One of the reasons why the Wheat Belly lifestyle is so spectacularly effective for restoring health, losing weight, and turning back the clock a decade or two is because we reject the flawed logic of conventional nutritional advice.
There is a long list of reasons why conventional nutritional advice gets it so wrong, from logical blunders, to relying on flawed observational evidence (rather than clinical trials), to getting too cozy with Big Food companies like Coca Cola and Kraft.
Let’s discuss a common and widely-held blunder in logic that is applied over and over again in nutrition:
If something bad is replaced by something less bad and there is an apparent health benefit, then a lot of the less bad thing must therefore be good.
With wheat, if we replace something bad—white flour products—with something less bad—whole grain products—and there is less obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and colon cancer (there is indeed a modest reduction), then a whole bunch of whole grains must therefore be good.
Let’s apply this to one of my perennial favorites, cigarettes: If we replace full-tar, unfiltered cigarettes—bad—with low-tar, filtered cigarettes—less bad—that yields a modest reduction in heart attack and lung cancer, then, by the logic of nutrition, you should smoke a lot of low-tar, filtered cigarettes. This is absurd, of course, but illustrates this blunder in logic that can lead you to false conclusions.
If we replace white flour products with whole wheat or whole grain products, there is still weight gain but just a little less; there is still type 2 diabetes but just a little less; there is still heart disease and colon cancer but just a little less: less bad is not necessarily good. And don’t forget that wheat and grains, regardless of whether they are refined white or unrefined, still trigger other health conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, initiate autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, make ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s worse, can trigger migraine headaches and plantar fasciitis, and on and on. You can appreciate just how far off course from a healthy diet such a logical blunder can lead you.
Other examples of this logical blunder being put to use include:
Replace high-glycemic (GI) index foods with low-glycemic index foods. The reality is that, low-GI foods still send blood sugar sky-high, generate insulin resistance, provoke fatty liver, provoke small LDL particles that lead to heart disease, and cause weight gain . . . but just not as much as high-GI foods.
Replace a standard American diet with the Mediterranean diet. This is based on the observation that the Mediterranean diet yields fewer heart attacks and less type 2 diabetes than the standard American diet. But, just like low-GI foods, numerous unhealthy effects are still provoked on the Mediterranean diet making it far from an ideal diet for humans.
As with so many areas of modern health, the last people you want to consult are the presumed “experts” who convey such conventional notions of healthy eating.