LOVIN' LIFE... Grain Free
Imagine you were recently dropped from the sky smack dab into the middle of a lovely plot of lush, fertile land on planet Earth AND you’re very hungry! To fill your tummy, would you:
A-Pick the first piece of juicy, beautiful, bright colored fruit you saw.
B-Chase down a rabbit and build a fire, or
C-Pull grasses, let them dry, pluck their seeds, grind them until powdery and mix them with water.
Easy choice, don’t you think? Mother Nature has made her food pyramid for us very simple. It’s humans who have complicated it!
GRAINS HAVE NEVER BEEN IDEAL HUMAN FOOD
Some animals are meant to eat grains and grasses. Birds have beaks and gizzards. Cows, goats, and sheep have multiple stomachs and continuously growing teeth. But the human digestive system is not designed to properly digest grains or “cereal” grasses.
Grains are seeds of grasses that contain “anti-nutrients”, such as lectins and phytates. These anti-nutrients were designed by mother nature to withstand digestion so they can remain intact and be planted in the ground (right along with their built-in fertilizer!).
Grains are less nutrient dense than fruits, vegetables, leafy greens and nuts which all contain adequate fiber for our system.
Anthropological records indicate that early peoples had virtually no dental problems until the age of agriculture, when grains entered their diet.
Grains may have historically staved off hunger, but they are not a true human “food group”.
GRAINS AREN’T WHAT THEY USED TO BE
Grain, specifically wheat, accounts for 50% of the modern American diet, a gross increase over the small amounts eaten by a few hungry groups of early humans.
The vast amount of modern grain is cross bred and genetically modified and, if not organic, dosed with herbicides and pesticides.
Long, hot storage of grains can be a prolific breeding ground for cancer-causing fungal aflatoxins.
The “low fat” craze fueled big business to add wheat, starch, and sugar to their products to make up for the loss of flavor and satiety once the fat was removed.
Unscrupulous food companies exploit the addictive properties of wheat, extracted starch and sugar by sneaking them into virtually all of their processed foods.
GRAINS DON’T HELP YOUR BODY THRIVE
Removing the hulls/husks, soaking, sprouting, grinding, and cooking grains reduces some of the anti-nutrients, such as phytic acid; however, it does not reduce specifically damaging lectins or the high starch content that quickly increases blood sugar.
Eating grains blocks mineral and other nutrient absorption in humans, leading to deficiencies.
Many grains contain proteins that damage human intestines, which can cause permeability, resulting in infections, allergies, auto-immune symptoms and wide-spread inflammation.
Grains, such as wheat varieties, have peptides that bind to the opiate receptors in the human brain, which can trigger addictive impulses.
Wheat, rye, barley, and rice contain agglutinin, a lectin that can attach to cell walls and cause them to clump together.
Studies show that many health conditions including weight control, allergies, digestive disorders, and even autism symptoms noticeably improve when grains are removed from the diet.
GRAIN FREE VS. GLUTEN FREE VS. PALEO VS. KETO
While gluten (found in wheat and many other grains) has been found to be damaging to humans, the habit of replacing gluten with refined starches or starchy, high-carb flours to try to replace the properties of gluten in gluten-free baking is not promoting health or weight balance. Many (if not most) gluten-free and Paleo cookbooks rely heavily on starches, starchy flours, and high-glycemic sweeteners, such as coconut sugar in their recipes. When you combine these things your blood sugar soars and provides fuel for any fungi or cancer cells to proliferate. Keto recipes are generally cleaner and much lower on the glycemic scale, however many keto products on store shelves are made with ingredients similar to regular processed “foods”, just their lower carb alternatives. So, remember to read your labels and select the cleaner label with ingredients you trust.
Taking all the above into consideration should make it an easy decision to replace concocted, “pseudo-foods” with real foods. Real foods, meant for humans, are foods that can be eaten, easily digested and enjoyed in their natural state. I can’t remember the last time I saw a human grazing alongside a cow or picking modified wheat gluten or tapioca starch from a tree!
Find more helpful, detailed information on this topic in my book, The Ultimate Grain-Free Cookbook.