All set to order that next sandwich on wheat bread? Using wheat-based pasta instead of regular spaghetti noodles tonight because you've been told wheat-based foods are better for you?
Not so fast, says one doctor.
William Davis, a cardiologist, calls modern-day wheat a "chronic, perfect poison" in a new book all about the world's most popular grain.
Davis says the wheat we are currently eating isn't the same thing your grandparents used back in the day.
Modern wheat is "an 18-inch tall plant created by genetic research in the '60s and '70s," he told CBS' "This Morning" program in a recent interview.
"This thing has many new features nobody told you about, such as there's a new protein in this thing called gliadin. It's not gluten," he said.
"I'm not addressing people with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. I'm talking about everybody else because everybody else is susceptible to the gliadin protein that is an opiate," Davis continued. "This thing binds into the opiate receptors in your brain and in most people stimulates appetite, such that we consume 440 more calories per day, 365 days per year."
Can you say expanding waistline?
'We're seeing hundreds of thousands' lose weight
In the interview Davis was asked if the agriculture industry is capable of changing back to using the grain it once produced.
That's possible, he said, but it would be costly to farmers because the old-style wheat doesn't produce as much yield per acre, and in a hungry world where the population is growing, food is becoming more scarce and prices are already on the rise, that choice would be a tough sell to today's agriculture giants.
Nevertheless, Davis notes that a movement is afoot to drop the weight-causing grain, and that those who have done so have said goodbye to wheat are dropping clothes sizes.
"If three people lost eight pounds, big deal," he said. "But we're seeing hundreds of thousands of people losing 30, 80, 150 pounds. Diabetics become no longer diabetic; people with arthritis having dramatic relief. People losing leg swelling, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and on and on every day."
Those are real results and they are widespread, Davis said - not isolated or fluky.
Okay, so someone decides to shun the wheat; what are their alternatives? "Real food," Davis suggested, like avocados and olives, olive oil, some meats and, yes, veggies.
"(It's) the stuff that is least likely to have been changed by agribusiness," he said. "Certainly not grains. When I say grains, of course, over 90 percent of all grains we eat will be wheat, it's not barley... or flax. It's going to be wheat."
So, this is "really a wheat issue," he said.
Smart diets, sans wheat, will help trim the belly
There are those health resources and dieticians, he said, that are serving up and advocating a more balanced diet, like the Mayo Clinic, that does not include wheat. But in his interview, Davis said what they are offering is just a poor alternative.
"All that literature says is to replace something bad, white enriched products with something less bad, whole grains, and there's an apparent health benefit - 'Let's eat a whole bunch of less bad things,'" he told the program. "So I take...unfiltered cigarettes and replace with Salem filtered cigarettes, you should smoke the Salems. That's the logic of nutrition, it's a deeply flawed logic. What if I take it to the next level, and we say, 'Let's eliminate all grains,' what happens then?"
"That's when you see, not improvements in health, that's when you see transformations in health," he added.
Without question, the nation is in the throes of an obesity epidemic. Cheap foods (for the most part) like wheat-filled pastas and other fillers have caused the country's collective waistline to expand to bursting. But as Davis notes, you don't need fad diets and gimmicks to lose the belly fat and cut back on the calories. You just need to eat smarter.
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