claiming interest in reading it as well. They need it (they're overweight) so even if its not the most accurate or responsible piece of work it's still doing some positive things...
        I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dragonfly View Post
          I've been happily wheat-free for almost a year now, so I was initially thrilled to see this book by Dr. Davis. After reading some of the exaggerated claims he has been making on his blog, and having him shrug off my feedback about one of these claims, I have rethought my promotion of his book.

          I will still be promoting wheat-free, but will share other resources that are more grounded in evidence, like PB!

          Here are a couple of insightful reviews by a couple of my favorite Primal bloggers:
          Evolutionary Psychiatry: Slam-dunked and Wheat Belly
          Wheat Belly | Hunt.Gather.Love.

          Dr. Kurt Harris has said he will be reviewing the book as well.
          ouch! That 2nd one! I particularly enjoyed this item out that review: "Sadly, there is no such thing as a healthy baked good", in reference to the almond flour muffin recipe.

          I bought & read Wheat Belly. His "talky" style did get a little annoying and i'm sure as the first reviewer pointed out that maybe he made some careless statements. And yes maybe it's all a bit alarmist to point to wheat as THE culprit for nearly every modern ill, when refined sugar products are just as bad. The fact that he doesn't recommend gluten-free food shows he's sort of recommending a more low-glycemic diet than gluten-free diet.

          However, i did think it was a good book to get people more interested in ditching grains. I loaned it to a co-worker.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
            Do you guys think these help "the movement" ?? I understand Wheat Belly isn't necessarily a "go paleo/primal" type of book, but supposedly the prescribed diet is reminiscent of both? he also advises against replacement foods (gluten-free options, etc) so isn't it generally a step in the right direction? I haven't and don't really intend to read it, but a friend picked it up and she's enjoying not eating wheat and is claiming better energy, etc. She is also going to share it with her sister and some friends of ours are claiming interest in reading it as well. They need it (they're overweight) so even if its not the most accurate or responsible piece of work it's still doing some positive things...
            I haven't read Wheat Belly, but if Dr. Dean's assessment is true, then -- No, I don't think it helps the cause. If the book lacks real science, real risks, real data and relies on hyperbole and nonsense, then it will eventually be debunked. And, that will only serve to make all claims against grain look like woo woo.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Yvonne PHX View Post
              I haven't read Wheat Belly, but if Dr. Dean's assessment is true, then -- No, I don't think it helps the cause. If the book lacks real science, real risks, real data and relies on hyperbole and nonsense, then it will eventually be debunked. And, that will only serve to make all claims against grain look like woo woo.
              Exactly.
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              • #8
                My point was more along the lines of....

                Perhaps this is an unfair assumption (I definitely do this a lot...) but I'd wager that the majority of people compelled to pick up this book will be:

                a) somewhat over-weight.
                b) unaware of paleo/primal, in other words, this is the first they'll ever be told not to eat grains.
                c) have heard of Wheat Belly through Fox & Friends, or Dr. Oz, or other such programming.

                Chances are these folks aren't looking for the footnotes, or wondering where this Dr. is getting his information from. Most will probably just say "well, this guy is a doctor and doctors don't make things up..." so while I'm not opposed to the criticism, I think this book can still serve as an intro. Those (and there will be few) that are truly curious and want to seek more stuff will find it. They'll find the rest of the paleosphere or whatever. The rest will probably just be happy to lose a few lbs and may incorporate the info into their lives, for them, Davis has done a good thing.
                I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Yvonne PHX View Post
                  And, that will only serve to make all claims against grain look like woo woo.
                  Riiiiiight, because we all know that the way skepticism works is that once something has been deemed "woo" all things even remotely tangentially related to the first thing are verboten, and anyone who ever mentions them as being anything other than "woo" is obviously a gullible nitwit or a vile fraud and must similarly be ignored, vilified for all time hence forth. Skeptics must always agree with each other about who they wish to revile all the time, and will uncritically accept the "woo" designation on any subject that any other skeptic makes.

                  Because we all know that's exactly how it works, and if you disagree than you're "woo".

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                    My point was more along the lines of....

                    Perhaps this is an unfair assumption (I definitely do this a lot...) but I'd wager that the majority of people compelled to pick up this book will be:

                    a) somewhat over-weight.
                    b) unaware of paleo/primal, in other words, this is the first they'll ever be told not to eat grains.
                    c) have heard of Wheat Belly through Fox & Friends, or Dr. Oz, or other such programming.

                    Chances are these folks aren't looking for the footnotes, or wondering where this Dr. is getting his information from. Most will probably just say "well, this guy is a doctor and doctors don't make things up..." so while I'm not opposed to the criticism, I think this book can still serve as an intro. Those (and there will be few) that are truly curious and want to seek more stuff will find it. They'll find the rest of the paleosphere or whatever. The rest will probably just be happy to lose a few lbs and may incorporate the info into their lives, for them, Davis has done a good thing.
                    I hear you, Iniquity. The bottom line is that I have my own integrity to uphold, even if Dr. Davis doesn't have a problem with stretching the truth in order to sell books.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dragonfly View Post
                      I hear you, Iniquity. The bottom line is that I have my own integrity to uphold, even if Dr. Davis doesn't have a problem with stretching the truth in order to sell books.
                      Seriously. If we did that, we'd be no better than the T Colin Campbell backers.

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                      • #12
                        I hear that. Ideally I'd want people to read more respectable work. I chuckled when Emily (heart) Dean compared it to The Vegetarian Myth, but if we are to take that as an example, that book was also full of hyperbole BUT to a vegetarian it might make them go "hmm maybe my lifestyle is wrong? I wonder what else I can read..." in that kind of sense, I don't mind Wheat Belly. I wouldn't recommend it though, knowing what I know now.
                        I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                        • #13
                          Just finished Wheat Belly.

                          I don't agree with everything in it.
                          I do think he sometimes overstates his case with inconclusive data.
                          I do think his style is a bit sloppy.

                          However, I think there's a lot of truth in most of what he says, and he does try to build a decent case for most of it. He yells loudest about wheat as the worst offender, but thinks we have way too many carbs in the modern Western diet overall. He cites lots and lots of studies, so anyone crying "woo woo" has to face those rather than just his book (though I think in some cases he may stretch the results a tad farther than a good scientist would).

                          In the end, he recommends: shopping the edges of the grocery store, avoiding processed crap, eating lots of vegetables and meats, not worrying about fats... it's a very Primal/Paleo sort of diet he recommends.

                          Overall: he comes on a bit stronger for a bit longer than needed or desirable. However, the book reiterates much of what folks here have experienced themselves, and we've all seen what a laundry list of problems can be solved by going Primal, haven't we?

                          So I think it's a far cry from perfect, but not a bad book by any stretch. It raises real questions about the Western diet and our government's dietary recommendations -- and backs up those questions with scientific studies supporting his claims. For anyone interested in Primal/Paleo or the problems of a wheat-based diet I recommend that you give it a read.
                          Life is short: Void the warranty.

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                          • #14
                            I read some of it standing in the book store while my GF was shopping.

                            Its pretty much full on anecdotal, and that does not make for good studies or trials.

                            While I am sure he is right that being wheat free improves his patient's lives, I am not sure he has done the necessary research to claim with such certainty as to why that is.

                            However, and gratefully, he is raising so much awareness. He expertly exploited an attack on wheat as opposed to just the usual attack on carbs. It seems to have caught the dogma believing public off guard.

                            My hope is they read this, recognize themselves in some of the examples illustrated, and then continue to read and into similar ideologies where they can uncover their own truths.
                            Original wt: 375, Current, 246
                            Total weight lost, 130 pounds (Took 2 years)
                            Weight lost first week of low carb, 7.1 pounds
                            Current: Deadlift 450, Bench 255, Squat 365, Run 4 miles daily, boxing and conditioning work
                            Goals: Deadlift 502 (5 plates a side with bar), Bench 312 (3 plates/bar) squat 402 (4 plates/bar), run 10 miles, bw 200 lbs
                            Cows have 4 stomachs to make grass digestible, we have one stomach to make cows digestible, and with that, neither can eat grain and become healthy!

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                            • #15
                              This thread is a great example of why I still like this forum. Great discussion of both sides here.
                              Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

                              http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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