New York Times best-selling author Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist, will talk about how wheat can cause problems beyond providing excess carbohydrates. Dr. Davis says grains are directly associated with cataracts, stiffening of arteries, skin wrinkling, arthritic joints, inflamed arteries, belly fat and much more.
Ted Simons: Wheat and other grains can add troublesome carbs to your diet, but one cardiologist says wheat can also cause more trouble than that. Dr. William Davis is a "New York Times" best-selling author of wheat belly, total health, and he joins us to talk about how wheat and other grains can be bad for you. We appreciate this.
William Davis: Thank you, Ted.
Ted Simons: What are we talking about here? General wheat, high yield, weird wheat? What's happening here?
William Davis: The real transition occurred in the mid-1980s, and it was the result of agri-business and genetics research that was trying to increase the yield, and it was not an evil purpose but noble purpose, trying to feed the world's hungry. So manipulations were made in the genetics of the plant. This all predates the age of genetic modifications, so no Gene splicing used. Other methods were used, not as precise but they created, essentially, a laboratory, they created an 18-inch -- remember when we were kids, 5 feet tall, traditional wheat?
Ted Simons: Wheat fields, yes.
William Davis: That's gone. It's 12 to 18-inch tall, high yielding dwarf plant.
Ted Simons: So we are not eating the same wheat we ate 40, 50 years ago?
William Davis: Exactly right. It's different, it looks different, the biochemistry is different and the genetics are different, and wheat has been a problem for as long as humans have tried to consume it. But, it was made much worse. The problems were amplified by human folly.
Ted Simons: So, why is wheat, and especially this wheat, bad for you?
William Davis: A long list of reasons. So, I can talk about the gliadin protein, people talk about gluten but if you focus on gluten you are not going to see the issues in the entire plant. There is lots of issues. There is a protein, gliadin, because the grains are poorly digested. We are often not told that, because they are seeds of grasses. Literally, seeds of grasses. That's why when we cut our lawns we don't save the clippings, and toss it on a salad. Humans are incapable of digesting grasses, of course, a cow or a goat can, they have specific adaptations, but we try to eat the seeds of grasses but even then, even then, there are multiple components in the seeds. We simply cannot digest. And those digestible ones have very peculiar effects, this gliadin protein, if it remains digestible, it's the first step in the diseases of auto immunity. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus. Multiple Sclerosis, type 1 diabetes in children. The science stands behind this. Sometimes, that same protein is broken down to peptides, when that happens, the unique structure of these pep sides allow it to bind to the receptors of the human brain, and have peculiar effects that include in most people, hepatitis stimulations, that's one protein that's changed, and there are literally thousands of others.
Ted Simons: And that's the circle of, you eat it and you want it more.
William Davis: Exactly. So we have dietitians saying things like this, eat small meals, and all throughout the day every two hours, which is very unnatural, and more natural, have your breakfast, and hungry at 3:00 or 7:00 p.m. That's how humans are meant to eat.
Ted Simons: You have a lot of stuff up here on the table. Talk to us. Some of this is good stuff and some of it is not? Give us an example here.
William Davis: Well, people are overwhelmed with this message sometimes, so, I tell them, break it down easily. If you want to avoid wheat and the other seeds of grasses, grains, go for the obvious things first. Get rid of the rolls and the wraps and the breads and the pizza crusts. Now, there is also hidden sources, like taco seasoning, licorice, candy bars, salad dressings. So, we're talking about a large number of processed foods. So, when you want to, to avoid wheat and grains, go for real ingredient foods.
Ted Simons: Is it, is it as simple as the gluten-free, a gluten-free idea?
William Davis: Sadly, no. We have people in the processed food industry, when they see an opportunity, they will step in and sell you things really not very healthy, and in this case, they have chosen to recreate the taste of wheat and gluten with cornstarch, rice flour, potato flour, so, another issue with wheat is that it raises blood sugar higher than table sugar, ounce for ounce and gram for gram so what foods are worse? What foods are worse than wheat? Cornstarch, rice flour, Tapioca and potato flour. They raise the blood sugar sky high. And that's not good.
Ted Simons: So, ok, last question, this is so, so complicated because now I don't want to eat anything, just go home and sit and stare at stuff. So how do I eat?
William Davis: We go back to the single ingredient foods like meats and eggs and vegetables and avocados, and real foods in their natural state. But you know what happens, people say, that's well and fine, but I have got children and grandkids and holidays and entertaining. So, what I do is I find ways to make -- recreate the foods. Like this is almonds flour, and it allows you to make pizza crust. And you can have a delicious pizza every night, cheesecake for breakfast. It allows you to recreate the unhealthy foods and re-craft them as healthy foods.
Ted Simons: And last question before you go, your book is wheat, belly, total health. Why did you title it that?
William Davis: The first was wheat belly where I tackled this blessing from all agencies, wheat, and now when I extend the conversation, another issue is that, if you've been exposed to the seeds of grasses, grains, for 20, 30, 40 years, you have developed many changes in your body. Stopping wheat and grains doesn't allow everything to unfold. Just as an alcoholic who stops drinking two sips of Bourbon is not healed by Thursday. Many steps to take in the process.
Ted Simons: All right. Well, fascinating stuff. I hope that I can work up an appetite for dinner. Congratulations on your success because a lot of people are interested in this, wheat belly total health, Dr. Davis, good to have you here.
William Davis: Thank you, Ted.
Dr. William Davis:Author and Cardiologist;