Davis went on to tell CBS that on his diet:
“We’re seeing hundreds of thousands of people losing 30, 80, 150 pounds. Diabetics become no longer diabetic; people with arthritis having dramatic relief. People losing leg swelling, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and on and on every day.”
That’s wonderful! And I don’t doubt him there. I’m a firm believer in the power of whole foods to heal, and the power of processed foods and modern meds to invoke or exasperate disease. But, look, here are Davis’ diet recommendations: Whole foods, avocados, olives, olive oil, meat and vegetables. As I’ve said here many times before, if you go from eating a bunch of processed foods to eating a whole foods diet – with or without grains, with or without beans, designed for your blood type or not – you’re going to be healthier, feel better and lose weight. I mean, no shit, right? Whole foods are the key. Good overall dietary habits are key. Following arbitrary advice about avoiding certain wheat proteins or things our ancestors didn’t eat or things that start with the letter J are just the kinds of things people dream up to sell books.
Davis kind of admits this in the CBS clip:
“When I say grains, of course, over 90 percent of all grains we eat will be wheat, it’s not barley, it’s not millet, it’s not flax. It’s going to be wheat. It’s really a wheat issue.”
Huh. Sounds an awful lot like Davis is saying some types of grains are just fine for you. But what’s the number one rule of persuasive communication? Keep is simple, stupid. Differentiating between types of grains, between types of carbs … why bother? Genetic engineering sounds scary and gliatin sounds enough like gluten that people will eat it up, and the newscasters who interview you will have to smile and say things like, “Guess I shouldn’t have had that whole grain bagel this morning!”
Here’s Davis’ take on whole grains:
“All that literature says is to replace something bad — white enriched products — with something less bad, whole grains, and there’s an apparent health benefit. ‘Let’s eat a whole bunch of less bad things.’ So I take … unfiltered cigarettes and replace with Salem filtered cigarettes, you should smoke the Salems. That’s the logic of nutrition, it’s a deeply flawed logic. “
Points for creativity, I guess, but the analogy falls short so far as cigarette, filtered or unfiltered, have no redeeming health or nutritive value. But while highly-processed carbs are harmful, whole grains are good for you (I mean, not necessarily bagels, but in general). There are many, many types with different tastes and textures that make cooking interesting. I’m not going to go into a whole whole grain diatribe here, but in short: They help fill you up; they’re full of fiber, and sometimes antioxidants; and they can actually help control the blood sugar spikes and inflammation that lead to disease. Learning about different types of grains and their healthful properties might be more complicated than following Davis’ across-the-board anti-grain lead. But who wants to give up all grains forever anyway?