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Wheat Belly & Total Health by William Davis (2011): What to eat and foods to avoid

Wheat-Belly-Book - gluten free diet book by William Davis MD

Wheat Belly Total Health (194x300)Wheat Belly (2011) is a an anti-wheat book that also recommends a low-carb diet and avoiding bad fats and cured meats.

  • Gluten-Free.
  • Eat unprocessed, real foods including vegetables, meats, raw nuts and seeds.
  • Avoid processed and sugary foods.
  • In Wheat Belly, gluten-free grains are allowed. In Wheat Belly Total Health, they’re not.
  • Recommendations are similar to a “lite” version of paleo

Below is a detailed outline of the food recommendations in the book.  Wheat Belly vs Wheat Belly Total Health  |  General guidelines  |  Foods to eat  |  Foods to limit  |  Foods to avoid. There’s a lot more in the book.

Use this page as a cheat sheet alongside the book. Send this page to friends, family, and anyone else you’re eating with so they can understand what you’re eating.

Get a copy of Wheat Belly for details on why the author believes that modern wheat is harmful for health, and what you can do to avoid it, as well as some recipes.
Get Wheat Belly Total Health for updates from the original recommendations, advice on grain withdrawal, a timeline of what to expect when living grainlessly, and how to correct nutritional deficiencies and health issues cause by grains.
Wheat Belly 30 Minute or less Cookbook by Willliam DavisGet the Wheat Belly Cookbook for many more recipes, as well as more discussion on the dangers of wheat and advice on how to use specific ingredients; also the Wheat Belly 30 Minute Or Less Cookbook for 200 quick and simple recipes.

The reasoning behind Wheat Belly

The original Wheat Belly book claims that wheat strains have been hybridized, crossbred, and introgessed to make the wheat plant resistant to environmental conditions and to increase yield per acre. These changes have required drastic changes in genetic code, which change how our body and immune system reacts to wheat. Wheat is also an appetite stimulant, and in some people it can yield drug-like neurological effects. Grains, including wheat, are acid-producing, and reduce LDL particle size. Digestive by-products in wheat lead to joint inflammation, increased blood sugar, brain effects, and effects on the skin. The book also recommends an overall reduction in carbohydrates because of small LDL-triggering effects and appetite stimulation, and also foods that cause oxidation and AGE formation such as certain fats, cured meats, and processed foods.

The revised book, Wheat Belly Total Health, says that the first book was an oversimplification and goes further to say that other grains or “grass seeds” (even whole grains) are also not healthy – they’re “less bad” than modern wheat, but that doesn’t mean that they’re good for you. It says that humans are nonruminants and are not fully evolved to eat grasses (although in some cases partial tolerance is found), and corn and rice have been genetically modified and are “Frankengrains” as much as wheat is. All grains contain inflammatory factors including lectin, and are indigestible or only partially digestible, fooling receptors and thwarting hormonal signals. They also adversely affect your oral and bowel flora and lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Wheat Belly diet plan – food list

The foods listed here are taken from all of the Wheat Belly books. Where there’s contradictory advice in the books, it’s noted here.

Wheat Belly Cookbook by William Davis

Wheat Belly vs Wheat Belly Total Health

As often happens, after the original diet book was written the author did further research and made tweaks to the diet. In many cases, the recommendations are the same.

The main difference is in that Total Health, the author advises that you avoid all grains – including wheat, rye, barley, corn, rice, bulgur, sorghum, triticale, millet, teff, and oats.

The three steps to living grainlessly are:

  1. Eliminate grains.
  2. Eat real, single-ingredient foods.
  3. Manage carbohydrates.

General guidelines


When you withdraw from eating grains, note that you may have withdrawal symptoms for about 5 days (or as little as a day or as long as several weeks) – flu-like symptoms, depression, emotional outbursts, dark thoughts, nausea, cravings, dehydration, light-headedness, muscle cramps, bloating, constipation, headache, intensification of joint pain, low energy. Compare the withdrawal process to stopping smoking or an alcoholic coming cold turkey off alcohol, and be prepared to have symptoms.

Tips for withdrawal:

  • Choose a nonstressful period to experience withdrawal
  • Don’t exercise
  • Hydrate
  • Use some salt – sea-salt or other mineral-containing salt
  • Supplement with magnesium
  • Consume fats, oils, and proteins liberally
  • Take a probiotic
  • Supplement iodine, 5-hydroxytryptohan, rhodiola

It may take 4-6 weeks to reach peak capacity for “burning” fat instead of carbohydrates.

The Wheat Belly Total Health book contains a timeline of what to expect when living grainlessly, recommendations on correct nutritional deficiencies cause by grains, and recommendations on how to repopulate with friendly flora.


Watch out for reexposure – it can bring back unpleasant symptoms. You may get excessive gas, cramps, diarhhea for about 24 hours; acid reflux or irritable bowel syndrome returning full blast for several days; joint pain; mental effects include mind fog, impaired concentration, anxiety, headache, depression, and even recurrent suicidal thoughts if you had them previously; appetite stimulation; recurrence of asthma or sinus congestion; bad reexposure reactions of autoimmune inflammation in joints, skin, or intestinal tract.

Learn to recognize what reexpose looks and feels like in your own individual experience.

Foods to eat in Wheat Belly

These are the basic principles that are recommended.
Eat these foods in unlimited quantities: Eat what your body tells you to eat, since appetite signals, once rid of unnatural appetite stimulants such as wheat flour, will let you know what you require.

  • Vegetables
    • Choose organic where possible – if not, rinse thoroughly in warm water to minimize pesticide/herbicide residues
    • Eat a variety of vegetables
    • Vegetables shouldn’t just be for dinner: have them any time of the day, including breakfast
    • Artichoke hearts, avocados, bell peppers, broccoli, broccolini, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, chile peppers, collard greens, cucumber, dandelions, eggplant, endive, garlic, green beans, greens, jicama, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, peas, purslane, radish, scallions, shallots, spinach, sprouts (alfalfa, broccoli, etc.), spaghetti squash, squash, tomatoes, turnips, yellow squash, water chestnuts, zucchini
    • Note potatoes and corn should be limited/excluded, see “consume in limited quantities” below
    • Wheat Belly Total Health encourages you to eat fermented foods, including fermented vegetables
  • Dairy products
    • Choose organic
    • Full-fat cheeses (blue cheese (if gluten-free), cheddar, Comte, Crotin de Chavignol, edam, feta, Fontina, goat cheese, Gruyère, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, Neufchâtel, parmesan, provolone, romano, ricotta, stilton, swiss)
    • Note that non-cheese milk products (including milk, yogurt, cream, etc.) and soft fresh cheeses should be limited – see full list in “foods to limit” below.
  • Fish and shellfish
    • Fish – e.g. catfish, cod, halibut, mahi mahi, perch, red snapper, salmon, swordfish, trout, tuna, walleye, white fish
    • Shellfish and other seafood – e.g. clams, crab, lobster, mussels, octopus, oysters, shrimp, squid
  • Meat and poultry
    • Try to buy organic meat from grass-fed livestock and preferably those raised under humane conditions
    • Should be uncured and unprocessed and should not contain sodium nitrite
    • Meats – beef, buffalo, elk, lamb, pork, veal, wild game
    • Poultry – chicken, duck, ostrich, pheasant, quail, turkey
    • Uncured sausages and charcuterie such as uncured bacon, Canadian bacon, chorizo, uncured Italian sausage, uncured turkey bacon
    • Don’t fry your meats
    • For quantity, eat what your body tells you
    • Try to overcome the modern aversion to organ meats (from organic pasture-fed animals), especially liver and heart and also tongue and thymus, because of their nutrient density; make stocks and soups from bones
  • Eggs
    • Eggs any kind, including yolks
  • Raw nuts and seeds
    • Almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, coconut / shredded coconut / coconut flakes (unsweetened), filberts, hazelnuts, macadamias, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts
    • Chia seeds, flaxseeds, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
    • Nut or seed butters – e.g. almond butter, cashew butter, hazelnut butter, peanut butter, sunflower seed butter
  • Flour alternatives
    • Must be wheat-free and gluten-free
    • Free of conventional “gluten-free junk carbohydrate ingredients” – no cornstarch, potato starch, tapioca starch, or rice starch
    • Low in carbohydrate exposure
    • Nut meals e.g. almond flour, almond meal, chickpea flour / garbanzo bean flour, coconut flour, ground golden flaxseed (ground regular/brown flaxseed is not as baking-friendly), hazelnut meal, pecan meal, peanut flour, pumpkin seed flour, sesame seed meal, sunflower seed meal, walnut meal. Check they are gluten-free
    • Be sure to drink plenty of water when you include flaxseed in your recipes
    • Must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container to slow oxidation
  • Herbs
    • Anise, basil, bay leaf, chives, cilantro, dill, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme
  • Spices
    • Allspice, caraway, cardamom, celery seed, chile peppers, chili powder, gluten-free chipotle seasoning, cinnamon, clove, coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, mustard, nutmeg, onion powder, paprika, smoked paprika, pepper (black, red, white), saffron, salt, sea salt, star anise, turmeric, wasabi
  • Sweeteners
    • Pure liquid or powdered stevia (or the stevia isolate rebinia), stevia with inulin but not with matodextrin, monk fruit (also known as Lo Han Guo), erythritol, xylitol. Wheat Belly says you can have sucralose (Splenda), but it is not mentioned as an acceptable sweetener in Wheat Belly Total Health. Check they are pure/gluten-free
    • The author says that some people like and trust sucralose, while others do not, and you should make your own choice
    • For cooking tips using these sweeteners, see the Wheat Belly Cookbook and the Wheat Belly 30-Minute (or Less!) Cookbook
  • Beverages
    • Water
    • Tea
    • Herbal teas / infusions
    • Milk alternatives – Unsweetened almond milk, unsweetened coconut milk (in cartons in the dairy refrigerator)
    • Coconut water
    • Coffee
  • Non-sugary condiments
    • Chili or hot pepper sauces, horseradish, mayonnaise (note you’re supposed to avoid soybean and other polyunsaturated oils which are usually the base of mayonnaise), mirin, mustards, salsa, gluten-free soy sauce, sriracha, tamari, tapenades, Thai fish sauce, vinegars (white, red wine, apple cider, balsamic), Worcestershire sauce. Check they are gluten-free
  • Odds and ends
    • Baking – arrowroot, baking powder, baking soda, unsweetened or 100% chocolate or cocoa powder or cacao, cacao nibs, cream of tartar, guar gum, sugar-free hazelnut syrup, vanilla extract, other extracts such as natural almond extract, coconut extract, peppermint extract, vanilla beans, active dry yeast, xanthan gum – check they are gluten-free
    • Pickled or fermented – olives, pickled vegetables, sauerkraut
    • Lemons, limes
    • Other – beef broth, chicken broth, canned coconut milk, green curry paste, salsa, shirataki noodles (made from konjac root), tomato paste, tomato juice
    • Wheat Belly Total Health says that you should not limit salt
  • Grocery shopping tips
    • Buy single-ingredient natural foods found in the produce aisle, butcher shop, and farmers’ market that don’t require labels
    • Ignore all claims of “heart healthy,” “low-fat,” “low in cholesterol,” “part of a balanced diet,” etc
  • For vegetarians
    • Strict vegetarians need to rely more heavily on nuts, nut meals, seeds, nut and seed butters, and oils; avocados and olives; and may have a bit more leeway with carbohydrate-containing beans, lentils, chickpeas, wild rice, chia seed, sweet potatoes, and yams
    • If nongenetically modified soy products can be obtained, then tofu, tempeh, and natto can provide another protein source

Foods to limit with Wheat Belly

Consume in limited quantities (½ cup or less of starchy foods – legumes, beans, peas, sweet potatoes, yams – according to Wheat Belly; no more than 3/4 cup in any 4- to 6-hour digestive period according to Wheat Belly Total Health):

  • Non-cheese dairy
    • Wheat Belly asks you to limit non-cheese dairy; Wheat Belly Total Health gives a quantity of no more than 1 serving per day of milk, cottage cheese, or unsweetened yogurt (preferably full fat)
    • Wheat Belly Total Health encourages you to eat fermented foods, including yogurt and kefir, although it appears to imply that these should be eaten in limited quantities
    • Choose organic
    • Cream, half and half, milk, sour cream
    • Fresh cheeses – cottage cheese, cream cheese
    • Yogurts – Greek yogurt (unsweetened and unflavored), yogurt (unsweetened and unflavored)
    • Cultured milk products – Buttermilk, kefir (unsweetened and unflavored)
    • Dairy should be in the least processed form – full-fat, unflavored, unsweetened
  • Fruit
    • Wheat Belly Total Health advises to limit yourself to no more than 15g of net carbohydrates per meal within a 4- to 6-hour period
    • Choose organic where possible – if not, rinse thoroughly in warm water to minimize pesticide/herbicide residues
    • Berries are the best: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, and cherries
    • Other fruits e.g. apples, apricots, oranges – limit to a few wedges
    • Be careful of the most sugary fruits, including ripe grapes, pineapple, papaya, mango, and banana
    • Fruit juices – minimize, and if you must drink it, make sure it is 100% juice and consume it in small quantities (no more than 2-4 ounces per 4- to 6-hour digestive period)
    • Unsweetened applesauce and unsweetened fruit butters (included in recipes in The Wheat Belly Cookbook)
    • Advice on dried fruit varies between books. Wheat Belly advises to avoid all dried fruit, especially figs and dates, due to the excessive sugar content. The Wheat Belly Cookbook says you can have unsweetened dried apricots, blueberries, cranberries, currants, dates, raisins, strawberries; and to always buy the unsweetened variety.
  • Nonwheat, nongluten grains – only allowed in Wheat Belly; Wheat Belly Total Health says you should limit or eliminate these
    • Limit serving to ½ cup or less
    • Use for people who are not carbohydrate-intolerant (uncommon) or kids’ dishes (as kids tolerate carbohydrates better than adults do)
    • Amaranth, buckwheat, chia seeds, millet, oats, quinoa, sorghum, teff,  wild rice
    • Corn, rice (white or brown) – these are increasingly likely to be genetically modified and should be consumed cautiously, if at all
    • These foods should be avoided during the wheat withdrawal process. If you have a powerful potential for wheat addiction, you should be careful with these grains as well
  • Legumes
    • Limit serving to ½ cup or less
    • Beans, e.g. black beans, butter beans, kidney beans, lima beans, pinto beans, red beans, Spanish beans. Note that baked beans in sauce may contain added wheat flour, as well as high-fructose corn syrup and sugar
    • Chickpeas/garbanzo beans
    • Lentils
    • Dried peas e.g. black-eyed peas
    • Carob, mesquite
    • Peanuts – Should not be consumed raw – should be boiled or dry roasted; The label should not include ingredients such as hydrogenated soybean oil, wheat flour, maltodextrin, cornstarch, or sucrose
    • Soybeans
    • Minimally processed soy products (which may be genetically modified) – e.g. tofu, tempeh, miso, natto, edamame, soybeans
  • Starchy vegetables
    • Whole corn (not to be confused with cornmeal or cornstarch, which should be avoided) Corn is allowed in small amounts in Wheat Belly, but should be avoided in Wheat Belly Total Health
    • Potatoes (white and red), yams, sweet potatoes
  • Beverages
    • Wheat-free alcohol: Limit alcohol to 2 glasses of wine, 2 cocktails, or 1 higher-carb beer. Gluten-free beer, wine, brandy, cognac, liqueurs, rum, some vodkas (see below for gluten-containing beverages to avoid)
    • Milk alternative – soymilk / soy milk
  • Other
    • Semisweet or bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips – Wheat Belly Total Health says to choose chocolate that is no less than 70%-85% cocoa, and eat no more than 40g (approximately 2 inches square) per day to limit sugar

Foods to avoid with Wheat Belly

Factor in your own unique dietary sensitivities

Consume rarely or never:

  • Gluten, which may be found in:
    • Gluten grains: barley, durum, einkorn, emmer, faro, kamut, rye, spelt, triticale/tricitum, wheat
    • Obvious foods containing gluten: wheat-based breads, pasta, noodles, cookies, cakes, pies, cupcakes, breakfast cereals, pancakes, waffles, pita
    • Other foods containing gluten: Baguettes, beignets, bran, brioche, bulgur, burrito, couscous, crepe, croutons, farina, focaccia, fu (gluten in Asian foods) gnocchi, graham flour, gravy, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed wheat starch, matzo, modified food starch, orzo, panko breadcrumbs, ramen, roux (wheat-based sauce or thickener), rusk, seitan, semolina, soba noodles (mostly buckwheat, but usually also include wheat), strudel, tabbouleh, tart, textured vegetable protein, udon noodles, wheat germ, wraps, vital wheat gluten, wheat bran, wheat germ, wraps
    • Beverages containing gluten: ales, beers, lagers, Bloody Mary mixes, flavored coffees, herbal teas made with wheat/barley/malt, malt liquor, flavored teas, vodkas distilled from wheat (Absolut, Grey Goose, Ketel One, SKYY, Stolichnaya) or other gluten-containing grains (Belvedere, Finlandia, Van Gogh), wine coolers containing barley malt, whiskey distilled from wheat or barley (Jack Daniels, Bushmills, Jameson, etc.)
    • Breakfast cereals: Bran cereals (All Bran, Bran Buds, Raisin Bran), Corn flakes (Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes, Crunchy Corn Bran), Cream of Wheat, Farina, granola cereals, “healthy” cereals (Smart Start, Special K, Grape Nuts, Trail Mix Crunch), Malt-O-Meal, muesli, mueslix, oat bran, oat cereals (Cheerios, Cracklin’ Oat Bran, Honey Bunches of Oats), oatmeal (if you’re severely gluten-intolerant – otherwise it’s a food to limit, see above), popped corn cereals (Corn Pops), puffed rice cereals (Rice Krispies)
    • Cheeses made with cultures that come in contact with bread: Blue cheese, cottage cheese (not all), Gorgonzola cheese, Roquefort
    • Coloring/fillers/texturizers/thickeners: artificial colors, artificial flavors, caramel coloring, caramel flavoring, dextrimaltose, emulsifiers, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed wheat starch, maltodextrin, modified food starch, stabilizers, textured vegetable protein
    • Energy, protein, and meal replacement bars: Clif Bars, Gatorade Pre-Game Fuel Nutrition Bars, GNC Pro Performance Bars, Kashi GoLean bars, Power Bars, Slim-Fast meal bars
    • Fast food – where oil may be used to fry gluten-containing foods and cooking surfaces may be shared; also fast-food saurces, sausages, and burritos typically contain wheat or wheat-based ingredients
    • Meats: breaded meat/poultry/fish, canned meats, self-basting chicken, deli meats (luncheon meats, salami), ham, hamburger (if breadcrumbs are added), hot dogs, imitation bacon, imitation crabmeat, meatballs (if breadcrumbs are added),pepperoni, sausage, self-basting turkey
    • Sauces, salad dressings, condiments: Gravies thickened with wheat flour, ketchup, malt syrup, malt vinegar, marinades, miso, mustards containing wheat, salad dressings, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce
    • Seasonings: bacon bits (imitation), curry powder, seasoning mixes, taco seasoning
    • Snacks and desserts: cake frosting, candy bars, chewing gum (powdered coating), Chex mixes, corn chips, dried fruit (lightly coated with flour), dry roasted peanuts, fruit fillings with thickeners, jelly beans (not including Jelly Bellies and Starburst, which are okay), granola bars, ice cream (cookies and cream, Oreo Cookie, cookie dough, cheesecake, chocolate malt), ice cream cones, licorice, nut bars, pies, potato chips (including Pringles), roasted nuts, tiramisu, flavored tortilla chips, trail mixes
    • Soups: Bisques, broths, bouillon, canned soups, soup mixes, soup stocks and bases
    • Soy and vegetarian products: Veggie burgers (Boca Burgers, Gardenburgers, Morningstar Farms), vegetarian “chicken” strips, vegetarian chili, vegetarian hot dogs and sausages, vegetarian “scallops”, vegetarian “steaks”
    • Sweeteners: Barley malt, barley extract, dextrin and maltodextrin, malt, malt syrup, malt flavoring
  • Flours
    • Wheat flours (e.g. all-purpose flour, bread flour, pastry flour); other grain-based flours in Wheat Belly Total Health
    • Cornstarch, potato starch, tapioca starch, or rice starch
    • Amaranth flour, teff flour, millet flour, chestnut flour, quinoa flour (excessive carbohydrate exposure – acceptable only in Wheat Belly, not in Wheat Belly Total Health when limiting carbohydrate exposure may not be as important, e.g. for kids)
  • Nonwheat, nongluten grains – Wheat Belly Total Health says you should minimize or eliminate these; they’re allowed in Wheat Belly
    • Barley, corn, millet, oats, rice, sorghum, teff
  • Unhealthy oils
    • Hydrogenated fat, trans fats – in margarine and in many processed foods
    • Polyunsaturated oils (especially corn, sunflower, safflower, grapeseed, cottonseed, soybean) – Wheat Belly says avoid; Wheat Belly Total Health says minimize
    • Fried foods, including fried meats.
  • Foods cooked at high temperatures
    • Minimize your exposure to high-temperature cooking; stay below 450 F (230 C)
  • Processed foods with multiple ingredients
    • Do not buy a processed or prepared food unless you can view the ingredients list as it may contain hidden gluten
    • Processed meats – e.g. bacon, pepperoni, salami, sausages – containing sodium nitrite
    • Gluten-free foods – specifically those made with cornstarch, rice starch, potato starch, or tapioca starch
    • Foods with artificial colorings and preservatives
  • Sweet foods
    • Dried fruit – figs, dates, prunes, raisins, cranberries (note that this is the advice in Wheat Belly; the Wheat Belly Cookbook allows dried fruit with no added sugar)
    • Sugary snacks – candies, ice cream, sherbet, fruit roll-ups, craisins, energy bars
    • Sugar alcohols – mannitol, sorbitol, maltitol, etc. (erythritol and xylitol are okay)
    • Soft drinks, carbonated beverages
    • Sugary condiments – jellies, jams, preserves, ketchup (if contains sucrose or HFCS), chutney
  • Sweeteners
    • Sugary fructose-rich sweeteners – agave syrup or nectar, honey, maple syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose. Note that although honey and maple syrup are natural, they’re both high in fructose and should be used sparingly
    • Sugar-free foods – Wheat Belly Total Health says to stay away from foods sweetened with sorbitol, mannitol, lactitol, or maltitol, as they act much like sugar and cause diarrhea and bloating as well
  • Food packaging
    • Minimize exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), found in clear hard plastics with recycling code number 7 and in the resin lining of cans

Health benefits claimed in Wheat Belly

The diet claims to reduce the risk of aches and pains, acid reflux, acne, Addison’s disease, allergic rhinitis, allergies, alopecia areata, ankylosing spondylitis, antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, anxiety, asthma, atherosclerosis, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD, autism, autistic spectrum disorder ASD, autoimmune diseases, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, autoimmune hepatitis, autoimmune inner ear disease, autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome, autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura, Behcet’s disease, binge eating disorder, bipolar illness bloating, bowel urgency, brain fog/mind fog, breast cancer, bulemia, bullous pemphigoid, cancer, cardiomyopathy (dilated or congested), cataracts, celiac disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, cold agglutinin disease, cramps, CREST syndrom, Crohn’s disease, dandruff, dementia, depression, dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), dermatomyositis, diabetes including type 1 diabetes, diarrhea, discoid lupus, eczema, elevated estrogen levels, endometriosis pain, erectile dysfunction, essential mixed cyroglobulinemia, fibromyalgia, food addiction, food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrom, gangrene, gas, glycation, Grave’s disease, Guillain-Barré syndrome, gynecomastia, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, heart disease, hypertension, hyperthyroidism, hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid), hypothyroidism, incontinence, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, IgA nephropathy, inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease IBD, irritable bowel syndrome IBS, joint pain, juvenile arthritis, kidney disease, leaky gut, low libido, mouth sores, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, myocarditis, obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD, osteoporosis, overweight/obesity, paranoid schizophrenia, pemphigus vulgaris, peripheral neuropathy, pernicious anemia, pH imbalances, polyarteritis nodosa, polychondritis, polycystic ovarian syndrome PCOS, polyglandular syndromes, polymyalgia rheumatica, polymyositis dermatomyositis, prediabetes, primary agammaglobulinemia, primary biliary cirrhosis, psoriasis, rashes, Raynaud’s syndrome, recurrent aphthous stomatitis (mouth ulcers or canker sores), Reiter’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, schizophrenia, scleroderma, seborrhea, seizures, Sjögren’s syndrome, skin rashes, sleep problems, systemic lupus erythematosus, Takayasu’s arteritis, temporal arteritis, thyroid dysfunction, tooth decay, ulcerative colitis, ulcerative colitis, ulcers, uveitis, vasculitis, vitiligo, Wegener’s granulomatosis, wheat-dependent exercised-induced anaphylaxis (WDEIA), wheat-induced cerebellar ataxia, wrinkles

As always, this is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical diagnosis or treatment for a medical condition. Consult your doctor before starting a new diet. This page describes what the authors of the diet recommend – Chewfo is describing the diet only, and does not endorse it.

Get a copy of Wheat Belly for details on why the author believes that modern wheat is harmful for health, and what you can do to avoid it, as well as some recipes.
Buy now from AmazonOriginal diet book
Get Wheat Belly Total Health for updates from the original recommendations, advice on grain withdrawal, a timeline of what to expect when living grainlessly, and how to correct nutritional deficiencies and health issues cause by grains.
Buy now from AmazonUpdated diet book
Get the Wheat Belly Cookbook for many more recipes, as well as more discussion on the dangers of wheat and advice on how to use specific ingredients.
Buy now from AmazonOriginal cookbook
Get the Wheat Belly 30 Minute or Less Cookbook 200 more quick and easy recipes.
Buy now from Amazon30-minute cookbook
You can also see Dr. Davis’s blog at http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/

How has this diet helped you? Please add a comment or question below.

{ 281 comments… add one }

  • Leona Koonter April 23, 2013, 11:10 pm

    I have been on the wheat belly diet for about two months. I still have considerable bowel distress. Very loose stools, gas, and intestinal pain. Seem to have even more brain fog. My husband and myself have been doing well keeping to the foods that we are allowed. We have both been successful in our weight loss. He twenty pounds and me fourteen pounds. I take metamucil daily, as prescribed by my gastroenterologist Dr. Would you have any comments concerning my bowel problems? Thank You, Leona Koonter

    • Penny Hammond April 24, 2013, 12:03 pm

      Sorry to hear about your bowel issues. If eliminating wheat doesn’t stop them, there may be something else causing the issue. To test for other foods, try an elimination/reintroduction plan, such as The Plan by Lyn-Genet Recitas http://www.chewfo.com/diets/the-plan-by-lyn-genet-recitas-2013-what-to-eat-and-foods-to-avoid-food-list/

      • Stacy June 22, 2013, 10:33 am

        Metamucil typically has an artificial sweetener listed in the ingredients. Senna tablets or tea might be a good choice instead of Metamucil.

        Penny has good advice as well – elimination diets work wonders! My youngest daughter went on an elimination diet and found she was allergic/sensitive to wheat, gluten, eggs, whey protein.

        Best wishes,


        • Penny Hammond June 22, 2013, 1:31 pm

          Thanks Stacy!
          Another thought – elimination might be forever for some people, but others might be able to have small amounts of certain foods on a rotation diet (say every 4 days) after their systems have recovered, as long as they don’t get any reaction.

      • Gina B July 6, 2014, 4:42 am

        Could you be lactose intolerant ?
        I had all the symptoms of irritable bowel bad nothing worked until I was tested privately and told to cut out dairy products. It was a life changing thing. I haven’t had bronchitis or any colds for years now and all the irritable bowel symptoms have gone, I also had some homeopathic treatment to eliminate other stomach problems, i.e. salmonella and brucellosis exposure.
        If I eat any dairy by accident then sure enough the irritable bowel symptoms return immediately.
        I do hope this May help you. Gina.

      • bonnie August 24, 2015, 8:30 am

        how can u just give up one food group
        aren’t there severe vitamin deficiencies?
        carbs …………………..can they be limited and not given up totally

        • Penny Hammond August 25, 2015, 11:18 am

          Carbs aren’t given up totally on this diet – most vegetables, all fruits, and also nuts/seeds and legumes contain carbs (as well a a lot of vitamins and minerals)

      • Pam Turmaine September 9, 2015, 8:28 pm

        In wheat belly total health he talks about repairing the flora in your gut. He suggests a 30 billion probiotic for a period of time to help with this.

    • Helen May 21, 2013, 10:32 am

      Leona, If you and your husband have committed to eliminating the main nasties from your diet but are still suffering with bowel conditions, i’d suggest looking at your fruit and dairy consumption. Stick to the Wheat Belly plan, however for one week totally eliminate fruit and check for differences and then do the same for dairy.

      Wheat and dairy allergies are the most common and likely to cause IBS, however citrus fruits and berries are also prone to causing bloating and discomfort. Good luck! Helen

      • Penny Hammond May 21, 2013, 11:38 am

        Great idea, Helen – lactose intolerance and fructose intolerance are both extremely common, and both can give you diarrhea and gas when you eat the trigger foods. Try eliminating fruit (and sugars/sweeteners, in case they contain fructose) and dairy separately and then together. If that doesn’t work, try eliminating other foods in an elimination/reintroduction diet.

    • Marie September 8, 2013, 2:09 pm

      Metamucil is incredibly rough on your gut and has been overly prescribed for decades. The pshllium husks are very irritating to your GI tract. Since you have increased your dietary fibre through the vegetables you are eating you may not need the Metamucil. This may be why you are having such loose stools- you may be losing your ability to absorb minerals because you are increasing the transit time. When this happens the minerals and nutrients are absorbed by the stool and will leave the body without cellular absorption.
      . Research the use of oils- good oils- like cod liver and coconut oils. When our gut is happy we’re happy. Also consider taking a prebiotic. The foods we eat affect the flora that grows in our gut.
      I am a Rn as well as a nutritionist . Research what you can do to heal yourself. I think your brain fog has a great deal to do with your gut health.
      My 2 cents

      • Marcia Fowler November 30, 2013, 2:57 pm

        I am supposed to take Metamucil too…I have diverticular disease and have to avoid constipation at all costs… Metamucil makes my gut cramp and makes me miserable. I have found something that keeps me regular and comfortable at the same time. I mix 1-2 T. of milled flaxseed to 1/2 c. or a little less of unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon and Stevia sprinkled on top… This has lots of good health benefits as well.. My hubby also eats this after our breakfast each morning too… No bowel discomfort…or gas… Give this a try and stop the Metamucil…
        Hope this helps you as well…….

      • Patrice September 21, 2015, 7:49 pm

        I use ground flax in 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt instead of Metamucil

    • amberley September 30, 2013, 12:01 am

      hey leona

      just putting this out there but if you are having problems with loose stool…. then taking metamucil is probably not a good thing as it is the solution to constipation. I would probably stop taking it .. and see how you fair.. i have taken it and it causes gas bloating and cramping.

      hope this helps….

    • carol weir November 24, 2013, 10:25 pm

      If you are eating a lot of splenda, this gives me terrible gas and intestinal pain. Loose stools too.

    • janet January 31, 2014, 12:20 pm

      I was diagnosed with IBS yrs ago & was told to take Metamucil on a daily basis. The label is deceptive bec. it indicates it’s used as a laxative, however, it’s also used as a binder & works well for me. However, I don’t like all the stuff in it. If you go on this website http://www.helpforibs.com/shop/suplmts/acacia.asp there is a lot of help from Heather, a fellow IBS sufferer. She recommends & sells acacia powder to use in place of Metamucil. It’s totally natural & you can’t taste it at all. You mix it into water & you don’t know it’s there. So much better than that nasty tasting Metamucil. Also, enteric coated peppermint oil capsules* or peppermint tea & ginger tea (made by chopping fresh ginger root into a cup, then pouring boiling water over it & adding a tsp or so of honey is not only delicious, it’s been a tummy soother of thousands of years. Also try meditation 30 min a day & walking 30 min a day. Hope this helps.

      *Heather sells peppermint oil caps, but they give me acid reflux. Peppermint oil should be enteric coated to prevent this. I buy mine at a health food store.

      • Joan February 8, 2014, 3:52 pm

        Citrucel is soluble fiber like acacia.

    • Aoife Cullen February 12, 2014, 3:41 pm

      Go on Dr. Alejandro Junger’s 21 cleanse. He has a book and a website.

    • Paula Moran February 13, 2014, 7:16 pm

      Start taking a good probiotic morning and night. I have lived for years with most mornings having to go four to five times in a 40 minute period accompanied by cramps that were so painful they made me break out in a sweat. Many of our digestive problems can be attributed to too many antibiotics along with our poor diets resulting in an overabundance of yeast. I have been taking probiotics morning and night, and over the past two weeks, I have not experienced bowel distress at all and without changing my diet, the texture is well formed. Good luck.

      • Chris July 30, 2015, 3:52 pm

        Pro-Biotics helped me too & ditch the metamucil

    • Deborah @ RANDAZZO inc February 20, 2014, 1:31 pm

      I know this comment is almost a year old but try juicing and drinking freshly squeezed vegetables. Carrot with any green vegetable (cucumber, celery, romaine, spinach) and lemon. The juice of raw potatoes, combined with that of carrot and celery is also good for those suffering from gastric disturbances. Hope that helps!

      • Lorraine January 31, 2015, 3:04 pm

        Deborah just reminded me of something in the website for Wheatbelly that some raw potato is a “prebiotic” preparing gut for being more effective with probiotics. I have no experience with this but do wish you well…

    • Cat March 15, 2014, 3:27 am

      Hi. You may want to try coarse psyllium husks instead of Metamucil. It is all natural with no additives or fillers. I buy mine at the health food store. There are no cramps associated with the use of psyllium, in my experience. Good luck!

    • paul July 11, 2014, 4:41 pm

      Metamucil a no no !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Lory August 4, 2014, 2:41 pm

      My doctor supports Wheat Belly. I had similar digestive symptoms and she recommended adding probiotic supplements. This seems to be helping but it’s not an overnight fix (took a couple of weeks).We spent many years eating differently and the body needs time to adjust.

    • mike October 20, 2014, 12:12 pm

      Try significantly increasing your probiotic intake. Try taking garden of life it comes in powder form and contains about 400,000 billion live probiotic, it has really helped me in this dept.

    • Patti February 21, 2015, 6:33 pm

      Most of the population is deficient in magnesium. Slowly increase throughout the day to 1500 mg. also take probiotics.

    • Anna March 21, 2015, 3:40 pm

      Don’t forget it takes time and your body has to heal. Be sure you are taking a probiotic to replace the good bacteria. That makes a big difference.

  • Morley Chalmers May 8, 2013, 7:41 pm

    Listened to the whole of the Wheat Belly book — a fascinating read, skeptical at first, then convinced by the sheer weight of the evidence. Now reading the Wheat Belly Cookbook — and trying to figure out how to be practical in a wheat free world when I have a tiny kitchen, limited counter tops, very limited storage. What this site has provided is a summary of how to “wing it,” which I’m now planning to do. Essentially going off of prepared foods that come in packages.

    For the past six months I’ve been using an excellent site for tracking food intake, http://www.webmd.com/diet/food-fitness-planner/food-log, lost 15 pounds quickly and for the past four months have stalled. The Wheat Belly Cookbook is all about cooking from scratch, with recipes. My kitchen is way too small to be practical. We’ll soon see whether eating from this site’s food list at will, will do the trick.

    • Vikki October 20, 2013, 9:34 am

      Morley, I also have a small kitchen and I can give you some suggestions, but once you get rid of all canned and packaged foods, you will be shocked at the amount of space this frees up.
      Get a crockpot – I use this to make stews and broths in quantity, then freeze or refrigerate what I can’t eat all at once. Don’t like to eat the same thing every day? Make 3 or 4 (or more) different items, then freeze and eat a different one every day. You can also bake a chicken or a roast and save the leftovers, and I’ve found that fish leftovers microwave very well.
      I do limited grocery shopping – only meats and vegetables that I can eat in a week, and a few pieces of fruit. these can all be kept in the refrigerator. My fairly extensive dried spices can be stored in the space of a large shoebox.
      I’ve also saved a lot of money by cooking. I buy organic vegetables and free-range/grass-fed meats, yet my food bill is usually under $50/week for one person. Packaged foods are WAY more expensive than real food. Even eating fast food is more expensive.
      The best part is the FLAVOR!!! Once you get develop a taste for real food, you will discover that packaged and restaurant food tastes like garbage compared to real, home-cooked food (which of course, it is.)

    • Sue January 1, 2014, 3:23 pm

      Is kale ok to eat

      • Penny Hammond January 1, 2014, 8:52 pm

        Yes, kale is okay to eat on this diet.

  • Cindy June 4, 2013, 9:57 am

    Hello, thank you for you great advice. I am currently on a no grain, no fruit and no dairy diet and your article clear stated what I can eat and what I should not. I just have a quick questions, I eliminated dairy product in my diet to reduce fat intake from dairy and can you tell me why is it good to have full fat cheese given that these cheese must be high in fat? Also, my friends suggested to have a “cheat” day once a week which means that once a week I get to eat whatever I want, no restriction. The purpose of this is to not let my body to get used to the diet that I am currently on and it will fight against the carb or dairy intake on that day, so more sustainable. Is this true? If I stop eating this diet, will my belly come back?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Penny Hammond June 4, 2013, 12:48 pm

      There are so many diets out there; this page only describes what’s recommended in the Wheat Belly Diet by William Davis. It’s not a no-dairy diet or a low-fat diet, which is why cheese is listed as something that can be eaten, although in limited quantities. Other diets suggest no dairy, or no fruit, or cheat days, or a combination of them, and different diet books give many different reasons why those restrictions might help you lose weight or reduce other symptoms. It’s true that many people mix and match different diets. If you’re doing well not eating a particular food, you could try to reintroduce it in a controlled way to see if your symptoms come back.

  • Sue June 15, 2013, 12:45 pm

    On 6/2 I stopped eating wheat. 6/14 weight loss. of 10.5. What is most amazing (until today), is my rosacea has made a huge improvement. That brings me to today. Two hours ago, I noticed that my home seemed so quiet. My tinnitis is gone. Could this really be a result of eliminating wheat?

    • Julie October 14, 2013, 6:27 pm

      I stopped eating wheat about 4 weeks ago, not because I read the wheat belly book, but because of hormone problems that I was trying to help. My health has improved in so many ways. No more IBS, no more walking angina, my allergies are much better, and my tinnitus, while not gone, is much, much more quiet. I am also sleeping better. I have since read some of the wheat belly book, and am doing my best to follow it. With all these benefits, its easy not to cheat.

  • Catherine Rosengren June 16, 2013, 10:07 am

    I started May 1,2013 and lost 15lb. fast. Then I got to a stand still and stare down on my scale..and I haven’t been budging that exact same number..for days now..and I have so much more to loose. I have gone over the diary and I think I am eating too much at each meal..and maybe too much cheese and butter and now I think too much milk. Which I get so hungry for more than bread. So I blew it out with a huge bowl of pasta and now I am going to start over with the way I lost so much so fast..just meat and salads with lots of nuts and good oils..I did well on that and then I got a little foolish..so I am just saying..oatmeal in the book says once in a while but I think I need to get back to basics.. Get back to walking and hopefully that will break the number! Got the pedometer yesterday!
    I have since gotten a George foreman grill and love that!!! Just a tip..as I don’t like to heat up a whole oven to broil
    a few pcs of meat so I was frying with good oil(little honest cheats).. I think my main point is stick to the diet exactly and you should be ok..I wish us all profound health and success! Cat

    • Penny Hammond June 16, 2013, 6:22 pm

      If you’re getting cravings for cheese, butter, and milk, it’s possible that you might have an intolerance to them. Try cutting out the butter and milk and sticking to only cheese (which the author recommends), and if that doesn’t work you could try cutting out the cheese as well.

  • Catherine Rosengren June 17, 2013, 8:33 am

    Thank you Penny. I think I thought I was doing so well that I got lax. I weighed in today and lost that lb. just for eating right! A little dab of butter here and melted cheese slice on eggs scrambles with 1/2 & 1/2 and boom no loss. So I have learned my lesson..stick to the diet…I found the major wt/loss and ease of diet just doing lean meats and tons of salads and raw almonds and water for snacks. very filling and crunchy..If you do as it says you can’t fail. I love this diet..it is literally the only one I can stick with AND lost wt. with plus no measuring and weighing which is a crock..I can’t be around food and go thru all that..I am, as I suspect everyone is, too busy..and it makes you crazy worrying did I get enough of this and that..phooey! This puppy works! Yea! Now for the next 15lbs! Oh and I forgot to tell u what a great idea this is. Read the book by all means as it’s got lots of really valuable info in it..But this site breaks it down to basics! I hope everyone who was like me and tried every diet and couldn’t loose more than a few lbs. tries this one..I am healthy, I am not tired and I wish I could tell everyone out there to do this one. It works no matter where you live and food you have access to. Take good care, Cat

    • Penny Hammond June 17, 2013, 3:51 pm

      Thanks Cat!

  • tanvi bhomra June 17, 2013, 12:35 pm

    thanks wheat belly diet i improved on my daily habits. thanks a lot again and i will suggest to all of you to see and follow
    this diet.

  • Catherine Rosengren June 19, 2013, 9:47 am

    It’s official..20lbs starting on May 1st..and it could have been 25 if I hadn’t got silly for that wk. So stick to it people..it’s the best thing going out there.. Just seeing it drop off is such a life changer!! Talked with a big guy..sadly was thought of as a 5×5 which is not nice..and he was paying tons of money for a killer diet of which we all have tried..those 2 protein drink meals and one regular meal..I tried to explain to him the dangers and the fact that it will all come back after he quits but he had already invested so I hope he will be ok. Those kinds of diets are very hard on the heart etc. for any length of time and he has a lot to loose..I will keep trying to encourage him but I am not wanting to upset him. I bet we all have friends like that..heck we used to be like that.. that dog don’t hunt..just look at Opra.. and she had trainers and all the money in the world and she still gained it back..you won’t with this sensible diet!!! Isn’t that wonderful..I have heart problems and this diet it the most healthy for that consideration too.
    Ok, take care all..

  • Carla June 22, 2013, 2:44 pm

    What about Quinoa Pasta and flour?

    • Penny Hammond June 22, 2013, 3:18 pm

      I’d guess that these stand somewhere between “eat in limited quantities (as they contain quinoa) and “consume rarely or never” (as they are a gluten-free food). Consider them an occasional treat.

      • Carla June 22, 2013, 4:50 pm

        I have one more question. What about Organic Raw Agave as a sweetener?

        • Penny Hammond June 22, 2013, 5:16 pm

          That’s a “consume rarely or never” because it has a lot of fructose.

  • Carla June 23, 2013, 2:19 pm

    I am sorry o be a pest but I have another question. I am taking antibiotic for a sinus infection and the Dr said to get a probiotic to take with it I found a drink called Good Belly but it has oat flour in it can you recommend something or do you think the oat flour will be o.k.

    • Penny Hammond June 23, 2013, 6:14 pm

      Great idea to take probiotics (and/or to eat prebiotic and probiotic foods and drinks) after antibiotics – although you should generally take them after you’ve finished the course of antibiotics, as the antibiotics will probably kill the probiotics – take them afterwards to make sure that the bacteria repopulating your gut are good ones.

      It’s difficult to tell whether the oat flour in this product is gluten-free. Also, it looks like it’s juice-based, and the diet asks you to limit fruit juice.
      Look for probiotic capsules or powder, rather than a drink, to minimize the amount of fillers. If you’re following the Wheat Belly recommendations, look for one that’s gluten-free – I see you’re already doing that. At least 1 bn bacteria per capsule, and containing at least Lactobacillus Acidophilus, a very common “good” bacteria.

  • Michelle Willis June 28, 2013, 8:11 pm

    Are Quest bars okay? If not, any suggestions?

    • Penny Hammond July 1, 2013, 10:24 am

      Protein bars / energy bars are usually very processed foods, and the author suggests avoiding them altogether and eating unprocessed whole foods instead.

  • Catherine Rosengren June 29, 2013, 8:19 am

    Hi all; ok 22lbs with maddening halts for the 20lbs and the 22lbs bench marks..but it has, I believe, to do with
    constipation..now coffee is not something I can count on anymore..I am a little afraid to take any OTC relief as they always say if you take prescribed meds you shouldn’t take them.. Does anyone have any tried and true constipation
    relief recommendations? Help!
    Thank you!

    • Penny Hammond July 1, 2013, 10:31 am

      Water. Lots of water. Especially just after you get up in the morning. Senna tea can help, but should only be used occasionally.
      Dropping coffee and caffeine may help, as you point out.
      Also review your meds and supplements to see if they can cause constipation.

      • Penny Hammond July 17, 2013, 8:19 pm

        I’m reviewing the Wheat Belly Cookbook right now, and Dr. Davis says that people who consume wheat products have different levels and types of bowel flora than people who don’t, and that “there may be a transition period of variable duration in which you struggle with increased gas, constipation, and mild abdominal discomfort…. your bowels have to acquire new bacteria little by little from the foods you ingest.”

        He suggests that if this happens you should add a probiotic preparation including “species of Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus and other healthy species, preferably in a total quantity of 50 million CFUs (colony-forming units) or greater.” He says that “four weeks of a probiotic and most people are back to predictable, comfortable bowel habits, with friendly bowel flora happy to do their job of assisting in digestion.” If this doesn’t work, visit your doctor and check levels of digestive enzymes. (p.50-51 of Wheat Belly Cookbook)

      • Linda Markert July 11, 2014, 9:04 am

        I have had good results taking a natural laxative called Swiss Kriss.

    • L. Ward April 30, 2014, 2:13 am

      Try Miralax it works very well for relieving constipation. It’s not harsh. It draws water into the colon so it easy to go. If you go too often while using this cut back on the dosage to half or take it every other day. I’ve used it for about a year now and have had good results and have not had a diverticulitis attack since my first one a year ago. Needless to say drank lots of water say 40-64 ounces, that’s the quantity I can easily mange and everything is going well. Good luck!

  • Catherine Rosengren July 1, 2013, 11:02 am

    I always think I drink enough water but you are so right and I will be more diligent on that score and see if something that natural can help, which I would prefer..Coffee is not as interesting or needed in the morning like it used to be so that’s interesting..I will ck the meds..I have been on them for so long you take it for granted you know everything about them but a refresher course might be just the ticket..
    Thank you so much Penny!!!
    Be well,
    PS: I wonder if this diet is helping the lack of need for coffee in the morning..that’s a good thing! yea!

  • Brenda July 10, 2013, 6:04 pm

    I am wondering about drinking protein drinks for breakfast? That is the hardest meal for me as I usually have toast or cereal. I have high cholesteral so limit my egg consumption. Any breakfast suggestions?

    • Penny Hammond July 11, 2013, 12:16 pm

      The Wheat Belly Cookbook has about 20 breakfast suggestions/recipes. Most of them have eggs, but a couple don’t – homemade turkey sausage patties and grainless granola (mostly nuts and seeds).

      Many pre-made protein drinks are highly processed and probably won’t fit with the intention of this diet. But you could make your own, with veggies and a little fruit.

      Medical science seems to be moving away from the “don’t eat foods with cholesterol if you have high cholesterol” suggestion. Have a look at The Great Cholesterol Myth for more information.

    • Tasha January 13, 2014, 3:43 am


      Have a look at this website brenda it shows that eggs aren’t all that bad!!

      • Lorraine January 31, 2015, 3:12 pm

        and for that I so thank you! couldn’t give up such a versatile item, if not needed!

    • Joan February 8, 2014, 3:58 pm

      From what I’ve read, it’s a fallacy that eggs cause cholesterol problems.

    • Alex December 1, 2014, 3:15 am

      I believe as I read most of the request most of the people who are having some problems are not really sticking to the diet, It’s fairly simple, water , water, water, salads, most vegetables , that are not high in carbs.. like no corn, stay away from fruit or limit it, and take something for a month or two to build the healthy bacteria, this diet is a wellness diet, losing weight is a buy product. remember No wheat, No grains,No sugars, No processed foods. and after you finish withdrawing ,lol yes some people will withdraw if they follow the diet correctly, start a sensible exercise program as often as you can, if not try standing more, I went on this diet and started riding my bike a few times a week at 42 years old weighing 245 lbs at and 5’6, 5 to 6 months later I was weighing 160lbs and lean. It has to be a Life style change, quit asking for weighs to cheat. Make a choice to live well, live long, and fell great. Good luck everyone , I wish you success, Alex

  • Catherine Rosengren July 14, 2013, 10:12 am

    I am again at a standstill for 2 wks now..any suggestions..the scale just won’t move..surely this is not all the wt I can loose. I am so frustrated..I need to loose another 75 just to be at a healthy weight. This is not a death image but a wt. to ht. equation and a comfortable size as well..
    I am eating lean meats with nice variety salads. Egg scrambles with all manner of veggies and still can’t budge that scale..help!!
    thank you,

    • Penny Hammond July 14, 2013, 10:19 am

      It’s great that you’re eating so many veggies and salads!
      Maybe there’s something else you’re intolerant to that’s causing you to hold on to the weight – it could possibly be the eggs or the oil in the salad dressing. Have a look at an elimination diet like The Virgin Diet or The Plan to test for other intolerances.

  • elizabeth waters July 15, 2013, 7:59 am

    Hi everyone,
    I’m doing great on the Wheat Belly diet. I just started to explore a little more with baking breads. I went to a health food store and bought Bob’s Red Mill basic bread. Wheat free, gluten free. I made it and it was delicious. Is it ok to eat on the diet? Carbs are high. I get a little confused when it comes to wheatfree, gluten free and high carbs. This bread is delicious, but felt guilty eating it.

    • Penny Hammond July 15, 2013, 8:58 am

      Glad to hear that you’re doing great on the diet.
      If you’ve just started the diet and you’re in the wheat withdrawal process, you shouldn’t have nongluten grains – so the corn starch and sorghum flour would rule this bread out. Also if you have a powerful potential for wheat addiction, you should be careful with these grains as well.
      However, if you aren’t just starting out and don’t have wheat addiction, I’d say this would be an “eat limited amounts” food. It contains nongluten grains, potato (potato starch, potato flour), and legumes (garbanzo bean flour, fava bean flour), all of which are advised in limited amounts only. It also has some cane sugar – there are no clear guidelines in the diet on how much sugar you can eat, although they say to avoid sugary foods, but there’s not much in this bread. You’re supposed to add milk – cow’s milk should be used in limited amounts, but it looks like soy milk should be avoided. So an occasional slice or two made with cow’s milk or unsweetened rice milk would probably be fine.

      • elizabeth waters July 15, 2013, 12:19 pm

        Thanks for clearing that up.

        • Carolyn Rawles October 21, 2015, 11:49 am

          Dr. Davis clearly states that the “other flours” raise blood sugar levels more that wheat flours. Stick to almond meal, golden flaxseed, and coconut flours. I order the Baking Mix from the Wheat Free Market.

  • Gail July 16, 2013, 5:23 pm

    Is there any sweetener I can use in my morning cup of coffee?
    right now I use sweetened almond milk, but I will go to unsweetened if I can find a natural sweetener.
    Also, I LOVE soaking raw oat groats overnight and blending them for breakfast with some almond milk.
    Are oat groats on the “never” list?


    • Penny Hammond July 16, 2013, 7:41 pm

      The author says you shouldn’t eat sugary fructose-rich sweeteners like agave syrup or nectar, honey, maple syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, or sucrose (table sugar in its various forms).
      He doesn’t mention artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols is the main Wheat Belly book, but the Wheat Belly Cookbook has recipes with xylitol and liquid stevia, so it looks like he approves those sweeteners.

      Note the recipes also contain dried fruit for sweetening desserts – not really relevant for your coffee, but may be useful in other situations.

      See if you can find gluten-free oats. Oats are often processed in the same facilities as wheat, which exposes them to gluten, so to avoid the risk of contamination they need to be processed in a gluten-free facility. Note that oats are listed as foods to limit. Also avoid them during the wheat withdrawal process, and if you have a powerful potential for wheat addiction you should be careful with oats as you may find them addictive as well.

      • terri August 8, 2013, 10:02 pm

        I can’t remember the name but at Wal-Mart there is a stevia product that starts with an A and I liked it in my coffee some sweeteners just don’t do well in hot drinks.

        • Penny Hammond August 9, 2013, 3:51 pm

          Cant’s see one starting with an A…
          When you buy stevia, look at the ingredients list. Watch out for maltodextrin, dextrose, and other sweeteners.

    • Penny Hammond July 23, 2013, 6:05 pm

      A couple other sweeteners are also mentioned in the cookbook as being compatible with the diet: erythritol and sucralose (Splenda)

      • Katy August 1, 2013, 8:52 am

        I stopped taking Splenda in my coffee after I read that it has a higher GI than table sugar. I have found that four drops of organic liquid Stevia from Trader Joe’s is just perfect. The other day I was at a restaurant and used a little Splenda in my coffee and it tasted sickly sweet and then I felt tired the rest of the day. NO SPLENDA FOR ME!!!!!

  • cathy August 3, 2013, 7:20 pm

    Hi on week 3 is popcorn ok? I see it says whole corn in limited quanities

    • Penny Hammond August 3, 2013, 8:24 pm

      A small amount should be okay – apparently popcorn isn’t genetically modified http://www.westonaprice.org/modern-foods/how-to-avoid-gmos.

      • Michelle January 17, 2015, 8:21 am

        Corn isn’t genetically modified? Even people that grow it say the quality is garbage…saw that on a documentary. I’m starting this because I am 20lbs over and way flabbier than I want to be. Missed an annual lingerie sale I love b.c I DON’T want to buy a 36DD, when I was a lot smaller. Started at 148 at 5’5.5 exactly and today down 2 pounds. I don’t drink, smoke or use drugs. I still have back issues when I sleep too long and asthma, but it’s early yet.

        I also joined the exercise coach/20 minute workout and I’m still sore.

        I capitulated and had ravioli and BOTH times, I was ready for bed after I ate it. I don’t know WHY American pasta, esp. ravioli, is jam packed with PROCESSED CHEESE and slimy sauces. It’s too salty and disgusting. Not what we make from Italy AT ALL. But I felt like cr*p after for many hours.

        I do not have problems with pure fruit or lactose free milk/Greek yogurt, but just enough to lower acidity of pineapple, mangoes, kiwi and acid, mouth/lip burn. I’m not giving up maple syrup or honey in my tea. I just measure 1/2 tsp for tea/coffee or steel – cut oats. Eating what I still have at home in greatly lowered moderation.

  • Sarah August 9, 2013, 8:39 pm

    Im suprised to see squash as an unlimited vegetable. I just discovered I love it:). Is it true? It seems so close to a sweet potato, and the carb count is ok…. I have over 60 pounds to lose and it’s going pretty slow. I’m about a month free of wheat, about 2 weeks lower carb ( under 50-100). It takes some figuring out, but my cravings are so much less now that wheat is gone! I’m really hoping the weight will melt if I stay below 100 carbs! I’m enjoying the foods a nd freedom!

    • Penny Hammond August 11, 2013, 11:26 am

      Great that your cravings have gone down so much!

      The book author says you can eat squash, and doesn’t suggest limiting it.
      If you’re a serious carb addict, it’s probably a good idea to make sure you don’t eat huge amounts of it…

  • Peti August 13, 2013, 10:11 am

    I just started Wheat Belly diet and I am down 5pd for a week. I love tomatoes and I haven’t seen them in any lists. Please advice.

    • Penny Hammond August 13, 2013, 2:35 pm

      Tomatoes are okay to eat on this diet – listed as a vegetable. Tomato paste and tomato juice are also okay.

  • Don Newman August 14, 2013, 3:11 pm

    I eat oatmeal two mornings per week. Is this a this okay regarding the Limited Catagory? Also can egg beaters be subed for eggs ?

    • Penny Hammond August 14, 2013, 7:36 pm

      The guidelines aren’t exactly clear on what quantity of non-gluten grains you can eat – twice a week is probably okay, but maybe not if they’re big bowlfuls.

      The book author would probably prefer that you have real eggs rather than egg beaters, as he advises you to eat more like your great-grandparents. He says to eat unprocessed foods and avoid “artificial food colorings and flavors” (one of the ingredients is “color”). Also egg beaters usually contain maltodextrin, which is on the list of ingredients to avoid as it may be a source of gluten, although Egg Beaters claim to be gluten-free.

  • Jody August 15, 2013, 10:13 pm

    Is is gluten free wheat free rolled oats ok on thid diet

    • Penny Hammond August 16, 2013, 9:20 am

      Yes, you can eat gluten-free oats in limited quantities.

  • Jenny August 17, 2013, 4:05 pm

    Hi..just curious..some of the legumes are on both the “unlimited” and “limited” lists…can you verify which list is correct? I need to go buy the book but I’m starting WB tomorrow. I was on Weight Watchers and after a 30 lb loss I found my weight creeping back up. I’ve regained almost all of it 🙁 I tried Wheat Belly before, kind of half-hearted, and it worked well. Now that I know I can have my beloved dirty martinis, I’m gonna give it another try~

    • Penny Hammond August 18, 2013, 10:08 am

      Thanks for spotting that, Jenny – they’re on the “limited” list.

  • Phoebe August 21, 2013, 5:11 am

    Hello! Am on day 4 of WB and its easier than I thought. Just 3 little questions: how many eggs is it ok to consume in one day? Is eating grapefruit alright? And what about occasional glass of red / white wine? Also, I see that soup stock is on rarely / never – what about if its organic & natural made? I make my husband and I big batches of chicken soup ( no noodles) and a million veggies. I hope this is ok?


    • Penny Hammond August 21, 2013, 8:10 am

      Hi Phoebe,
      For the number of eggs you can eat (or any other of the “unlimited” foods) – the author says “Eat what your body tells you to eat, since appetite signals, once rid of unnatural appetite stimulants such as wheat flour, will let you know what you require.” (pp. 208-209)
      Grapefruit should be okay in small amounts and occasionally. The only time citrus fruits are listed in the Wheat Belly book is to tell you that you should limit apples and oranges to a few wedges only, as more than that starts to provoke blood sugar excessively. (p.207)
      An occasional glass of red/white wine is fine.
      If you make your own stock/broth from meat/bones, veggies, and water, that should be okay. If you’re buying something from the store, carefully check the ingredients.

  • Charmaine August 27, 2013, 2:04 pm

    Hi, I was just diagnosed (via blood tests) with sensitivities to wheat and eggs, tuna, cranberry, banana, and coffee. Breakfast is turning out to be the hardest meal for me. If I just have fruit I am starving. I used to have toast or cereal, sometimes an egg or oatmeal. Now I can’t eat any of that. I am so depressed and don’t know how to cope with this. Please help. Thank you.

    • Penny Hammond August 27, 2013, 2:28 pm

      Sorry to hear you have so many sensitivities.
      If you have fruit on its own, it probably raises your blood sugar quickly, and then drops it again quickly making you hungry. If you combine the fruit with proteins and/or fats, that slows things down so you get full and stay feeling full for longer.
      The Wheat Belly book has a few recipes that might work for you for breakfast: Berry-coconut smoothie, granola (choose gluten-free oats and a dried fruit other than dried cranberries), and hot coconut flaxseed cereal. There are also a couple of non-egg recipes in the Wheat Belly Cookbook – grainless granola and homemade turkey sausage patties.
      Another thing you could try is having leftovers from last night’s dinner as breakfast, or something that you’d normally eat at another time in the day.
      Good luck, and I hope you feel healthier when you stop eating foods you’re sensitive to.

  • Karen September 7, 2013, 10:46 am

    I started the diet and day four down four pounds. Enjoy that there is such a hugh selection to eat. Enjoyed having a good variety of fruits and cheeses. I know I should be having more water. Only thing I missing is a good old hot dog, sounds silly having steak mushrooms onions but no hot dogs.

  • Denise September 11, 2013, 5:16 am

    I have been on this “Wheat Belly” good eating program for 14 weeks (3 1/2 months) i have lost over 13kgs, i do not consider this a diet as i do not agree with them.
    Just with eating well i have managed to shed some of my belly and feel good about myself which is the best thing you can do for yourself.
    I will not go back to my old habits, now i eat better than i did before, but this time i am aware of my body wants and needs, i still have a red wine each night which i do enjoy after a long day outside (we are country people.)
    Weekends i tend to stray away from my weekly eating program but i don’t alter to much much as i enjoy what i am eating during the week.
    Hope this helps someone that wants to shed their “Wheat Belly” as it does have results as long as you put the effort in as i did.
    Good Luck!

  • Dave September 13, 2013, 7:06 pm

    I have been consuming, in small quantities, bread and pasta made from einkorn wheat. Horrors! I am happy to report that my typical symptoms associated with frankenwheat consumption (abdominal bloating and loose stools, fiber fog, malaise/fatigue, reduced short-term memory, 2 hour hunger cycles/cravings, mood swings, joint pain) are not occurring with einkorn wheat. Anyone else have a similar story? Am I playing with fire? BTW I have lost 14 pounds in 3 weeks despite increase in healthy fat consumption and einkorn consumption.

  • Jenny September 14, 2013, 5:10 pm

    Hi there! Any suggestions for vegans? I am a nursing mama with my last 5 lbs of baby weight to go and I am stuck! My only starch carb per day is oatmeal and bites of my son’s toast here and there. Any breakfast and snack ideas that
    How many fat servings do you suggest per day?

    • Penny Hammond September 15, 2013, 10:13 am

      Hi Jenny,

      If you’re looking to follow the suggestions in Wheat Belly, you probably shouldn’t be having that toast…

      Dr. Davis suggests that vegetarians and vegans need to rely more heavily on nuts, nut meals, seeds, nut and seed butters, and oils; avocados and olives; and may have a bit more leeway with carbohydrate-containing beans, lentils, chickpeas, wild rice, chia seed, sweet potatoes, and yams than the general recommendations above. If nongenetically modified soy products can be obtained, then tofu, tempeh, and natto can provide another protein source.

      Vegan breakfast suggestions in the books include grain-free granola or ground flaxseed and ground nut meals (almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts) heated with coconut milk or coconut water, unsweetened almond milk, or soy-milk, and topped with walnuts, raw sunflower seeds, and blueberries or other berries. Vegan snack suggestions include raw nuts and flaxseed crackers – although the author claims that if you follow the diet you won’t crave for snacks.

      He doesn’t give any serving sizes for foods listed under “foods to eat” above – he says to eat what your body tells you to eat, “since appetite signals, once rid of unnatural appetite stimulants such as wheat flour, will let you know what you require.”

      If you’re still nursing, maybe you could relax a little on that last 5 lbs until you finish nursing? Your body may want to have some storage in case of emergencies to make sure your baby always has food, and you’re providing the best food your baby can have.

  • Bev September 19, 2013, 11:48 am

    I recently started the Wheat Belly diet……I am a vegetarian, how can I get protein in?

    • Penny Hammond September 19, 2013, 12:13 pm

      Eggs are fine if you eat them.

      Plant-based sources of protein recommended on this diet: Strict vegetarians need to rely more heavily on nuts, nut meals, seeds, nut and seed butters, and oils; avocados and olives; and may have a bit more leeway with carbohydrate-containing beans, lentils, chickpeas, wild rice, chia seed, sweet potatoes, and yams. If nongenetically modified soy products can be obtained, then tofu, tempeh, and natto can provide another protein source.

  • susan b October 1, 2013, 6:00 pm

    Do you know if organic palm sugar is ok to use? It’s an ingredient in my hemp protein powder. Thanks!

    • Penny Hammond October 1, 2013, 6:16 pm

      In the guidelines on what foods to limit and which to avoid, there are some gaps with sweeteners that aren’t in either list. So let’s do some research.
      According to Wikipedia, coconut palm sugar is mostly sucrose, which the body breaks down into fructose and glucose.
      This doesn’t sound like the sweeteners in the “limit” list, which are mostly noncaloric.
      The “avoid” list says that you should avoid sugary fructose-rich sweeteners – including sucrose. So it looks like you shouldn’t eat it.
      If there’s only a miniscule amount in your hemp protein powder, maybe you don’t need to sweat it. But if it tastes sweet because of the level of palm sugar, you should avoid it.

  • Lynne Griffith October 26, 2013, 12:02 pm

    I just started taking a nutrition class from a nutritionist. My husband and I have been following the “Wheat Belly” way of eating for the past couple of months and are very pleased with it. However, this nutritionist is a big proponent of the Paleo Diet and says absolutely no dairy. My husband and I have been eating limited amounts of cheese and have not found it to be a problem. I’ve also switched to unsweetened almond milk. I explained to the nutritionist how Dr. Davis allows for cheese in the Wheat Belly diet, but she was still against it, saying that a lot of doctors are not up on the latest information. It seems to me that Dr. Davis would be very aware of the latest information. Perhaps she is not very familiar with his work. May I ask your thoughts on the matter? Thank you.

    • Penny Hammond October 26, 2013, 2:16 pm

      Personally, I think that there isn’t one diet that works for all people – you should find out what works for you. Often an elimination and reintroduction diet can be helpful – you stop eating foods that commonly cause reactions so that your body can heal, then reintroduce them one at a time to see which ones trigger symptoms. You may get some surprising results.

      It’s interesting to read the science sections of all the different diet books I review – they all assume that theirs is the only correct interpretation of scientific evidence. But for every PhD there is an equal and opposite PhD – the design, execution, and interpretation of scientific experiments is done by humans, and subject to human errors and influences, including the need to please the person or organization funding the research. It’s possible that the writers of diet books (as well as the people and committees which write government dietary recommendations and the people and organizations which teach medicine and nutrition) are interpreting evidence based on their own preconceived ideas of what’s right and what’s wrong – which could be influenced by their own moral philosophies, educational background, mentors, and reactions to foods.

  • Nada October 30, 2013, 5:02 am

    So we can have unlimited quanteties from limited list? What is there to eat when ur hungry not on meal time?

    • Penny Hammond October 30, 2013, 7:15 am

      You can’t eat unlimited quantities from the limited list. There are clear guidelines in the book on how much starchy food to eat from that list (1/2 cup or less per serving) and a couple of the other foods (listed above), but there aren’t clear guidelines for many of the foods. Consider them more of a treat than a staple food.

      Dr. Davis says that if you cut out wheat, you’re less likely to want to snack, because wheat is addictive and you get hungry to get your next “fix” of brain-active exorphins (see pp. 48-53 for a discussion on exorphins).
      For snacks, there’s a list of suggested snacks on pp. 220-222 of the Wheat Belly book – raw nuts, cheese, dark chocolate (85% or more cacao is best), low-carb crackers, vegetable dips.
      Some of the recipes in the Wheat Belly Cookbook can also be used as snacks.

  • Jana November 3, 2013, 10:54 pm

    I just wanted to say, that I am very thankful that I was introduced to the Wheat Belly Diet. I am not looking at this as a diet though, this is a lifestyle eating habit change. I started the change on April 22,2013 and of today November 3, 2013 I have dropped from a size 30 to 20/22 and have lost 60 lbs. I have 75 more lbs to get to my desired weight. I have, as some of the other testimonies, come to a stand still, and have discovered that I need to get back to the basics again. I am so excited that I have found a method that is working for me. My husband finally gave in today and is jumping on board with me, which will make our eating habits so much easier. To everyone that is doing this, Keep up the good work……..

    • Yael January 11, 2015, 6:43 pm

      Kudos to you! that’s awesome. I must have been under a rock or something, I never heard about this book until 3 days ago. I’ve been totally wheat free for the past three days, and I notice that I am not hungry between meals. I have been using the recipes from the second book and I am having an amazing time thus far. I haven’t weighed myself yet, my goal is to do 14 days first…wish me success

      • Penny Hammond January 12, 2015, 11:23 am

        Good luck!

  • Marie November 21, 2013, 2:00 am

    Hello, I am on week 6 or so of WB. I have lost nearly 18 pounds. Prior to WB I was always constipated. I started WB and I had loose stools until three days ago. I feel like I am getting a serious constipation problem overnight. I don’t know what to do. I am also burping and having acid reflux. I also had nausea, vomiting and pain on Monday. Those symptoms are gone but this horrible constipation feeling persists. I am up at 2 am trying to figure this out. I don’t want to go to the doctor because they will say add the wheat back. I have added a probiotic and organic unrefined coconut oil. Should I take miralax, senna tablets? I really don’t eat that much but I am eating more veggies then I ever really ate before. Please advise.

    • Penny Hammond November 21, 2013, 7:52 am

      It sounds like you could have had food poisoning, and your body is taking some time to adjust. Try drinking plenty of liquids to help ease the constipation.
      It’s probably worth going to the doctor if you still have any symptoms – it doesn’t sound wheat-related. If you’re eating a lot of green veggies you should be getting plenty of fiber.

  • Autumn December 2, 2013, 2:22 pm

    I have heard a lot about this diet and I am ready to try it out and see what happens. I am a little concerned, however, because I am a picky eater, have limited time and not that crafty in the kitchen 🙁
    I dont eat seafood at all so I love chicken! But I don’t know that many ways to cook it. I usually just throw some oil in a pan and cook it and season it or pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.
    Does anyone know a good quick recipe for chicken that doesnt take long to make?


    • Penny Hammond December 4, 2013, 5:23 pm

      There are a number of recipes for chicken in the Wheat Belly Book and Cookbook. You can also search online for gluten-free chicken recipes.

  • terri December 4, 2013, 1:23 am

    Are protein shakes ok with spinach, a little frozen mixed fruit, yogurt, vanilla almond or coconut milk protein powder and flaxseed? Daily?

    • Penny Hammond December 4, 2013, 6:11 pm

      Watch out what’s in the protein shake mix, and keep an eye out on how much fruit and yogurt you use as they’re limited foods.

  • Frank January 8, 2014, 9:52 pm

    I like to drink alcohol. I understand all scotch as well as wheat based vodka is not allowed. Can I drink potato based vodka on this diet? I know it isn’t good to drink alcohol on a diet but assuming it is necessary, which hard alcohol is recommended on this diet? Second question: Can I drink as much red wine as I want on this diet?
    Please do not lecture me on the ills of alcohol and stick to answering the 2 questions.

    • Penny Hammond January 9, 2014, 6:31 pm

      Wheat-free alcohol suggestions: gluten-free beer, wine, brandy, cognac, liqueurs, rum, some vodkas (potato-based vodka should be fine).
      The author suggests you limit alcohol to 2 glasses of wine, 2 cocktails, or 1 higher-carb beer.

      Avoid these drinks as they may contain gluten: ales, beers, lagers, Bloody Mary mixes, flavored coffees, herbal teas made with wheat/barley/malt, malt liquor, flavored teas, vodkas distilled from wheat (Absolut, Grey Goose, Ketel One, SKYY, Stolichnaya) or other gluten-containing grains (Belvedere, Finlandia, Van Gogh), wine coolers containing barley malt, whiskey distilled from wheat or barley (Jack Daniels, Bushmills, Jameson, etc.).

  • Madonna January 10, 2014, 3:52 pm

    Are Hemp Hearts allowed?

    Thanks for all the great info.

    • Penny Hammond January 10, 2014, 7:24 pm

      There’s no mention in the book of hemp seeds, but in general the author encourages you to eat raw nuts and seeds. I can’t see anything in the book to say that shelling hemp seeds is bad, although it could be argued that it’s a form of processing that means it’s no longer a whole food. For that reason, it may be worth eating them only in moderation – up to you.

  • Jane January 16, 2014, 8:24 pm


    Will becoming wheat free eliminate restless leg syndorme

    • Penny Hammond January 16, 2014, 9:57 pm

      It’s possible that any chronic disease may be set off or made worse by foods (or other environmental factors). It’s going to depend on the person – different foods are triggers for different people.

      This diet stops you from eating some foods that can be triggers – gluten/wheat, and the full range of additives and preservatives that can be found in processed foods. It’s a limited elimination diet.

      If it doesn’t work, you can try eliminating and testing other foods – The Virgin Diet by JJ Virgin eliminates 7 common triggers, and The Plan by Lyn-Genet Recitas eliminates more. You could also try Your Personal Paleo Code by Chris Kresser, or Clean Gut by Alejandro Junger. These diets help you work out what foods might be causing you problems.

    • Alice January 10, 2015, 7:24 pm

      In my case being totally grain free (and other Wheatbelly guidelines) for two weeks has all but eliminated restless leg syndrome that I’ve had on and off for years. I was using, with some relief, Hyland’s homeopathic products for leg cramps and restlessness, that at times kept me from sleeping many nights and/or for more than a few hours at a time. I had never, in my active life, age 65.5, experienced many leg cramps until we went on the Atkins diet (we were already virtually sugar free, low carb, dairy free, and eating few few grains/legumes for years prior but did several months of Atkins limiting carbs to <20 grams/day – drastic and not very healthy, btw) about 15 yrs. ago. After researching I found that I was probably suffering from magnesium deficiency. An added daily supplement of magnesium, above what my daily multi-vit contained, eased the cramps significantly. As of starting Wheatbelly "diet", I have had no restless legs, after first few days, few leg cramps, and those are much milder, and after a week eating Wheatbelly, the frequent cramps/lockups of my fingers have stopped. BTW… Dr. Davis does suggest supplementing with magnesium, in a from that doesn't cause bowel disruptions. AND I started back on magnesium supplements when we started Wheatbelly "diet".

  • Ciara January 28, 2014, 2:44 am

    “Blue cheese” cheese is on both the “Foods to Eat” and the “Foods to Avoid” list. Which one does it belong on?

    • Penny Hammond January 29, 2014, 6:59 am

      Dr. Davis is a little unclear on this. He wants you to avoid foods that may be contaminated with gluten, which is possible for some cheeses. On the other hand, there’s a recipe (day 2) that includes gorgonzola cheese. I think the answer is to keep an eye out that your diet is gluten-free.
      I’ve tweaked the post to try to make this a little clearer, thanks for pointing it out!

  • Betty Joseph January 28, 2014, 11:51 am

    I am trying the Wheat Belly diet. When I made up my mind really try to stick to it, I went to the Bulk store and purchased some of gluten free products ie: cereal, for breakfast, one was crunchy with flax, and the other was made with Corn starch. I am big on breakfast, but because of a previous experience, I am not an egg eater.
    my big question is what if any are the problems with eating gluten free/ wheat free foods. Are there problems I could encounter eating these foods.
    I have lost only three pounds so far, but I’m determined to stay with this way of eating, as I have been told I have considerable Acid Reflux (GERD) and am trying to rid myself of the symptoms. (cough since Feb. 2012).I look forward to our answer. Betty

    • Penny Hammond January 29, 2014, 7:27 am

      Hi Betty,

      As well as telling you to avoid gluten, Dr. Davis asks that you avoid processed and sugary foods. He asks that you avoid conventional “gluten-free junk carbohydrate ingredients” – no cornstarch, potato starch, tapioca starch, or rice starch.
      Most gluten-free cereals are processed, so be careful with them check that the ingredients are all whole foods.

      There are a few breakfast recipes and ideas in the diet book that don’t contain eggs – a week’s food plan is on pp 216-219 and recipes are in appendix B, pp 238-266. Granola, hot coconut flaxseed cereal, berry-coconut smoothie, hummus with raw vegetables, caprese salad, apple walnut “bread.” If you don’t like to see eggs but aren’t so worried about them being a hidden ingredient, there’s also the “classic cheesecake with wheatless crust” that’s listed as a breakfast idea! Also see the cookbook and 30-minutes-or-less cookbook for more ideas.

      Another alternative Dr. Davis suggests is to try call “dinner for breakfast” – transplanting foods you ordinarily think of as lunch or dinner foods into breakfast fare; for example save some leftover dinner to have for breakfast.

      For your acid reflux/silent reflex, you may want to look at a diet that’s specifically designed to treat that condition, and to identify your trigger foods so you stop aggravating the condition. For example, see Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet by Jamie Koufman MD, Jordan Stern MD, and Marc Bauer.

  • Mary Jo Mitchel January 28, 2014, 2:43 pm

    I’m confused are corn tortillas okay? What about brown, wild or white rice. What carbohydrates are good, have a very limited budget. Are corn flake crumbs okay to use to coat chicken for oven frying?

    • Penny Hammond January 30, 2014, 8:05 am

      According to Dr. Davis, corn and white/brown rice are increasingly likely to be genetically modified and should be consumed cautiously, if at all. And in general, he advises to avoid eating grains in flour form (unless limiting carbohydrate exposure may not be as important, e.g. for kids). So it looks like this diet would advise against corn tortillas and also corn flake crumbs.

      In general, this is a diet that allows limited amounts of gluten-free, unprocessed whole grains. Instead of looking for carbs, look for vegetables. On a low budget, look for seasonal fresh veggies as they tend to be the cheapest, and also frozen and canned vegetables.

  • Dana January 29, 2014, 1:57 pm

    I just finished reading Dr Davis’s Wheat Belly and I ordered the 30 minute cookbook for my kindle today. I have not begun yet because I am concerned about some of the limited foods that I really enjoy, i.e popcorn, greek yougurt, fruit and rice protiens that I eat very regularly. I feel like I can eliminate the wheat but the other items are such a staple in my diet. I don’t eat fried foods, artificial sweetners, sweetened beverages, except an occasional glass of wine or a little raw honey in my green tea. Hopefully, if I refrain from these items for a while, I will achieve my goal of losing 30pounds and relief of some of my asthma.

    • Penny Hammond January 31, 2014, 7:45 am

      Try to refrain from those foods for a while to see if it helps – bulk up your diet with vegetables instead. Dr. Davis advises eating grains (including popcorn) in moderation – and only if you’re not carb-intolerant (there’s not a test for that, but if you’re overweight it’s quite possible that you have blood sugar issues and should be avoiding them completely on this diet).

      It’s possible that an elimination diet, where you avoid common trigger foods, may help relieve your asthma. This one may work, or you could try alternatives which eliminate other common triggers like Clean Gut by Alexandro Junger or The Virgin Diet by JJ Virgin.

  • Becky January 30, 2014, 9:22 pm

    Is Gluten free oatmeal an option to eat. Considering this WB method. My husband and I already are juicing vegetables but eat a lot of beans and sweet potatoes, curry dishes that use coconut milk. Very little meat. I of course have a belly I want to get rid of. We are wine drinkers and go in stages of no wine to sharing a bottle with a meal once or twice a week.
    We are foodies and love to eat and are on and off with our eating habits. I can never stop and one oreo I have to have 1/2 a bag. Same with cheese, Cant have just a piece I eat 1/2 lb I love the taste and the fat feel in my mouth. I am about 20 lbs over weight and it is mainly in my belly. Thoughts on the oatmeal and any other comments .

    • Penny Hammond January 31, 2014, 8:17 am

      Dr. Davis says that oatmeal causes the blood sugar to rise, and advises against eating it for that reason.

      The book talks about wheat addiction, but doesn’t go into other food addictions. Sugar addiction or cravings are very common – I’m a self-confessed sugar addict, if I have a little I need more more more, so I avoid it completely to avoid issues (going cold turkey was really hard work – whenever I’m tempted to go back I remind myself how that felt). Milk contains casomorphines, so cheese can be addictive for some people as well. Some people believe that if you’re addicted to a food, it’s likely that that food is throwing off your gut balance causing you harm.

      Try avoiding your “addictive” foods and concentrating more on proteins and whole salads / low-starch vegetables. If you’re juicing you’re probably getting a lot of nutrition but no bulk, so adding salads and veggies is a way to fill you up. Veggies are becoming trendy – there are lots of great recipes out there!

  • Cindy January 31, 2014, 12:49 pm

    are corn tortillas ok, or gluten free corn tortilla chips?

    • Penny Hammond January 31, 2014, 3:40 pm

      Dr. Davis says that corn is increasingly likely to be genetically modified and should be consumed cautiously, if at all. And in general, he advises to avoid eating grains in flour form (unless limiting carbohydrate exposure may not be as important, e.g. for kids). So it looks like this diet would advise against corn tortillas and gluten-free corn tortilla chips – unless they’re organic and you don’t have any blood sugar issues or weight to lose.

  • Barbara January 31, 2014, 9:52 pm

    Your website was very helpful. I saw Dr. Davis on Dr. Oz last night and became very interested in trying Wheat Belly. I am considered a “Senior” and all of a sudden I am having a lot of stomach issues that cycle between constipation to normal and then to loose stools and cramps. This has become more intense over the last 6 months. With that in mind, I will try Wheat Belly. I am wondering if I should also take the 1-2 T flaxseed to 1/2 c unsweetened applesauce as I saw one person recommend. I had a colonoscopy a few months ago, and no know problem other than age.
    Thank you for all your comments. It was great to read the questions and answers.

  • Leigh February 1, 2014, 12:38 am

    I am confused about milk. Can I drink regular milk ( skim, 2%, whole milk?)

    • Penny Hammond February 3, 2014, 11:30 am

      Milk isn’t an unlimited food in this diet – you’ll find it in the list for Foods to Limit.
      There aren’t any portion guidelines for milk.

      Dr. Davis says that you should have foods in their least processed forms, and milk should be whole (not skim or 2%).

  • Leigh February 1, 2014, 1:10 pm

    Can you drink milk and if so what kind?

    • Penny Hammond February 3, 2014, 11:30 am

      You can drink limited amounts of whole, organic milk.

  • Laura February 2, 2014, 8:22 pm

    I have recently purchased the WB book and cookbook. Do you have to stick to each meal plan for the week diet or can you alter it? I am not all that fond of cheese and I am trying to keep dairy to a minimum with being an acne sufferer. Also, how many times a week should you consume the flaxseed & coconut cereal combination for breakfast?

    • Penny Hammond February 3, 2014, 12:06 pm

      The menus are sample menus, you don’t have to follow them – they’re there to make life easier for people who like to have a clear plan laid out for them.

      I can’t see anything in the book telling you that you shouldn’t eat the same foods every day.

  • Joyce Krouse February 3, 2014, 7:55 pm

    Is peanut butter OK.? I there any ice cream allowed? Pancakes made with
    almond flour or any other flour or bisquick? Are the new popcorn crackers allowed?
    Thank You

    • Penny Hammond February 3, 2014, 8:59 pm

      “Natural” peanut butter is okay on this diet – just peanuts, no added oils or sugars or anything else.

      If you can find an ice cream that meets the guidelines above, you could eat it – but that would be pretty hard to find. Non-cheese dairy products (milk, cream, yogurt) are limited although unsweetened nut milks are allowed, no sugars although xylitol and stevia are allowed on this diet.

      Almond flour is allowed in unlimited quantities (that is, until you feel full) – again, you’d have to watch out for the other ingredients if you’re making pancakes from it.
      Bisquick is usually made from wheat flour, and the gluten-free version contains sugar, so not allowed on this diet.

      Corn would be allowed in small quantities on this diet if not genetically modified. Watch out for any other ingredients in popcorn crackers.

  • Katie February 6, 2014, 10:47 am

    What about Sam Mills 100% Corn Pasta? It’s Gluten Free and the ingredients are corn flour & water. The package says free from wheat, gluten, dairy, egg, sugar, cholesterol, yeast, soy, sodium. The GI is 33. Please help with any information if I can eat this? Thank you.

    • Penny Hammond February 6, 2014, 12:13 pm

      From what I can see online, the ingredients are corn flour and water.
      Dr. Davis says that you should eat foods which are free of conventional “gluten-free junk carbohydrate ingredients” – no cornstarch, potato starch, tapioca starch, or rice starch. Cornstarch and corn flour are pretty much the same thing, so this pasta isn’t something you can eat on this diet.

  • Joan February 8, 2014, 4:04 pm

    I was wondering about nut flours. It seems to me that people aren’t supposed to eat nuts in this quantity because of phytic acid, which can cause bone loss. Grains and nuts must be soaked first. I wonder why there isn’t any mention of this in the book?

    • Penny Hammond February 8, 2014, 5:08 pm

      There’s no mention of soaking nuts or legumes in this book. There are lots of conflicting “supposed-to’s” out there – no one diet will contain all of them!

  • Ali February 10, 2014, 2:27 pm

    (1) Are Boor’s Head meats recommended?
    (2) I did not see powdered Stevia recommended–why?
    (3) Is there a substitute for a morning bowl (1/2 c.) of oatmeal ?
    I add lots of cinnamon, coconut oil, and flax meal to it.
    I have stopped taking Prilosec-type caps for reflux since starting this diet, plus taking cider vinegar in the mornings.
    I am taking a good systemic enzyme dose in the early morning to try to reverse some of the damage done from past eating.
    I do not crave sweets or carbs, and my desire for larger portions and frequent snacks has decreased drastically.
    My low-grade sinus and eye inflammations have gone.
    Joint and feet aches have gone.
    Breast inflammation and fluids (edema, maybe?) have gone.
    Gas, even with beans, has reduced greatly.
    Inches off belly and legs noted—fluid gone for sure.
    I am not weighing because doing it has blown my efforts in the past.
    I can tell my body is happier and don’t want the scale to become the final word.
    Thank you for this site!

    • Penny Hammond February 11, 2014, 8:11 am

      How wonderful that you’re feeling so much better!

      (1) Cured meats should be avoided on this diet – all deli meats usually fall under the definition of cured meats.
      (2) Stevia is allowed on the diet – the recipes all call for liquid stevia and I can’t find any specific mention of powdered stevia. Check the ingredients list – it’s possible that the powdered stevia may include ingredients that aren’t allowed on this diet.
      (3) There are a number of breakfast recipes in the books, including a grain-free granola.

      • Alice January 10, 2015, 7:53 pm

        I purchased a big box of PureVia packets from Costco. Not good…. as first ingredient is Dextros before stevia. Same with a small box of Monk Fruit packets. So read those labels well before spending the money. We have been using Sucralose (Splenda) for many years and will continue to do so as we have no intolerance that we are aware of and like the taste. (Husband can’t do aspartame.) I did purchase Erythritol and Xylitol granular forms but have only used them cooking and baking. For us, having Sucralose in a “sugar” container (like in old timey restaurants) is the easiest way to go for sprinkling over foods and beverages. BTW… for a great treat or dessert…. grain free bread, spread with grass fed butter (we some out in a little ramekin so it is always soft when wanted), sprinkled with some sucralose, erythritol, or xylitol is really yummy! We still “need” our late night sweet snacks and this is better than many alternatives.

  • Joanie February 10, 2014, 4:14 pm

    I recently saw Dr. Davis on the Dr. Oz show, and think I should give this a try. Not for losing weight, but health reasons. I have 6 auto-immune diseases, including Crohn’s , and I also have Colitis, and Diverticulitis,and acute Asthma. I did go on a no wheat “diet” but it did not seem to help with the bloating, etc. so am hesitant about going wheat free again. I do love my bread and pasta,but in moderation……. I am a very healthy eater, exercise every day, etc. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated………Thank you!

    • Penny Hammond February 11, 2014, 8:03 am

      You could try an elimination-reintroduction diet that covers foods other than gluten and processed foods. The goal of these programs is to clean out your diet until the point that you get rid of symptoms, the reintroduce foods one at a time in a controlled environment to see how you react to them.

      The Virgin Diet by JJ Virgin helps you test the most common 7 food intolerances.
      The Plan by Lyn-Genet Recitas helps you test a wider range of foods, and is very specific about what to eat on which day.
      Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo and Your Personal Paleo Code by Chris Kresser are paleo-type diets that eliminate a lot of possible trigger foods, discuss autoimmune diseases, and help you reintroduce foods to test them.
      Clean Gut by Alexander Junger has a program to repair your gut, followed by a reintroduction program – you could follow this in conjuction with Clean by the same author to address the possible issues of other environmental triggers.
      If you want to go all-in and devise your own testing plan (harder work but more controllable), try using Food Allergies and Food Intolerance by Jonathan Brostoff and Linda Gamlin.

      • Joanie February 12, 2014, 3:32 pm

        Thank you for all your information!

  • Sara February 16, 2014, 3:12 pm

    I saw the Wheat Belly Triple-Berry Quick Muffin recipe on Dr. Oz, but his website doesn’t list the recipe for all-purpose baking mix. I know that the ingredients are: almond flour, flaxseed meal, coconut flour, and baking soda. However I don’t know the portions required for the recipe. Can anyone help me out?

  • Chantal February 18, 2014, 5:09 pm

    I’ve been on this diet for a few months and I love it! I’ve been cooking with coconut flour, which I love, but are we allowed to use rice flour or eat a slice of organic gluten-free bread made with brown rice flour and tapioca flour? The ingredients seem okay, except I’m not sure what rice bran is and vegetable gum. It also contains fresh yeast. Are these okay or should I avoid this bread?

    • Penny Hammond February 18, 2014, 7:49 pm

      Dr. Davis says that rice (white or brown) is increasingly likely to be genetically modified – but if it’s organic that won’t be the case.
      He asks you to eat foods that are free of conventional “gluten-free junk carbohydrate ingredients” – no cornstarch, potato starch, tapioca starch, or rice starch. The difference between flour and starch can be a fine line – starch may be ground more finely than flour, or not have any fiber in it. He also says they should be “low in carbohydrate exposure”.

      If you have high carb tolerance, you may be able to eat a small amount of that bread occasionally, but the guidelines aren’t really clear.

      • Chantal February 19, 2014, 7:14 pm

        Thank you very much for your response 🙂 I didn’t know that about starch. I’m just going to avoid rice flour because I’ve noticed that I feel bloated and sluggish after I have it, but I don’t feel that way after I have coconut flour, so I’m sticking to coconut flour. Thanks again!

  • Amber Jones February 19, 2014, 3:19 pm

    I am new to Wheat Belly and have not yet started! Can you please advise me as to what I should purchase, the websites I should visit (besides this one) and the best way to kick this off? I have fibromyalgia (only 34yrs old) and IBS, and someone suggested that I try Wheat Belly…so here I am. Thanks to any and to all who suggest!

  • Debbie Fulkerson February 23, 2014, 5:28 pm

    . What about veg I can in the summer like green beans tomato juice and tomatoes. Can I have them? Or can green beans from the grocery

    • Penny Hammond February 23, 2014, 7:47 pm

      All the foods you asked about are listed as okay to eat – in the Foods to Eat section above, see Vegetables and Odds and Ends.

  • MG March 4, 2014, 11:40 am

    I do not see Canola oil listed. It’s so popular, so I’m surprised it isn’t. Is an oil to avoid?

    • Penny Hammond March 5, 2014, 8:36 am

      Dr. Davis doesn’t refer to canola oil in the book or on his website.
      He tells you to avoid polyunsaturated oils. Canola oil is high in monounsaturated fats and has moderate polyunsaturated fats, according to CanolaInfo. But the proportions of different types of fat look similar to those in safflower oil, which Dr. Davis lists as a food to avoid.
      Also, a lot of canola oil is genetically modified according to a study quoted in the Wikipedia canola page, and in general Dr. Davis asks you to avoid GM foods.

  • holly brizzi March 12, 2014, 12:48 am

    I was wondering is pure pumpkin allowed?

    • Penny Hammond March 12, 2014, 3:20 pm

      Pumpkin is mentioned in a few recipes, so it’s allowed. There isn’t any guidance to say whether you can eat it freely or should limit its use (because it’s a starchy vegetable, not too dissimilar to sweet potatoes which should be limited). My assumption would be that you can eat it but not in unlimited amounts.

  • Heather March 17, 2014, 9:55 pm

    I’m confused, please help…….I have removed all fat free sugar free processed foods from my life and replaced with full fat and eggs, cheese and bacon along with salads with protein for lunch and veggies with protein for dinner……usually no snacks vc I’m so no hungry which is a new thing for me. I’ve lost 19 lbs with my nutritionist but read this book and decided to try this on my own to be healthier and maybe drop another few pounds. I’ve actually gained a few pounds and am struggling with my decision to keep this way of life up or go back to my old “unhealthy” healthy meals. I need advice please……..

    • Penny Hammond March 19, 2014, 6:45 pm

      It’s difficult with so many diets and healthy eating recommendations around to pick the one that’s right for you. Just because a lot of people are following a particular diet doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. It sounds like the diet you were following before may have worked better for you than this one.

  • janet backhaus March 21, 2014, 3:51 pm

    hi, i plan on starting the wheat belly diet soon, ( i am sortof doing it now as i have been juicing two meals a day, vegetables and one fruit) i feel great and i have lost 10 pounds in 2.5 weeks. BUT>…..my real question is my husband, he has severe RA and does not need to lose any weight. But I understand this Wheat Belly diet could produce amazing results for him and his severe RA. Your thoughts?

    • Penny Hammond March 23, 2014, 3:04 pm

      Sometimes rheumatoid arthritis may be triggered or made worse by environmental factors including the foods you eat. For some people, wheat could be a trigger. Many people have more than one trigger food. Your husband could try this diet, but it would probably be a better idea for him to try a more thorough elimination/reintroduction diet. I found Food Allergies and Food Intolerances by Jonathan Brostoff and Linda Gamlin very useful, although it’s a big commitment to properly test a wide variety of foods.

  • Judy March 31, 2014, 8:44 am

    Hi, I have been trying to go on this diet but I am having trouble. I find I am limited to what I can eat and am always hungry. I tend to want to eat every 2-3 hours. I am avoiding meats for health reasons and of course trying to go 100% to 80% wheat free. I am not allergic to gluten but I am allergic/sensitive to milk. I have been drinking Natura original unsweeten non-refridgated soy milk. I also live with vision loss and find it extra difficult as I have to rely on assistance shopping and having the person to read the ingredients. I am currently listening to the WB book. I am also not a fan of nuts except for almond and pecans. I hate the taste of flaxseeds to. so I feel super limited. I would like to lose 15 pounds though I am not over weight. Since I am so limited I find I am eating carbs more then what the book is saying. Any suggestions or detail help will be greatly appreciated.

    • Penny Hammond April 6, 2014, 1:46 pm

      Hi Judy,

      You mentioned that you’re avoiding meats for health reasons – is this something your doctor has recommended? In recent years, the old guidelines saying that animal fats raise cholesterol have been very strongly questioned from many fronts, and many diet experts now say that animal fats are less of a problem than refined carbohydrates, which can be the cause of high bad cholesterol and heart disease. See The Great Cholesterol Myth (one of the authors is a heart doctor) for more details.

      If you’re always hungry, eating less carbohydrates and/or more protein and fat can help – after eating carbohydrates your blood sugar/insulin can rise then crash, making you feel hungry again soon, and also proteins and fats help you feel full for longer.

      If you have very strong feelings about being vegetarian, Dr. Davis says it’s okay for you to eat organic non-GMO tofu, tempeh, and natto as a protein. If you eat fish, that can be a good source of protein, and fatty fishes also have fats to help you feel full. If you’re willing to stretch a little outside the old animal fat guidelines, try adding more eggs, poultry and meat.
      And you can’t eat low-fat at the same time as eating low-carb, or you won’t have a source of energy – make sure you’re getting a reasonable amount of the suggested healthy oils.
      Hope that helps.

  • neeta April 6, 2014, 2:41 am

    I’m vegetarian,i want to follow wheat belly ,mostly i eat vegetables and cerels, so what you suggest me to eat, if i follow wheat belly? thanks 🙂

    • Penny Hammond April 6, 2014, 3:43 pm

      Cheeses and eggs are allowed on the diet, and also legumes in moderation. You can have minimally processed soy products, preferably non-GMO – e.g. tofu, tempeh, miso, natto, edamame, soybeans. Make sure you’re eating enough healthy fats, to give you energy and stop you from feeling hungry. And keep up with eating veggies!

  • larry Dietz April 8, 2014, 10:13 pm

    Tell me about wheat grass, please. Thank-you

    • Penny Hammond April 10, 2014, 10:07 am

      Wheatgrass is the green shoots that come out when wheat is sprouted; it looks like very bright green grass. It’s very high in chlorophyll; when cows feed on wheatgrass they produce milk that’s very high in nutrients, according to Weston Price in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.

      Humans don’t have the digestive system to be able to eat grass, however they can drink the “juice” of wheatgrass – it’s squeezed out in juicers, like getting the juice from carrots. As long as the grass doesn’t have any seeds, wheatgrass juice is gluten-free, according to about.com – celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

      Dr. Davis doesn’t mention wheatgrass in his book.

  • Sandra April 14, 2014, 6:31 pm

    Can I eat fresh corn tortillas? Ingredients- corn and water

    • Penny Hammond April 14, 2014, 8:02 pm

      Corn should be limited on this diet – Dr. Davis says it is increasingly likely to be genetically modified and should be consumed cautiously, if at all.
      If you do eat it, limit servings to ½ cup or less (scrunch one up to see how much of a cup it takes up).

  • mike jackson April 21, 2014, 8:13 am

    Been on this 47 days or so. Lost about 11 lbs and weight is going off about 1/4 lb every 7 days or so. It nice. Not easy but I feel real good. Still get overwhelmed when I go shopping for food so much to leave alone but as I get better with menu ideas its better but I notice how my smell of foods is more intense and taste is more noticeable. Its still new way of living and day by day its working. Don’t know how its change me its new feeling every day.

  • Robert April 25, 2014, 11:58 am


    Hope you can help. I have a vegetable garden and garden season is fast approaching. For now, I’m primarily interested in the place of BEETS in the Wheat Belly program but can’t find any information.

    At the same time, there’s a large number of vegetables, herbs, etc, that come under the category of “root” vegetable and I think it would be helpful for someone to put together a Wheat Belly listing. Other than a little about carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams, I can’t find much specific information.

    I’m sure other Wheat Belly gardeners (and shoppers, too) would like to learn more about this subject. Can you help?

    Thank you

    • Penny Hammond April 27, 2014, 10:31 am

      Dr. Davis doesn’t mention beets in the Wheat Belly book or the 30 Minute Cookbook, and only mentions them in the Wheat Belly Cookbook as a food to avoid because it’s been genetically modified.
      He mentions avoiding high glycemic index foods because they elevate blood sugar levels.

      Here’s some data from the International Tables of Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Values 2008, compared to bread = 100
      Beets: GI 91, GL 4
      Carrots – raw: GI 23, GL 1
      Carrots – cooked: GI 131, GL 6
      Cassava: GI 65 +-12, GL 12
      Parsnip: GI 139, GL 12
      Potatoes: Depends on the variety and how it’s cooked, mostly in this range: GI 75-134, GL 13-27
      Rutabaga/swede: GI 103, GL 7
      Sweet potatoes: GI 84 +-5, GL 18
      Taro: GI 77, GL 4

      If you just look at the glycemic index, you’d assume that cooked carrots shouldn’t be okay on this diet, however carrots are listed as an unlimited food. So I assume that Dr. Davis may have considered the glycemic load (GL) more important. And beets have a similar glycemic load to carrots, so if that was the reasoning behind which foods are listed as okay, then carrots should be okay.

      Another way to look at it is that maybe carrots were wrongly listed as a food to eat in unlimited quantities – raw carrots are okay but cooked carrots should be limited to 1/2 cup per serving, along with other starchy foods. There are carrots in the recipes, but not in huge amounts. To me, limiting root vegetables as starchy foods sounds a little more in line with the recommendations in the book.

      On a side note, beet greens should be fine to eat in unlimited quantities.

  • Chantal April 25, 2014, 8:30 pm

    Hi, I’m a little confused about the peanuts. Dr. Davis posted on wheatbellyblog.com that we can have unlimited dry roasted peanuts, but dry roasted peanuts are listed on this website under Foods To Avoid (Snacks and Desserts), Foods To Limit (Legumes), and Foods To Eat (Raw Nuts and Seeds). I like to buy dry roasted peanuts in their shells, so I know they’re not salted or roasted in oil and I crack them open and make my own homemade peanut butter with no added ingredients and I eat that with organic carrots, but should I be avoiding peanuts altogether? Also, why are raw peanuts bad?

    PS: I’m 24 and I’ve been following the wheat belly diet for about 6 months now and it’s definitely doable and sooo worth it. I never thought I’d be able to fit into a size 5 in jeans. I actually weigh less now than I did in middle school! I’ve never been so fit and healthy and I owe it 100% to Wheat Belly and working out <3

  • Dani May 2, 2014, 12:51 am

    Hello! I am strongly considering the WB way of life (I have several ailments that should be eliminated if I stick to it), but I have a few concerns. First off, I am a vegetarian. I eat NO meat, but I will eat eggs and Greek yogurt. The majority of my protein comes from those items, as well as GF (gluten free) lentils and GF lentil & veg soup. I rely on beans a LOT (virtually at every lunch and dinner meal) to sub meat. Luckily, I never got into the “fake” meat like Boca and the like.
    Also, fruit is a big concern. I plan on purchasing a glucose test strip kit to make sure I’m in the recommended ranges day-to-day, but I usually start each day w/ a smoothie containing chia seeds, as well as equal parts fruit (mostly berries) + a banana, and vegetables (like spinach, kale, carrots). I also add a couple of dried dates for sweetness, and avoid artificial stuff like the plague. I also use coconut water for the wet part. Maybe I should add a protein powder to make it more filling and healthy…any recommendations?

    I guess what I am getting at is: since I don’t eat meat, can I up my intake of legumes?

    Also, is there a chart of recommended glucose levels? I’ve luckily never been close to diabetic, but understand the drastic consequences. I am a 5’8″ female, weigh about 200 lb. (major yo-yo over the years, the latest was 50 lbs in about 5 months; prior to that, I lost about 40# by just not eating over about a 3 month period-a result of severe depression and other mental issues that had me bedridden w/ no desire to eat).

    Here’s to hoping WB is the answer to all of my prayers. Any tips for a vegetarian would be appreciated! Feel free to answer privately, if you prefer. Thanks in advance!!

    • Penny Hammond May 4, 2014, 8:21 pm

      Hi Dani,

      Here’s what Dr. Davis says for vegans (rather than vegetarians):
      Strict vegetarians need to rely more heavily on nuts, nut meals, seeds, nut and seed butters, and oils; avocados and olives; and may have a bit more leeway with carbohydrate-containing beans, lentils, chickpeas, wild rice, chia seed, sweet potatoes, and yams
      If nongenetically modified soy products can be obtained, then tofu, tempeh, and natto can provide another protein source

      Could you look for a bit more range in your proteins, so beans aren’t your main proteins at most meals? Often people put on weight when following a vegetarian diet because carbs are easily found, low priced, and vegetarian – however too many of them can be detrimental. Try some lower-carb protein sources such as nuts and seeds, as well as eggs and fermented milk products (yogurt, kefir, etc.)

      There’s one smoothie recipes in the book, Berry-Coconut Smoothie, which looks lower in fruit and higher in protein than what you usually have, so maybe cutting back a bit on the fresh fruit and dried fruit and adding a protein powder or using yogurt would put it more in line with his suggestions. By the way coconut water is surprisingly high in natural sugars, all the more reason to use yogurt or kefir instead. But it’s great that you’re putting lots of veggies in there.

      Here’s what the Mayo Clinic’s diabetes blog has to say about blood glucose levels: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/expert-blog/blood-glucose-target-range/bgp-20056575

  • tillthen May 4, 2014, 5:46 am

    The best information I have ever read on the foods best for dieting. Great info!

  • Marlene Breti May 10, 2014, 1:40 pm

    I am on the WB program and absolutely love it – is the Pure Raspberry Ketone Plus a no-no?

    Thanks, Marlene

    • Penny Hammond May 11, 2014, 1:44 pm

      Hi Marlene,
      That’s a supplement – I concentrate on the food side of diets, and can’t really help with supplements.
      Dr. Davis doesn’t talk much about supplements in his book, except to say that you should check that they’re gluten-free. Check with the manufacturer to see whether your supplement is gluten-free.

  • pam chesnutt May 12, 2014, 11:53 am

    well if deli meats are cured and forbidden why does Dr davis have a recipe for turkey wraps using deli turkey

    • Penny Hammond May 13, 2014, 7:50 pm

      Diet writers are human, and sometimes they make mistakes!
      Or possibly Dr. Davis thinks that unprocessed deli turkey is okay, better than luncheon meats and salami which are often more processed.

  • Chris May 28, 2014, 7:32 pm

    Hi Leeona, sorry to hear of your bowel problems. Please try drinking a glass of pure, organic pomegranite juice each morning for a week. Or maybe even one glass in the morning and one in the evening on an empty stomach. It worked for me. Good luck.

  • Marilis luna May 29, 2014, 3:11 pm

    I followed the wheat belly,i lost 15 lbs since i started march 25,2014, i reached 287 cholesterol and on wheat free diet it’s totally gone with out any taking medicines,really amazing even my asthma my hyperthyroidism ,my t3 t4,my ECG, are all normal now.thanks so much Dr.David Williams

  • DAC June 1, 2014, 12:26 pm

    Hi i am a normal weight girl…. I am about 115 pounds. I am not trying to lose any weight but i have been using the WB diet and I love that it has taken away my cravings for any sugar. I follow the diet pretty closely but i happen to LOVE sweet potatoes. I have to force myself to limit what I eat but I could easily eat ALOT because they are so tasty to me. Are sweet potatoes really that bad for me ? i dont have any gluten sensitivity at all….. how much can i eat and how often can i eat them without messing the diet up ?

    • Penny Hammond June 1, 2014, 1:48 pm

      Sweet potatoes are listed as a “limit” food, presumably because they’re a starchy vegetable. However, Dr. Davis includes sweet potatoes in a list of “carbohydrate sources that provide important nutrients and don’t increase blood glucose to the same extent that more ‘obnoxious’ carbohydrates can” (p.114). He also says that “Japanese Okinawans, probably the most long-lived group on planet earth, until the 1980s consumed a diet rich in an incredible array of vegetables, sweet potatoes, soy, pork, and fish” (p. 178).
      If you wanted to lose weight, it may make sense to limit sweet potatoes, however if you don’t need to lose weight the need to limit them might not be too great. On the other hand, if you get a bit of a sugar rush when you eat them (the way you describe how much you loves them kinda sounds like you do!), then it’s probably worth keeping an eye out so you don’t go overboard on them.

      • DAC June 1, 2014, 11:20 pm

        Yes its those Japanese variety of sweet potatoes. LOL I love them but I dont allow myself to have more than a little bit at a time. I guess can actually eat a whole one… usually about 4 oz and see what happens. I never get sugar rushes from sweet potatoes. but…. I will keep and eye on it just the same.
        thanks for your reply

  • marie June 4, 2014, 1:31 pm

    Can i have low fat ice cream please

    • Penny Hammond June 8, 2014, 12:39 pm

      On this diet you’re supposed to completely avoid sweet foods, and ice cream is usually sweet.
      You’re also supposed to have dairy in its least-processed form – whole-fat (rather than low-fat or fat-free milk) – low-fat ice cream is usually made from low-fat or fat-free milk.
      And processed foods with a lot of ingredients are supposed to be avoided as well – low fat ice creams generally have a lot of ingredients, many of them not natural foods.

  • shaz June 24, 2014, 7:20 am

    hello, can you help please. I have an underactve thyroid due to radiotherapy treatment to my neck some 30 years ago. I have a diagnosed underactive thyroid and taking 125mg Levotyroxine in the morning. I am trying hard to lose weight and have been on every diet possible and mostly I am gluten free but confess I get disheartened by no weight loss after 8 weeks of strict gluten free – there is a lot of information out there and I’m just plain confused now! Can you help with supplementation advice and when to take it in relation to the Levothyroxine. Thank you.

    • Penny Hammond June 24, 2014, 8:57 am

      Different people react to different foods, and quite a few people react to more than one type of food. If you go gluten-free and it doesn’t solve your problems, it could be (a) gluten isn’t a problem for you or (b) something else is a problem for you in addition to gluten.

      You could try a more extensive elimination/reintroduction diet – e.g. The Plan by Lyn-Genet Recitas. For an even more detailed plan, try Food Allergies and Food Intolerance by Jonathan Brostoff.

      I concentrate on the food side of diets, not supplements, so I’m sorry I can’t help you with supplementation advice.

    • flo June 25, 2014, 12:08 am

      Shaz I have underactive thyroid also i am taking 137mg Levotyroxine and yes it is hard to lose weight

      Do you take your pills on an empty stomach in the morning and weight 1 hr before you have coffee and your breakfast , i do not know how many years i did not do that i just did not know.
      I also have Fibromyalgia, Ibs, and i am also cannot heat whet flour , if i have something with wheat flour
      i am sick to my stomaach, so i guess there must be many other food that i just be careful

      I just fin this diet so i am certainly try it
      Good luck on this diet

  • sarah w. July 11, 2014, 5:53 pm

    Hello. This is my 1st time on this sight. However, I am 33yrs old & have been very tired, irritable, in pain, cramps galor all the time & brain fog like a 100 year old person. I was diagnosed with wheat, dairy, corn, bean, soy, soy, ape & mixed fruit allergy a few weeks back.. I also have endometriosis, fibromyalgia, R.A, scoliosis & asthma. I have been in serious pain for 10+ yrs… my allergy specialist told me I more than likely DO NOT have R.A. a wheat allergy can cause sleepiness, irritablility, pain ect… Since my allergy testing I have cut out 90% of the wheat. My pain has been cut in half. I know ill never be pain free dur to all the rest of my issues but to have it alleviated a little is a blessing. my whole point to this is food does more than fill u up… it can really to mental, physical, emotional pain to a person… it took me 5yrs to get a referral to an allery specialist. For those 5yrs I was told my pain was all kn my head.. I switched doctors and she had saved my life…

  • Mo July 13, 2014, 10:24 pm

    Hi All
    not sure what to do I will not eat artificial sweetners so what can I use in baking good luck to all

    • Penny Hammond July 14, 2014, 10:20 am

      If you can get used to your baking being less sweet, you could use unsweetened dried fruit.

  • John Henry July 18, 2014, 2:48 pm

    I am trying the wheat belly diet, because I am 65 years old and weigh 370 lbs. I did heavy construction and lifting all my life. Now that i am not working and disabled, I need to lose some weight and it seems impossible. For years I could starve myself and get down to 360, maybe.
    I don’t have much problem with what to eat on Your diet, except, why no oatmeal ??

    • Penny Hammond July 18, 2014, 5:04 pm

      Oats are sometimes processed in the same machines as wheat, so they’re often excluded from gluten-free diets because of the risk of cross-contamination. That’s perhaps a little extreme if you don’t have celiac disease.

      Dr. Davis says that oats produce more sulfuric acid than other foods, and that it’s an overwhelmingly potent acid even in teensy-weensy quantities (p.121)
      He also says that slow-cooked oatmeal can raise your glucose to levels of 200 to 400 mg/dl (p.135)

      However he does say that nonwheat grains such as quinoa, sorghum, buckwheat, millet, and possibly oats are safer than wheat, but small servings (less than ½ cup) are key to minimize the blood sugar impact.(p. 205). He lists oats in “consume in limited quantities.”
      These grains are best used “after the wheat withdrawal process is over, once metabolic goals and weight loss have been achieved, and a relaxation of diet is permissible. If you are among those with a powerful potential for wheat addiction, you should be careful with these grains, as well.” (p. 212)

  • kathleen July 18, 2014, 10:04 pm

    My granddaughter. Of 5 has been constipated for her entire life. She was diagnoised with a twisted colon. When she was 4 they gave her mother a choice of an operation or diet change. The diet was choosen and it seemed to help a little. About one moth ago her Dr suggested to remove all wheat. I then came across the WB book. We have decided to have the entire house go wheat free for her . Its now our third week working on being wheat free; my granddaughter for the first time in her life has gone to the bathroom every day for the last week and somedays twice. In the past 5 years it was about once every 3-4 days with screaming and tears. This is great for her. My daughter has lost weight and her acne issue clearing and I have also lost about 10 lbs and sleep better.

    Now for a question: Is buckwheat ok to use

    • Penny Hammond July 20, 2014, 7:40 am

      How wonderful for her, and what a relief for you!

      Dr. Davis lists buckwheat as a food to limit. It’s a non-wheat, non-gluten grain. Sure, it’s got “wheat” in the name, but it’s completely unrelated to wheat, not even in the same family – it’s not a grass at all; it’s actually related to rhubarb. Note that some people are allergic or highly sensitive to it.

  • Julie August 3, 2014, 10:34 am

    Is it ok to chew sugar free gum? Also, I noticed that you had stated in parentheses that Starburst and Jelly Bellies were ok. Please clarify what that meant.

    • Penny Hammond August 4, 2014, 8:34 pm

      Some gums have a flour / powdered coating to keep them from sticking, which may contain gluten. The book says you shouldn’t have chewing gums with gluten.
      The recommended sweeteners in the book are Stevia (or the stevia isolate rebinia), erythritol, xylitol, sucralose (Splenda – make your own judgment whether to use this or not). Most sugar-free gums use other sweeteners, so have a look at the ingredients.

      It looks like Jelly Bellies and Starburst are gluten-free in the USA, so Dr. Davis lists them as okay / not a wheat-containing food. On the other hand, they’re sugary, which he says you should avoid…

  • Ann August 24, 2014, 6:34 pm

    How do you feel about water Keifer? Great for gut health but I wonder if it fits this diet.

    • Penny Hammond August 24, 2014, 8:02 pm

      Water kefir is usually made with sugar water, juice, or coconut water. Dr Davis advises you to avoid sugar and minimize fruit juice, and I can’t find any comment on coconut water. However, the fermentation process generally “eats” a lot of the sugars in the water. You might be able to have water kefir on this diet, in limited quantities, if it’s made with fruit juice or coconut water and well fermented.

  • Linda September 19, 2014, 12:05 pm

    Hi, we have been on wheat belly diet now for 4 weeks. I have lost a 7lbs but now . The scaled it’s not going down rigth now. But for my husband every day it is going down by .5 lbs to 1 lbs. in total for him rigth now of 19 lbs. I’m intolerant to milk and I just found out about a month ago that i was gluten intolerant. Can you gave me help to lose a lot more weight?

    • Penny Hammond September 21, 2014, 11:57 am

      How quickly you lose weight depends on a lot of things, including how overweight you are, what you were eating before the diet, and how you “fit” with the diet you’re following. There’s no one diet that works for everybody.
      Your weight loss is perhaps a more sustainable speed than your husband’s. And men tend to have different weight loss patterns than women.
      Stick with this diet for a bit longer to see if it continues to make you feel healthier.

  • Karen c September 23, 2014, 10:14 pm

    Am enthused about the information here about complexities of Dr Davis and the Wheat Belly eating plan.
    Ok, I’m confused about one thing, sprouted grains, which to my understanding are so distinctly different from eating the grain from which the sprout, sprout from. Can sprouted grain bread be allowed, where all the ingredients are sprouted grain?

    • Penny Hammond September 28, 2014, 2:29 pm

      There are lots of stages in sprouting a grain. First the grain begins to swell and the outer coating loosens, then a small shoot peeps out, then it gets longer and roots start to appear, and only after it’s been growing for some time does the last of the “food store” of the grain get used up and the plant relies solely on the sun and the earth for its food supply.
      Sprouted grains are at the beginning end of that process – they still have a lot of the “food store” left, so although there may be less gluten there will still be some there. Wheat grass, on the other end of the scale, has reached the end of the sprouting process and doesn’t contain gluten (until it starts to produce grains.).

      There are some diets that say that you can’t eat wheat but allows sprouted wheat. But this isn’t one of them. Dr. Davis says you can’t have sprouted grains in a post called Kick it, smack it, sprout it…

  • Holly W. October 11, 2014, 8:24 pm

    Can I eat parsnips, turnips and rutabaga ?

    • Penny Hammond October 12, 2014, 1:29 pm

      Turnips are listed in the original book as a vegetable (eat vegetables in unlimited quantities). They’re about 5% carbs by weight.
      Rutabaga isn’t mentioned in any of the 4 books in the series. They’re about 7% carbs – that’s less than carrots, which are about 8% carbs, and are listed with the vegetables to eat in unlimited quantities.

      Parsnips are in a recipe in the Wheat Belly Cookbook. They’re about 17% carbs – that’s about the same as sweet potatoes, which are listed in the book as starchy vegetables to limit – ½ cup or less.

  • Nick November 5, 2014, 7:56 pm

    Can I have pop corn

  • Alison November 12, 2014, 2:46 pm

    I lost weight through The Zoe Harcombe Diet and lost 3stone, again no processed foods but looks at the possible causes of weight gain, I’ve just started on Wheat Belly, not for weight loss but to be more healthy and help my body as I grown older(I have under active thyroid and starting with arthritis). After reading the book I was astounded as to how far wide spread wheat is used in the world and how much sense it makes to at least see if that’s the problem. I have been off wheat for 9 days now and feel fantastic, and I’ve tried new recipes some good others I won’t do again. I feel if more people knew about wheat and that dairy too could be a cause of so much distress to others the world would be a different place. In fact I think we have got lazy and find it easy to get home after a hard day and open some processed meal and pop in micro wave. ugh!

  • Liz A. November 12, 2014, 11:45 pm

    I am 59 yrs old. I have had heart valve surgery. I take 5 mg of Coumidin every day. I cannot eat any leafy green vegetables plus some other vegetables on the no list. Since I have been taking Coumidin I have not had many flair-ups with IBS, which I had for 15 years previously. But, on the other hand, I have gained quite a bit of weight since I no longer can eat salads. My chiropractor introduced me to the Wheat Belly book. I have it on my Kindle now and read it. I am terrified to start this diet, but I found this blog and know that I need to do something. I didn’t notice that anyone else mentioned they are taking Coumidin. So I am asking: how do I get this diet started, avoid the leafy green vegetables, avoid all wheat, oats, corn, etc, and not starve? I am always hungry! Thanks in advance.

    • Penny Hammond November 13, 2014, 7:35 am

      I haven’t heard of anyone being told to avoid leafy green vegetables completely because of Coumadin/Warfarin. I suggest you look a little deeper into the recommendations about this drug and vitamin K, which is found mainly in leafy green vegetables.

      The NIH has guidelines for this drug and vitamin K: http://ods.od.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/coumadin1.pdf – they say you should keep vitamin K consistent within a certain range, not avoid it completely, and make sure you have a consistent amount. It suggests that you limit foods “moderately high” in vitamin K to 3 servings per day – there’s a table of these, and each serving is about 1 cup of raw vegetables.

      Coumadin has a page that shows you which foods are high in vitamin K – http://www.coumadin.com/pdf/Foods_With_VitaminK.pdf.

      According to these resources, raw vegetables are a lot lower in vitamin K than cooked ones. So it looks like you should be able to eat salads as long as you’re mindful of the overall amount of vitamin K you eat.

      Check with your doctor to see whether there were other reasons they recommended avoiding leafy green vegetables, and confirm that the NIH guidelines are acceptable for you.

      There are a number of non-leafy-green vegetables recommended for this diet, and you can eat protein and liberal healthy oils / fats. Fat fills you up! If you’ve been on a low-fat diet, try to introduce fats back into your diet.
      Because of your vitamin K restrictions, learn which foods you need to keep an eye on for vitamin K regularity.

  • susan December 10, 2014, 11:02 am

    My husband has rectal cancer stage 3 , he has had chemo and radiation, and we have 3 months to complete a homeopathic remedy to cure his condition.I want to cure the cancer in order to alleviate the need of surgery and more chemo.
    We have an excellent diet , juicing smoothies fresh veg and small amounts of animal protein. we are supplementing iodine, chromium , vitamin D3, pancreatic enzymes and many other things too numerous to mention. My husband has type 2 diabetes as well and takes metformin 2 tab twice a day to control his blood sugar. This was increased during his radiation and chemo treatments and is still not sufficient to keep his levels acceptable. he is about 10 each morning.I just learned about Dr Davis last night, I had been limiting my husbands wheat intake, now this is the next level.I shall also decrease his fruit even more but feel like I am running out of options to feed him.
    Oats are OK ? Some rye crackers are OK ? What about soy milk from organic soy beans on his oatmeal ? I have purchased gram flour, besan flour ,semolina, and am now looking for recipes for crackers and breads and pancakes etc ,

    I am a bit challenged with what options there are to make the best decisions.If you can point me in some direction for good info to expedite my research I would appreciate it greatly. Thanks Sue

    • Penny Hammond December 10, 2014, 6:38 pm

      Hi Sue,
      Sorry to hear about all your husband’s challenges.
      It’s tough to say what the right diet would be for him. Most diets today say they help cancer – meat or vegan, wheat/gluten or gluten-free, carbs or no carbs, etc. If you put them all together you’d end up eating nothing. And diet isn’t necessarily a cure for cancer.
      Many people find (fresh, just before you drink it) juicing an excellent way to get lots of nutrients and not tax the digestive system too much – although with type 2 diabetes be careful of what it is you juice and keep an eye on more sugary foods.

      You could try long-cooked from-scratch soups for easy digestion of veggies and protein – there’s a movement today that encourages eating broths and fermented foods to help the digestive system level-set, for example Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig. You could also consider a detox program like Clean from Alejandro Junger.

      Oats are okay in many diets, although gluten-free diets tend to avoid them. Try soaking them to make them more easily digestible. Rye is also avoided in gluten-free diets but encouraged in whole food diets. There are many dietary recommendations against soy, but it probably depends on the individual person. Bean/legume flours may be difficult to digest for many people, depending on how they’ve been prepared.

      I don’t think you’ll get a single right answer – the main thing is probably to make sure your husband keeps his strength up so he can fight the cancer.
      Sorry I can’t be of more help, but I hope that helps at least a little.

  • Caryl December 16, 2014, 1:12 am

    What do you do with an egg allergy on this diet? Cutting wheat out has definitely been great, but how do you handle an egg allergy on top of everything else? Thanks.

    • Penny Hammond December 16, 2014, 8:08 am

      Yeah, that’s tough. Many current diets just pile on the eggs. The Wheat Belly FAQs address almond allergy but not egg allergy.

      There are a couple of non-egg breakfast recipes in the Wheat Belly book – Berry-coconut smoothie, granola (choose gluten-free oats and a dried fruit other than dried cranberries), and hot coconut flaxseed cereal. There are also a couple in the Wheat Belly Cookbook – grainless granola and homemade turkey sausage patties.

      Another thing you could try is having leftovers from last night’s dinner as breakfast, or something that you’d normally eat at another time in the day.

  • LAWRENCEJ January 3, 2015, 1:01 pm


    • Penny Hammond January 4, 2015, 3:11 pm

      There are differing opinions about whether eating meat is bad for your heart – see The Great Cholesterol Myth (written by a heart doctor) for one of many debunkings. If you have grass-fed meat, as suggested in this diet, it might not have a negative effect on your heart.

      Also, have you been minimizing the amount of fat you eat because of your heart condition? You need to get your energy from somewhere, and if you’re not eating carbs or fat you don’t have an energy supply. That won’t work! If your body thinks it’s starving, it’ll hold on to whatever fat stores you have – it sounds like you’re in hibernation mode.

      For GERD, look out for trigger foods – acidic foods, black pepper, garlic, raw onions, chocolate, citrus fruits and products, coffee and caffeinated drinks, including tea and soda, peppermint, tomatoes.

  • ALICE January 4, 2015, 7:17 pm



    • Penny Hammond January 5, 2015, 3:00 pm

      Congratulations on your 10 lb weight loss so far!
      Try to spend some time observing portion sizes – how many pistachios do you eat, measure the amount of carbs / limited foods you eat. It can be helpful to put together a food diary to track what you eat and how you feel – it can help you spot any habits you should break or anything you eat large amounts of.
      If you can make ice cream from allowable foods and with portion sizes within the guidelines, then why not! It might be difficult to get the texture you’re used to, which relies on sugars to an extent. There are some interesting alternate ice creams using ingredients like avocado.

  • Sandra January 5, 2015, 12:52 pm

    Is canola oil a good oil or bad one?

    • Penny Hammond January 5, 2015, 2:51 pm

      Dr. Davis doesn’t refer to canola oil in the book or on his website.
      He tells you to avoid polyunsaturated oils. Canola oil is high in monounsaturated fats and has moderate polyunsaturated fats, according to CanolaInfo. But the proportions of different types of fat look similar to those in safflower oil, which Dr. Davis lists as a food to avoid.
      Also, a lot of canola oil is genetically modified according to a study quoted in the Wikipedia canola page, and in general Dr. Davis asks you to avoid GM foods.

  • Sue January 28, 2015, 11:18 am

    Loving this food plan…..have been a sugar and carb addict all my life. I even liked the wheat in all of the beer I drank, but have sober for 32 years. I have been on this food plan for only a week and LOVE IT. Yes I have had withdrawals from wheat and by products but am getting through it and am going towards the light. I want to thank this Dr. for figuring this out as I needed it badly.

  • Rick January 29, 2015, 3:31 pm

    Is tomato juice alright to drink? I have looked at the label and there are no ingredients listed that I shouldn’t have, but it says there are 6 grams of sugar. I really need to learn how to read and understand the nutritional label

    • Penny Hammond February 2, 2015, 9:04 pm

      Tomato juice is listed as okay to drink on the diet.
      Tomatoes contain natural sugars – they’re actually classified as a fruit. Many natural sugars are okay to eat on this diet; it’s added sugars that you should be avoiding. So you did the right thing by looking at the list of ingredients to see if there’s anything (like added sugars) that would mean you should avoid a particular product.

  • Constance February 12, 2015, 9:54 am

    My Husband and I have been on Wheat belly for about 10 days. He needs to lose about 30 pounds and lower his cholesterol, I don’t need to lose weight but wanted all the health benefits. So far my husband has lost nothing and I have gained 4 pounds. We are following closely and the only thing I think we could be doing wrong is having 1/2 cup of greek yogurt every other morning w/ 8 berries. In addition I have between 1/2 and 3/4 cup of milk per day.
    What could the problem be?

    • Penny Hammond February 13, 2015, 1:16 pm

      Greek yogurt is allowed in limited amounts (1/2 cup shouldn’t be the end of the world), and berries are also allowed in limited amounts (8 berries is very accurate and fairly limited!)
      Milk is also allowed in limited amounts – preferably full-fat.

      What foods have you added to your diet that you weren’t eating before?

  • Phil February 23, 2015, 11:33 am

    Is Ezekeal 4:9 bread ok to eat on the Wheat Belly diet?

    • Penny Hammond February 23, 2015, 5:54 pm

      Ezekiel bread contains sprouted wheat – it still has gluten in it, so it’s not allowed on this diet.

  • Doug Meader March 5, 2015, 12:52 pm

    I notice you say to look for gluten free in the ingredients. They should look for Wheat free. Gluten is only part of the problem.

  • joyce March 10, 2015, 3:41 pm


    • Penny Hammond March 10, 2015, 6:11 pm

      The only sugar-free sweeteners that Dr. Davis allows on this diet are stevia, erythritol, xylitol, and sucralose (as long as they’re gluten-free).

      If you can find sugar-free jello or sugar-free soda sweetened only with those sweeteners, and without artificial colorings, which aren’t very processed, they might be okay.
      However, that would probably be difficult to find.

  • J r itchey March 24, 2015, 8:20 am

    This is all bullshit, late to the game. Atkins version 2.

  • Gregory March 31, 2015, 9:44 pm

    Read the book a little confused about popcorn yea nea ??

    • Penny Hammond April 1, 2015, 6:23 pm

      yea (in small amounts)

  • Nancy April 7, 2015, 9:37 am

    I use about 1/4C. of soy milk (Silk) in my coffee. Is soy milk OK?

    • Penny Hammond April 12, 2015, 11:58 am

      Dr. Davis says “Soymilk can be a useful milk substitute for those with lactose intolerance, but I believe that it is best consumed in limited quantities.” (p. 210) because it can be genetically modified and because fermented soy it better than unfermented and soy milk is not fermented.

  • Susan April 20, 2015, 10:22 pm

    I would like to know what would be the best allowable Wheat Belly mayonnaise. Please email me with your answer because I am not always able to find these blogs.

    • Penny Hammond April 21, 2015, 10:36 am

      Look for a mayonnaise that doesn’t contain soy or GMO ingredients (most commercial mayonnaises are based on soybean oil).
      Some examples that might work are Earth Balance Mindful Mayo Dressing with Olive Oil, and Hampton Creek Just Mayo. Because these still contain processed oils, you should have them in moderation. If you made your own mayonnaise with extra virgin olive oil you might be able to have more, but it’s notoriously difficult to make.

  • Karen May 1, 2015, 12:23 pm

    I read that Quest bars are ok. True?

    • Penny Hammond May 3, 2015, 10:33 am

      Protein bars / energy bars are usually very processed foods, and the author suggests avoiding them altogether and eating unprocessed whole foods instead.

  • Jim May 4, 2015, 6:39 pm

    On the diet since Jan 1. Could not feel better. Blood test result improvements are incredible. Have lost 25 lbs, without ever being hungry. THE KEY IS: figure out foods and recipes within the diet that you really enjoy eating. We created several of our own, like a what-free pizza that is not included in Dr. Davis’ recipes. I am addicted to it. (It’s actually just one of Dr. Davis’ cracker recipes, reheated as pizza squares.)

  • Carol May 22, 2015, 5:23 am

    I’m looking for a healthier alternative to regular Coffee – I have an Underactive Thyroid.

    • Penny Hammond May 24, 2015, 12:55 pm

      There are a number of coffee substitutes – you’d have to watch out that they don’t contain gluten grains.
      Alternatively, you could try tea or herbal tea.

  • Barbara June 14, 2015, 12:07 am

    Would this Wheat Belly program help a person diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease? I have always been very healthy and was shocked when I was told that I had Parkinson’s. My husband had major heart problems and I always cooked healthy or so I thought for both of us. My husband has passed away and it makes me mad that another diet could have helped him instead of the diet given to us by his heart doctor.

    • Penny Hammond June 15, 2015, 12:35 pm

      I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis.
      The understanding of healthy diets changes over time, and it’s possible that different people have different dietary needs and responses to foods. Also, food is not the only cause of disease.
      Brain Maker, recently released by Dr. David Perlmutter, is a similar diet to Wheat Belly – gluten free, sugar-free, unprocessed foods. It claims to help reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease. You could have a look at that book to see if it helps.

  • Sabrina July 27, 2015, 10:55 am

    Thank you for your very informative website. I am starting WB today as I suffer from Crohns Disease and do not want to take steroids. I have previously done the Paleo diet (very similar) which helped tremendously, however more restrictive and hard to stick too. I am hopeful this will be a little easier to abide by. I have a few questions if you don’t mind helping me out. The info in Wheat Belly Total Health and the 30-minute cookbook differ so I’m not certain which to follow. Leugmes/Beans – Green beans, chic peas, black beans, lentils, kidney, sweet potatoes/yams – yes or no? One book says just peas and sweet potatoes, and the other says yes. Confused by being allowed Hummus if it’s a no. Tofu – yes or no? Chia seeds – yes or no? I usually make a breakfast pudding with cashew milk and chia seeds soaked over night and then add blueberries. I love eggs, but can’t eat them every day and without oatmeal it’s limited. Deli meats / bacon – I buy the natural ones by pilliars – no sodium nitrate but preserved with celery nitrate – yes or no? I think I get the no corn and potatoes – occasionally is what though 1-2 times a week. Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Penny Hammond August 9, 2015, 3:22 pm

      Hi Sabrina,
      Thanks for your question – I’ve updated this post to include information on Wheat Belly Total Health.

      From what I can tell, all the books advise you to restrict non-grain starchy foods – legumes, beans, peas, sweet potatoes, yams. The original Wheat Belly book says 1/2 cup; Wheat Belly Total Health says no more than 3/4 cup in any 4- to 6-hour digestive period.
      Green beans are counted as a vegetable, not a legume – no restriction.
      Chick peas, black beans, lentils, kidney, sweet potatoes/yams – you can have 1/2 cup or 3/4 cup a couple times a day.
      Hummus is made with chick peas, and when they’re ground up to make hummus they reduce in size – so you could have maybe 1/3 cup.
      Tofu appears to be counted as a legume, so also about 1/2 cup serving – if possible get organic.
      Chia seeds are listed as okay to eat in Wheat Belly Total Health – should be raw/unprocessed.
      It’s sodium nitrite you’re supposed to be avoiding – Wheat Belly Total Health says that nitrates don’t react to form nitrosamines in meat.
      Potatoes are a starchy vegetable to limit within the 1/2 cup or 3/4 cup serving size. Corn is allowed in these limits in Wheat Belly, but in Wheat Belly Total Health the author asks you to avoid it as it’s a grain / comes from a grass.

      Hope that helps!

  • Debra Young July 29, 2015, 1:15 pm

    Please tell me if I can use Arrowroot Flour.

    • Penny Hammond August 4, 2015, 9:10 am

      Yes, you can use arrowroot flour (just make sure it hasn’t been cut with any other ingredient that isn’t allowed on this diet)

  • Sabrina August 19, 2015, 9:25 am

    Thank you Penny. Very helpful. Quick question on your last answer regarding arrowroot flour. My research led me to believe that Tapioca and Arrowroot are one in the same just have different names. Wheat belly says to stay away from Tapioca so would that not also mean no Arrowroot? I make tortilla’s out of Tapioca/arrowroot flour, almond flour and coconut milk and it really saves me. Very versatile for many things.

    • Penny Hammond August 23, 2015, 4:40 pm

      Interesting – I did some research, and it looks like “arrowroot flour” isn’t from a specific plant, but a group of plants. Tapioca flour is sometimes labeled as arrowroot flour – but that doesn’t mean that all arrowroot flour is tapioca flour. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrowroot.

      You could try finding a reliable source of arrowroot powder that’s not made from tapioca – I like Mountain Rose Herbs arrowroot powder, “derived from the tropical South American plant Maranta arundinacea” (not Manihot esculenta, which is cassava/tapioca).

  • Carolyn millsap November 15, 2015, 10:46 pm

    My husband. And I have been on the diet for three weeks have ever felt better all sneezing gas bloating has stopped . We have lost 15 lbs but also lists of inches were so happy no more wild cravings . The main reason we are doing this diet is we are afraid of diabetes I have seen it destroy lots of people. Thanks

    • Penny Hammond November 18, 2015, 7:19 pm

      That’s great, congratulations!

  • Dorothy December 5, 2015, 1:12 pm

    I am on multiple drugs for my diabetes. Lantas, metformin, victoza. AIC under 7.0. I also have primary blood pressure controlled with medicatios of hydrochlorothiazide and lisinopril. My question is; when beginning the WD program are these numbers going to drop? I mean, will I become Hypoglycemic or suffer from hypotension. Anyone else experienced or are concerned with these health issues? Thanks

    • Penny Hammond December 13, 2015, 6:36 pm

      You should expect some changes in your numbers when making major changes to your diet. Keep your doctor in the loop when changing your diet so your medications can be adjusted if necessary.

      The author says “You may find that medications previously prescribed to treat a long list of grain-related health conditions are no longer necessary.”

      However, that won’t happen in all cases – “If, for instance, you ended up on insulin and two oral diabetes medications to keep blood sugar under control and you have lost 50 percent of beta cell function in the process of becoming diabetic, you may be left with inadequate blood sugar control even after removing grains and losing weight. However, you will still enjoy better control over blood sugars and HbA1c, a reduced need for medication, and reduced potential for diabetic complications. Also, some people (less than 10 percent) diagnosed with type 2 diabetes as adults, as well as a growing number of children and teenagers, have experienced autoimmune damage to pancreatic beta cells similar to that experienced by type 1 diabetics. (Some call this latent autoimmune diabetes of adulthood, or LADA.) These people likewise can enjoy better blood sugar and HbA1c control, weight loss, a reduced need for medication, and reduced potential for diabetic complications with grain elimination. They will, however, still need insulin, as their pancreatic beta cells provide insufficient quantities of insulin (unlike the high insulin levels of the typical type 2 diabetic) and they risk developing diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially dangerous state caused by a lack of insulin. If you have such a condition, the grain-free approach is best pursued under the supervision of a knowledgeable health-care practitioner.

      Dr. Davis also says “A few blood pressure medications cannot be stopped abruptly, but need to be reduced gradually. This is especially true for beta-blocker beta-blocker drugs and clonidine. You should wean off of these with the assistance of a knowledgeable health-care provider, as the feasibility and safety of removing them needs to be assessed. (The weaning process for someone taking a beta-blocker for hypertension may be different if coronary disease, angina, heart rhythm issues, or migraine headaches are also present.) Ridding yourself of beta-blockers and diuretics, such as hydrochlorothiazide and chlorthalidone, allows blood sugars to drop, HDL values to increase, triglycerides to drop, small LDL particles to drop, and long-term potential for diabetes to reduce by as much as 30 percent. Also, note that beta-blockers also block your ability to lose weight; removing them helps restore that ability.”

      For more details, see Wheat Belly Total Health, Chapter 10 “Grainless Metabolic Mastery: Regain Control over Blood Sugar, Cholesterol, Bone Health, and Inflammation”

  • Cindy Christensen January 2, 2016, 1:53 pm

    Hi! What about using ItWorks Greens? There is a very small amount of gluten in it. Here is a link to the ingredient list. I couldn’t paste it into this. Thank you so much!!

    • Penny Hammond January 2, 2016, 3:01 pm

      I see a few things like wheat grass and barley grass and barley malt (sprouted) in the ingredients list – generally grasses don’t contain gluten, although sprouts might have a tiny amount.
      If you were following the guidelines very strictly, it might not be allowed.

  • Tassity January 16, 2016, 2:53 pm

    This grain free diet eliminates or restricts many fruits and vegetables that have cancer fighting properties. For example, apples are VERY healthy and good for you, no need to restrict consumption. If you have a family history of cancer, be very wary of a grain free diet! Its not worth it for something that is just a fad. In a few years, nobody will be on this diet anymore and it will be some other type of diet.

    • Penny Hammond January 17, 2016, 7:47 pm

      Not all grain-free diets ask you to restrict fruit, and very few ask you to restrict veggies with cancer-fighting properties. Don’t confuse “grain-free” with the exact recommendations of this diet!

  • Robin Wenz March 8, 2016, 5:50 pm

    I buy organic broths – and I look at the ingredient list you want the broth with the least amount of ingredients (obvious reasons) and the few ingredients listed should be safe ingredients

  • Robin Wenz March 8, 2016, 5:55 pm

    Don’t even think of calling it breakfast any more. Just think lunch or dinner at any hour – get over the breakfast food part. I had the same problem as you. Eat anything on the list that makes you feel OK and don’t concentrate on the term Breakfast. Leftovers, as everyone says, works fine.

  • pudding April 22, 2016, 7:04 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. It has helped me tremendously. I haven’t read the book but I followed this summary and the Wheat Belly website. I had the stomach issues the first month (bouncing between everything running through me and constipation) but I stuck it out and now I have no more issues. I started it out of pure desperation because I could not walk because my knee caps were messed up due to major inflammation and I am very over weight. Within two weeks I was back on my feet (unbelievable!) with little to no inflammation and now at 2 months into it my doctor confirmed a 25.4 pound weight loss. That is 12.7 pounds a month! I can’t believe that I can eat this much food and including all these fatty foods and lose weight at this incredible rate. I am very grateful to Dr. Davis and your blog which I still read weekly to revise what and how I should be eating because it is so easy to follow with the way you have written it.

    • Penny Hammond May 3, 2016, 5:34 pm

      How wonderful that you’re feeling so much better! I hope you continue to feel healthy.

  • Paula Peterson July 24, 2016, 6:57 pm

    Hi. This is a great article. And so thorough, too! It’s not just a great diet program to eliminate wheat belly; it’s a great diet program for healing many diseases and conditions. Just for your information (in case no one else mentioned it) … an important distinction should be made for your readers: peanuts are not nuts … they are legumes. They are in the same family as peas, mung beans, navy beans, etc. Thanks again for all the helpful advice.

  • Paula Peterson July 24, 2016, 7:03 pm

    Oops … and I should add that further down in your article you do list peanuts under legumes, even though peanuts and peanut butter is also listed under “Nuts and Seeds” and also under “Nut Butters”. That’s all. Sorry for the oversight. Thanks again.

    • Penny Hammond August 4, 2016, 7:08 pm

      Thanks for pointing out the issues! It’s always difficult to know exactly how to categorize certain foods, as I’m trying to make this a helpful guide for people looking for quick information. Theoretically avocados and peppers are fruits, but most people expect to see them under vegetables. And peanuts are also confusing to categorize.

  • jolene smith October 11, 2016, 3:56 pm

    Flax seed is also a great way to be regular. Totally natural and zero stimulate.

  • Gord P November 28, 2016, 3:58 pm

    is popcorn ok?

    • Penny Hammond December 6, 2016, 4:28 pm

      Dr. Davis advises eating grains (including popcorn) in moderation – and only if you’re not carb-intolerant (there’s not a test for that, but if you’re overweight it’s quite possible that you have blood sugar issues and should be avoiding them completely on this diet).

  • Vanessa February 25, 2017, 7:43 pm

    Hi about to start wb, question is my son 21 years old, will only eat bread for breakfast and lunch, he is on the autistic spectrum, he won’t eat eggs or eat cereal it is all to oral sensation. What do you recommend for replace for him.

    • Penny Hammond June 20, 2017, 7:48 pm

      It is purely textures that he reacts to, or taste as well? You could try making bread with added ingredients; there are a number of books on sneaking vegetables into meals for kids. And possibly nut flour based breads might be acceptable to him.

  • Big - not Fat anymore - Albert March 29, 2017, 8:58 pm

    Just to give everybody a little “heads up”, don’t bother buying McDonald’s artisan chicken sandwich. It used to be one of the only healthy things on the menu that wasn’t salad. It consisted of a skinless chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, and vinegarette on a really good tasting bun. Ofcourse I would throw out the bun and just eat the broiled chicken breast, the lettuce, and the tomato. It was in perfect keeping with the wheat belly diet. But today I went to McDonalds and ordered that very same sandwich, only to find that it is now “breaded!!!” ( And no doubt “deep-fried!”) I called the manager, and they said that the menu was changed They said, basically, that that’s the NEW artisan chicken sandwich!!! I could not return the sandwiches ( I paid for two ), so I ended up having to eat that food I paid over $10.00 for!!! It tasted real good, but it was ( as far as grain consumption goes ) the equivalent of a bowl of oat meal!!! I don’t know how far back this blunder set me back in my otherwise healthy wheatless, grainless diet! I am pissed! I am about one fraction of a tenth of an inch from boycotting McDonalds altogether. There’s hardly anything there food wise that won’t impair your health. Hey Hey Hey, best keep away.

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