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Twenty years ago, William Davis, M.D., served on the faculty at Case-Western Reserve University and performed morning-'til-night heart procedures. These were the "Wild West" days when angioplasty and related procedures made their way into hospitals, with surgical implements, drills and ballooning devices serving as the six-shooters.
Dr. Davis knew he also shared risk factors affecting his patients. He heard Dr. Dean Ornish speak at an American College of Cardiology meeting, where Ornish claimed to reverse coronary heart disease with an extreme low-fat diet. So Davis followed suit. He banished meat and added vegetable oils, and relied on "healthy" whole grains. He also began daily 5-mile jogs along the Chagrin River near his Cleveland home.
Much to his own chagrin, he gained pounds, 30 to be exact. His HDL slipped to 27 mg/dl, his triglycerides soared to 350, and he became diabetic.
Since the biggest change he made (beyond cutting fat) was bulking up his diet with "healthy whole grains," he slashed his grain intake to nothing. This dietary reversal normalized his numbers: HDL 72 mg/dl, triglycerides below 50 mg/dl, LDL in a safe range of 70 mg/dl (without drugs). He lost the 30 pounds from his abdomen, and his blood sugars fell back into the normal range. He was no longer diabetic.
"Cutting wheat products in my diet, in particular, proved the dietary turning point that reduced my appetite, accelerated weight loss, and just helped me feel clearer, more energetic and happier than I'd felt in years," he says.