By Jenn Bruer
Why don’t I eat grains?
For starters, some experts (cardiologist William Davis and renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, to name a couple) suggests grains are bad for intestinal (gut) health. Additionally, grains are STARCH (similar to sugar) to the body and can feed the “bad guys”, the bad bacteria living inside the gut. Starch causes a spike in insulin and when relying so much on starch or sugar as a fuel source insulin can cause an excess amount of stomach fat to accumulate (hence why Dr Davis so perfectly entitled his book Wheat Belly). It’s also worth noting that any nutrients we can get from grains, we can get elsewhere from other food sources like vegetables, fruits, meats, nuts or seeds, so grains aren’t technically necessary.
For me and for many others grains cause inflammation; some believe inflammation is the root-cause of all disease so it stands to reason that ditching grains might offer disease prevention! Personally, I find some grains more inflammatory than other grains. For example I don’t find rice nearly as inflammatory as wheat.
Grains have only been around for 10,000 years (or so), which (coincidentally?) is right around the time when we (humans) started to develop tooth decay. We also shrunk in height and our overall bone health deteriorated (I learned this from Robb Wolf’s book The Paleo Solution). Grains inhibit vital mineral absorption of things like iron, calcium and zinc. This is because grains contain substances like phytic acid and lectins which when consumed in larger amounts might not be good.
Foods rich in sugar, or starch, give quick energy, but that energy wears off fast, as I have experienced first-hand. Grains break down quickly and cause insulin to rise often followed by blood sugar crashes, making us want to crave more… enter the ‘vicious cycle’ of needing to eat carbs every few hours.
Besides all of that, the benefits of a grain-free diet are pretty remarkable; just look around, there are anecdotes everywhere. Plenty of people suffering from a whole list of issues (Crohn’s, arthritis, diabetes, chronic fatigue, etc.) are getting better and seeing huge improvements from a grain-free diet! I, personally, have never felt better since going grain-free in September of 2011.
People assume that mainstream medicine is not in support of this diet. But hang on a minute! I remember when I was 10, visiting my family doctor for regular asthma checkups; he smoked a pipe while he listened to my chest! I know, seems silly right? Well, people back then would say “smoking can’t be that bad; my doctor does it”. But times change. Smoking became rightfully demonized because some smart people thought “hmmm, perhaps doctors should obtain from smoking while seeing to patients” (duh!).
Times have clearly changed on the smoking front- thankfully. The same is happening with grains, just look at the new food guide in Canada, there was a time when the experts were telling us to eat 5-12 servings of grains per DAY, now the recommendations for grains is far less. I know of several medical doctors that suggest going Paleo or Primal, especially heart doctors! Many of my friends say they’ve gone Paleo on the suggestion of their doctor!
Enter the shift. It seems that as a collective there is a definite shift happening! Yay us!
Some might say that grain-free benefits aren’t “backed up” by clinical trials, or suggest that there is “no evidence” that diet can play such a pivotal role in the prevention or treatment of serious diseases. But seriously now, do we really expect any of the multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical companies to spend millions on a clinical study that proves the benefits of grain free living? Or that FOODS are capable of healing? Would that be smart of them? Where’s the profit in that?!
Did you know that in one chinese study it was found that women who consumed 10 grams of fresh mushrooms each day (about one button mushroom per day) had a 64% decreased risk of breast cancer? Huh! Go figure, you didn’t know that! If there was a drug that could reduce your risk of breast cancer by 64%, don’t you think it would be all over the news?
Since we know we can’t rely on Big-pharma to give us studies to “prove” the benefits of anything other than their own drugs, all we are left with is the personal stories of those who have made changes! Like me 🙂 Let our own personal success stories be proof enough – try Living Grainlessly for 30 days and become a success story of your own!
Now go eat some mushrooms. But please, hold the bread!