Fact-checked by Dr. Anthony Gustin, DC, MS.
Written by Brenda Godinez
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the CDC.
Not so coincidentally, two-thirds of our food consumption now consist of three grains: wheat, rice, and corn.
Both the increase in heart disease and grain consumption are products of our modern agricultural system. In the hunter-gatherer era, heart disease was virtually nonexistent and so were farmed crops.
However, this correlation was ignored for several decades by leading health and nutrition institutions, who blamed dietary fat for the rise of obesity and cardiovascular disease instead.
Dr. William Davis was one of the first physicians to go against traditional nutrition dogma and denounce grains and sugars in his NYT best selling book Wheat Belly.
Dr. Davis was practicing as an interventional cardiologist when he began the research that would lead him to discover just how much damage grains do to our health and quality of life.
He and his team brought the first scanner to Milwaukee that could measure plaque in the coronary arteries of the heart, which was impossible to do before.
By analyzing the hearts of multiple patients, he realized two fundamental things:
- Heart disease was triggered by elevated LDL cholesterol particles
- Statins weren’t effective at lowering heart disease risk
Later on, he’d discover that LDL particles were raised by grains and sugars instead of the fat that was demonized back then.
He also realized conventional cholesterol testing and its interpretation by physicians was outdated and ineffective. This put him on a quest to find better testing methods and health markers that could predict disease more accurately.
Dr. Davis has now written multiple books about the link between grains and heart disease, — including the Wheat Belly series and Undoctored — and is the founder and medical director of the Wheat Belly Lifestyle Institute.We are made of cholesterol and this idea of reducing cholesterol is an absurdity. You can’t reduce cholesterol in the body because you’d die. 25% of all fatty acids in the plasma membrane is cholesterol. Click To Tweet
Today Dr. Davis and I delve deep into the risk factors of heart disease, the real impact of grains in our health, what cholesterol truly indicates, why our healthcare system is compromised by big pharma, and what we can do about it.
In this episode we go over:
- How Dr. Davis helped publish the first data that showed statins don’t lower the risk of heart disease
- How he realized grains and sugars increased the risk of cardiovascular disease, not fat
- The results of putting his patients on a grain-free diet
- The role of vitamin D in heart disease prevention
- The different types of cholesterol (HDL, LDL, and VLDL) and their roles in health
- The link between LDL and heart disease
- Why traditional cholesterol testing is inaccurate and problematic
- A better way to test lipoproteins and track LDL: NMR lipoprotein assessment (and why you should ask your doctor for one)
- How diet quickly and drastically alters LDL levels
- Why cholesterol panels shouldn’t be the sole basis for heart disease prevention strategies
- How the prescriptions of statins by doctors are often fueled by marketing, money, and favors, not objective research
- The upsetting relationship between doctors and drug marketers
- Why physicians don’t usually stay on top of the latest research
- Why weight loss can naturally spike your triglyceride levels
- Helpful markers of health to focus on
- What is Lipoprotein(a) and what happens to people who have it?
- Why carrying Lipoprotein(a) is an advantageous survival trait
- The diet that halts heart disease, according to Dr. Davis’ research
- How much vitamin D and omega 3s should you eat per day for optimal health?
- Why organ meats are insanely nutritious
- Why collagen is crucial for health
- Why it’s paramount to cultivate a healthy gut flora
- What SIBO is and how to treat it
- A special bacteria strain: Lactobacillus Reuteri
- The special yogurt Dr. Davis eats every day for optimal gut health — and how you can make it at home.
Listen to the Episode
Mentioned in This Episode
- Dr. Davis’ books, Wheat Belly, Wheat Belly Total Health, Wheat Belly 30-Minute (Or Less!) Cookbook, Wheat Belly Cookbook, and Wheat Belly: 10-Day Grain Detox.
- Dr. Davis’ website Wheat Belly Blog
- Undoctored Inner Circle
- Dr. Davis’ Twitter
- Lactobacillus Reuteri supplement: BioGaia Gastrus
- Perfect Keto Exogenous Ketones
- Perfect Keto Collagen