In the third and final part to the analysis of the book Wheat Belly by William Davis, Julie Jones analyzes topics such as celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, acne and skin problems, and Davis’ new term “wheat deficiency”.
Davis’ Point: Celiac patients lose weight when they eliminate wheat from their diet.
Jones’ Analysis: Numerous studies have shown that adults and children with celiac disease who stick to a gluten-free diet have higher BMIs than those who do not. This is due in part to the highly available starch in diets based on tapioca, potato, and corn starches. The average gluten-free diet yields 6g of dietary fiber per day, compared to the 12-15g/day of average Americans and the recommended 25g/day for women and 38g/day for men.
Davis’ Point: Rheumatoid arthritis has been cured with removal of gluten from the diet.
Jones’ Analysis: Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease with periods of remission. A study of food intolerance in nearly 350 people with rheumatoid arthritis showed that the number of people reacting to gluten was not different from the numbers in the normal population. In contrast to Davis’ claim, in one study a fermented wheat germ extract actually reduced the need for arthritis medication. Weight loss is also known to decrease the adverse effects of arthritis, so some reports of rheumatoid arthritis patients being “cured” may be due to weight loss.
Davis’ Point: The human body prefers an alkaline diet, which is obtained from fruits and vegetables and makes it more difficult for osteoclasts to dissolve bones, to an acidic diet.
Jones’ Analysis: Davis’ recommendations are inconsistent. He eschews grains because they produce acid, yet he recommends cheese and liberal consumption of meat, which are also acid producers, and bans foods such as dried fruits that are high in alkali-producing compounds.
Davis’ Point: Elimination of wheat cures acne, related disfigurations, and other skin problems. Bantus eat vegetables and fruits, fish, tubers, coconuts, and no wheat and have no acne. When Bantus move to the West, they develop acne. Overweight and obese teenagers become obese from carbohydrate-rich foods such as cereals, and the heavier the child the more likely they are to develop acne.
Jones’ Analysis: This type of deductive reasoning is troubling. There are many problems with such logic and conclusions drawn from it. First, there is no documentation that Bantus have no acne. Moving to the West means many dietary and lifestyle changes, so it is simplistic to say that wheat is the only change that matters. When many move to westernized countries, they gain weight and usually eat more red meat, fat, and total calories. In terms of carbohydrates, GI, and acne, the few studies that exist fail to show a relationship between these.
Davis’ Point: “Wheat deficiency” is a condition that develops when wheat is removed from the diet and results in a normal weight, slim person with low lipids, low blood pressure, normal sleep and bowel habits, and high energy. With a wheat deficient diet, people naturally consume 350-400 fewer calories per day.
Jones’ Analysis: “Wheat deficiency” is a term newly coined by Davis. Diets that eliminate wheat may indeed be lower in calories since the limitation of wheat intake severely curtails overall food intake, automatically limiting food choices and calories because wheat is a component in so many foods. There is no data suggesting that wheat elimination, in and of itself, causes people to eat less.
Read the full scientific analysis by Julie Jones, PhD, CNS, LN. http://wholegrainscouncil.org/files/WheatBellyJulieJonesCFW.pdf