Here’s another brief excerpt from the new Wheat Belly 10-Day Grain Detox book. In this book, I bash all the conventional notions of healthy eating that have impaired the health and weight of a generation, replacing them with strategies that actually work . . . really fast.
“Follow a balanced diet low in fat.”
“You need whole grains for B vitamins and fiber.”
“It’s unhealthy to eliminate an entire food group.”
This should all sound familiar to you because these nutritional mantras have been repeated over and over again by dietitians, doctors, and the media. And, like many such pieces of conventional wisdom, there is a germ of truth in each of them—but just a germ and nothing more. Adhere to such advice and, not only do they not help control weight or obtain health, following such pearls of conventional “wisdom” destroy your grasp over weight and health. Following such advice can be as ineffective or disastrous as believing that total health is restored by taking a prescription drug, subjecting yourself to a 4-week program of “cleansing” enemas, wearing a tighter girdle or concealing bulges under a new set of Spanx.
Don’t feel bad if you fell for it, cutting the fat off meat, choosing low-fat yogurt, and opting for whole grain breads, muffins, and bagels. Many ideas, once accepted as gospel, have fallen by the wayside over the years, trampled over and kicked to the curb by new discoveries, new science, new understanding. It wasn’t all that long ago that you would have been burned at the stake for believing that the earth revolved around the sun, prosecuted for voicing the “wrong” political views during McCarthy era purges, or cheered for Milli Vanilli’s “Girl You Know It’s True” win at the Grammy Awards. Human history is filled with such campaigns of misinformation. But only in the recent past has such misinformation permeated nutritional advice on such a grand scale.
Eat more healthy whole grains, thereby lose control over health and weight, doctors stumped over why you feel so awful despite doing everything “right,” prescribing drugs with effects that create “need” for more prescription drugs—this is the modern downward health spiral that most people find themselves trapped in today. Once you understand this absurd and self-defeating situation, you are empowered to change it. And you can begin to powerfully reverse this situation over the next third of a month, the number of days it takes your husband to stop procrastinating over fixing a leaky kitchen faucet—just 10 days. I call this a head-to-toe body and health makeover, reprogramming your body and health at so many levels, both internal and external. Your body and health will undergo a transformation that may even have friends and family not believing it’s you.
With the bad science and politics that drove the “cut your cholesterol, fat, and saturated fat” agenda of the latter half of the twentieth century, the bonfire lit even brighter by over-the-top profit opportunities for Big Food, the low-fat message gained a huge following. In its wake now lies the result: obesity, diabetes, arthritis, dementia and other health disasters on a scale never before witnessed in the history of mankind—an unprecedented man-made social and health apocalypse that make reports of tornadoes and radiation spills seem banal. The low-fat message, because it eliminated a source of satiating calories from fat, caused everyone to resort to more carbohydrates, particularly the carbohydrate source that most nutritional authorities felt to be the healthiest: whole grains, such as whole wheat, oats, and rye.
But, like the message to cut fat and saturated fat—now debunked by more recent studies showing us that fat and saturated fat have nothing to do with cardiovascular disease—so the “eat more healthy whole grains” message was also based on flawed science and misinterpretations. The purported health benefits of whole grains were based on epidemiological studies, i.e, studies of health in large populations demonstrating that, if white flour products are replaced with whole grains, there is less diabetes, less weight gain, less heart disease, less colon cancer—that is indeed true and not in question. Careers and entire university departments of nutrition have been built on this premise. But the next question should have been: What is the effect of removing grains, white and whole, altogether? We cannot answer that question with the same “replace one with the other” epidemiological studies, but have to look elsewhere. Such grain eliminating studies have indeed already been performed.
What happens when we remove grains? Clinical studies have shown:
Not less weight gain, but weight loss
Reduction in overall calorie intake
Drops in blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c ( a long-term measure of blood sugar). Many diabetics can become non-diabetic.
Reduction of blood pressure
Increased likelihood of remission of rheumatoid arthritis
Reversal of neurological conditions such as cerebellar ataxia, some forms of seizures, and peripheral neuropathy
Reversal of multiple forms of skin rash
Reductions in paranoia and hallucinations in people with schizophrenia
Improved attention span and behavior in children with attention deficit disorder and autistic spectrum disorder
Relief from the bowel urgency and disruption of irritable bowel syndrome