Wheat Free Diet For Modern Health Ailments

People have been eating wheat as their staple diet for many years; therefore, it may be hard to believe that it can create problems in our body. While one in 133 Americans has gluten intolerance which can be labeled as wheat allergy, wheat intolerance or celiac disease, large number of people suffer from numerous different chronic digestive issues making it difficult to exactly pinpoint the source of the problem in otherwise healthy individuals. But one thing is certain - absence of wheat products does help in most digestive ailments. Many scientists believe that gluten and other such compounds found in modern wheat are the culprits for causing celiac disease and other gastrointestinal health problems.

All anthropological research indicates that prior to the Agriculture Revolution, the diet of the human being in all cultures, consisted of meat, low-starch vegetables, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds and fruit. Grains, legumes, potatoes, etc. became a common staple in the diet only after it was discovered that they could be mass produced and distributed at a much more affordable price. This lead to industrialized agricultural food surplus, on the ground of which subsequently human population grew in numbers.  And that prior to the consumption of these foods, the epidemics of type 2 diabetes, anxiety, depression, heart disease, obesity etc., did not exist. 
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Modern wheat is a "perfect, chronic poison," according to Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist who has published a book all about the world's most popular grain. According to him, the worst part of wheat intake is genetic modifications. The wheat that we are eating today is not the same as our ancestors have eaten. American agribusiness has modifying wheat genetically to yield more produce but have failed to check its health hazards. No doubt that Americans are producing more wheat that is serving more people but at the same time the nutritious value of the wheat plant is decreased as compared to the previous variety of wheat. Today we eat hybrid form of wheat, which contains extra gluten and consists of sodium azide which is a toxic substance. Today’s wheat consists of proteins called gliadins that are not found in the parent plant and such proteins are not easy for our body to digest properly.

The wheat that is produced today is highly toxic and increases the sugar level of blood, causing inflammation and increase weight. Most of the weight gained is seen in the belly which is referred to as “wheat belly”. It becomes a site for inflammation and causes other health problems such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar and risk of heart attacks. People who are eating wheat every day, three times are becoming more probe to inflammatory diseases and other health problems including heart ailments, fatigue, acne, dementia, diabetes, IBS, etc. Dr. Davis refers to this new wheat as “Franken wheat” and says that people who eliminate wheat from their diet can reduce their belly and reverse back health problems.


Gliadin is a complex protein and body does not have the capability to break it down into simpler substances which can be easily digested by our body. It is broken down into peptides and peptides are too large molecules for our body to digest easily. Our intestinal walls have to give more space to these larger molecules in order to pass through. These peptides are recognized as foreign particles by our immune system and they begin to attack.

In normal persons who do not react to gluten, the intestines cover up the gap as soon as the peptides are excreted and immune system fails to recognize them. In people who are sensitive to gluten, the intestinal walls remain wide open and it leads to a condition called as celiac disease, wheat allergy or gluten sensitivity. Dr. Alessio Fasano, a celiac expert from the University of Maryland School of medicine has found that due to excessive gluten a protein called “zonulin” is created in our body. This protein is responsible for breaking up the tight junctions between the intestinal cells thus increasing the gap in people.

Opioid peptides

Other group of substances present in wheat is known as opioid peptides. They increase appetite and cause more hunger. People start craving for more food that is rich in carbohydrates. Craving is induced by a group of compounds called as exorphins. Such effect is reduced by giving opiate blocking drugs. These substances are addictive and elimination of wheat from the diet causes withdrawal symptoms. These substances are also known to produce schizophrenia.

Wheat germ Agglutinin (WGA)

It is a similar substance present in wheat containing foods. It causes death of cell prematurely and causes leakage in the gut. The inhibited nutrient absorption leads to a variety of nutritional deficiencies like iron, zinc, all the Bs, folic acid, vitamin D and Vitamin A. The impaired intestinal permeability permits food particles that are not completely digested, yeast, bacteria and toxins to infiltrate the bloodstream. WGA causes detrimental effect and produces growth of bad gut bacteria. Overgrowth of bacteria causes diseases such as GERD, ulcers, colitis etc.


Dr. Davis states that high blood cholesterol is not the result of eating saturated fats but another factor is responsible for it and that is eating wheat. Wheat is rich in carbohydrate called amylopectin A that initiates the formation of low density lipoproteins. These small particles of LDL are responsible for producing heart diseases. Majority of Americans have loaded their body with small particles of LDL because they were told that avoid eating fats and eat whole grains to maintain healthy heart.

Other health conditions associated with wheat consumption

Brain disorders associated with wheat consumption include mood changes and behavioral disorders which lead to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia and loss of memory. Wheat is also known to produce a nervous system disorder called as cerebellar ataxia in which a person loses balance and experience loss of sensations in the extremities. A research group of British society has found that half of the peripheral neuropathy cases owe to wheat consumption. Another detailed study is given by the Mayo Clinic on loss of memory by eating wheat. According to Dr. Davis, removal of wheat will help to improve sleep, improve memory, concentration, boosts up the energy, reduce mood swings, improve mood, slow down the signs of aging and also improve mental co-ordination with other parts of the body.

Joint pains are common in people with regular wheat consumption. Such individuals experienced great relief from pain and swelling after eliminating wheat from their diet. Joint pains are triggered due to inflammation of the synovial fluids and it is due to excess fat deposition in the belly which is called as wheat belly. After reduction of wheat, inflammation subsides and joint pains improve.

Skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and other inflammations improve after wheat elimination. There is long list of skin problems that improve after eliminating wheat.

Wheat consumption is also related to certain autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases. A paper was published in “World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics” in which these two auto immune conditions were related to high wheat consumption. More search is being done but people who eliminate wheat from their diet observe considerable improvements in their symptoms.

Gastrointestinal health problems associated with wheat consumption are irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, bloating, cramps, diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, etc. People who stopped eating wheat experienced good results and improvement in their symptoms.

Dr. Davis Wheat Belly Diet

If you want to follow the diet recommended by Dr. Davis then you are not allowed to eat the following things along with wheat: Rice, potatoes, legumes, gluten free food, dried fruits, cornstarch and cornmeal, snack food including chips, popcorn, dessert including cakes and cookies, ice-cream, dry roasted peanuts, soft drinks, canned meats, sorghum, millets, oats, dairy products including cheese, yoghurt, butter, soy products, and self basting turkey. Dr. Davis recommends avoiding commercial gluten free foods because such foods are made by using cornstarch, tapioca starch which is more harmful and raises blood sugar immediately. Wheat should not be replaced with such foods.

According to Dr. Davis Belly diet you are recommended or allowed to eat the following foods: You can take vegetables, fish, eggs, raw nuts, oil, coconut, herbs and spices, pickles, olives, ground flaxseed, non-sugary condiments, and uncured meats. Dr. Davis not only recommends eliminating wheat from diet, but he says to reduce all other foods that contain some amount of carbs. He recommends taking 50-100gms of carbohydrates in a day and for diabetic individuals it is recommended to take 30 g in a day.

According to his clinical experience he says that people who started with wheat free diet show marked improvement in joint pains, asthma, relief from acid reflux, intelligence was increased, normal sleep was achieved, no mood variations were seen and also helped to lose considerable weight in a month. For more details on wheat free diet you may read Dr. Davis book - Wheat Belly.