Doctor, cookbook author on wheat: "It's addictive, plain and simple"

Irish Brown Bread
Irish Brown Bread

(CBS News) Dr. William Davis, author of the best-selling "Wheat Belly," says wheat, the long-trusted American dietary staple, is cheating on you.

In his newly released "Wheat Belly Cookbook," Davis wrote that "like a faithful spouse exposed as a philanderer ... wheat is not to be trusted.

Monday, on "CBS This Morning," the cardiologist explained his campaign against the world's most popular grain, saying "It's addictive, plain and simple."

"There's something in modern wheat called gliadin that was changed by the geneticists to change the properties of this plant, mostly to increase yield," Davis said. "The unintended effect is that it increases appetite ... for junk ... so, people can't help themselves." He added that wheat consumption can lead to feelings of "incessant hunger."

Davis disputes the claim made by medical authorities including the Mayo Clinic that wheat should be an dietary staple, calling it "absolute fiction."

"There is no human on earth who requires [wheat.] Humans have walked the earth for 2 million years. Only in the last 0.4 percent of our time on earth have we consumed grains," Davis said, adding that people should look to consume their fiber and nutrients from "real food" instead, including vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, eggs, and dairy.

Modern wheat a "perfect, chronic poison," doctor says

"If we replace [wheat] with real, single-ingredient healthy foods, there is no loss in fiber or nutrition," Davis said.

He also rebuffs the commonly touted diet mantra, "Everything in moderation," claiming that when it comes to wheat consumption, "moderation kills."

"When I see people do this, they can't do it just a little bit," he said, explaining that due to the effect of wheat "on the opiate receptors of the human brain, people find it virtually impossible to cut back."

Despite the limitations, Davis said the "incredible success" of people adhering to a wheat-free diet, speaks to the results-driven success of his message. He said he has seen results ranging from "dramatic reductions in appetite," to "diabetics getting off insulin," to "substantial relief" for those suffering from autoimmune conditions, arthritis, and asthma.

And, he added that traditionally wheat-heavy foods made wheat-free can be delicious if prepared correctly. "I've had bread, pizza, and cakes this past week that my wife or I made, and they were delicious"