If you are relatively new to the Real Food Movement you may be wondering why there is so much talk about why grains aren’t so good for you, why there is more and more talk about adopting a lower carbohydrate way of eating .
Contrary to what the ‘Food Pyramid’ would have you believe, humans are not designed to function well on grains. In fact, our levels of sickness, disease and obesity have skyrocketed since they formed the foundation of our modern day diet.
Eating your 6-11 serves of “healthy whole grains” each day won’t magically turn you into an Iron Man or All Black; they aren’t that great for fibre and they certainly don’t contain as many vitamins and minerals as the cereal companies would have you believe!
Compared to ‘Real Food’, grains are NOT nutrient dense
Real Food is food that adds to your health and isn’t toxic. It’s also food that is as close to it’s natural state as possible.
Grains are not the nutrient dense gems the cereal companies would have you believe them to be…there’s a reason why they have to ‘fortify’ them with so many vitamins! In fact, when you compare grains to real food that your body is designed to eat such as vegetables, meat or fruit grains come out looking pretty average.
There is nothing in grains that you cannot get from real food. Plus, the nutrients from real food are much better absorbed and utilised by your amazing body. If that doesn’t convince you, here’s 9 more reason’s why you should consider ditching the grains.
9 Reasons that you should consider ditching the grains for good
1. Grains create inflammation in your body:
Short-term inflammation (i.e. sprained ankle) is critical for your body to heal. However, chronic and long-term inflammation is deadly and is at the root of just about every disease and health disorder on the planet. Think alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, ADHD, depression, lupus through to obesity.
2. Grains can inhibit the absorption of essential nutrients:
Grains contain anti-nutrients (it’s one of their survival mechanisms). These anti-nutrients such as phytic acid block the absorption of important minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc and copper. Perhaps it’s not such a coincidence that NZ has one of the highest rates of osteoporosis in the world.
3. Grains can destroy your digestive system:
Grains contain proteins that break down the microvilli in your small intestine, eventually letting particles of food leak across into your blood stream creating a lovely condition called “leaky gut syndrome.” The most common of these proteins is gluten, however non-gluten containing grains and legumes also have similar proteins that cause problems over time.
The other way that grains destroy your digestive system is through lectins, mild toxins that inhibit the repair of your gastrointestinal tract. Lectins aren’t broken down by your digestive system and they bind to receptors in your intestine, allowing them and other food particles to leech into your bloodstream. Your body doesn’t like foreign food particles in its blood stream and so it mounts an immune response to get rid of them.
Gluten and lectins can also affect your gallbladder and their impact can lead to gallstones.
4. Grains are high in carbohydrates
Aside from the toxins they contain, grains are also very high in carbohydrates. Excess carb intake directly increases your blood sugar and as your blood sugar rises it increases inflammation (see point 1 for why that is bad)! According to Dr David Perlmutter, author of the Best Selling book Grain Brain, carbohydrates are the corner stone of all our major degenerative conditions.
5. Grains spike your blood sugar:
Whilst your slice of vogels toast might not raise your blood sugar as much as white bread, but it will raise it more than a snickers bar does. Plus, the GI Index doesn’t give you any other information about how healthy or unhealthy a food is
6. Grains massively spike your insulin production:
Before the blood sugar spike, insulin has to go up. Whilst insulin is essential and a natural response from our body if we can’t use the fuel now, it’s the massive amounts of insulin required to handle our modern day carb fest that massively interferes with your hormone production. Leading to even more inflammation. Plus it’s no secret that we are in the midst of a diabetes and obesity epidemic!
7. Grains make you fat:
The animal industry knows this – it’s why so many animals are ‘grain-fed.’ It’s a really cheap, easy and quick way to get them to beef up fast. Humans are no different.
8: Carbohydrate dense foods are often high in sugar and decrease your immune system.
Carbohydrates break down to sugar and too much sugar affects how well your immune system functions – not good.
9, Just Because it’s “Gluten Free” doesn’t mean it’s good for you:
Gluten free doesn’t necessarily mean healthy! There are loads of gluten free Franken foods that have a negative impact on your health through some of the above processes.
So is there any good reason for anyone to rely on cereal grains when they have good access to meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds? The answer is most definitely NO!
You do NOT need grains to survive and you certainly don’t need them to thrive!
If you grains are currently a big part of your current diet then removing them may completely freak you out and make you wonder how on earth you are going to make that happen.
So here’s my best suggestion for you…
Focus on what’s STRONG not what’s WRONG. In other words, focus on all the abundance of food that you CAN eat rather than what you CAN’T eat.
I’d LOVE to help you transition to a more nutrient dense and real food diet, so feel free to reach out and ask for help.
Life is for Living