A no grain diet is the best to follow since grains should ideally be avoided for a number of reasons. The first reason is that most of them, even organic whole ones, turn almost immediately into sugar in the human body. This in turn aids in the progression towards diabetes and obesity, which are becoming epidemic in today’s society.
Here is a quote from Dr. Mercola’s health education website (www.mercola.com) that argues for a no grain diet:
“Grains and sugars are often an overlooked addiction and the way to manage any addiction is though complete abstinence.
The reason most people struggle with giving up sugar is that they are still eating carbohydrates. These break down to sugar and perpetuate the addiction. Eliminating them and eating properly for your nutritional type are the keys to optimal health.”
Problems With Wheat
For a no grain diet, wheat is especially problematic. It is considered to be the staff of life and yet it causes more problems than any other carbohydrate, probably because of its pervasiveness in American society today.
But don't worry, you can still have delicious baked goods, such as these carrot walnut raisin muffins. You just have to use different ingredients.
If wheat were still harvested as it was hundreds of years ago, we would not need a no grain diet. In the old days, when it was harvested, it was left in the fields for a few days and it partially sprouted from the dew. That enhanced the nutrition of it greatly.
Wheat was also ground using stones, which left most of the beneficial bran still intact. This is what was so nutritious. Remember “Heidi” where she kept the nutritionally deficient white rolls to take back to her Alm Uncle, thinking they were so much better? If all of those practices still existed, we wouldn't need no grain diets.
There is an article by Jen Allbritton entitled "Wheaty indiscretions: What Happens to Wheat from Seed to Storage” (mercola.com) which gives more insight into what really happens with modern day farming and furthers the argument for a no grain diet.
Many people today are gluten sensitive, if not downright intolerant of it. This is referred to as celiac disease. For these people, a no grain diet is essential. It is estimated to affect as much as 1 out of 10 of the American population but could be much higher.
Because it turns into glucose in the body, overconsumption of cereals, even whole grain ones, often leads to insulin resistance, which is a pre-cursor to diabetes and its complications. Some of the symptoms of insulin resistance include:
2. Brain fog
3. Low blood sugar (or hypoglycemia)
4. Intestinal bloating
6. Increased fat storage and weight gain
7. Increased triglycerides
8. Increased blood pressure
10. Insulin resistance
Here is an explanation of it from Dr. Mercola’s site again giving more reasons for a no grain diet:
“In a nutshell, even though carbohydrates themselves are fat-free, excess carbohydrates end up as excess fat. That's not the worst of it. Any meal or snack high in carbohydrates will generate a rapid rise in blood glucose. To adjust for this rapid rise, the pancreas secretes the hormone insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin then lowers the levels of blood glucose.
The problem is that insulin is essentially a storage hormone, evolved to put aside excess carbohydrate calories in the form of fat in case of future famine. So the insulin that's stimulated by excess carbohydrates aggressively promotes the accumulation of body fat.
In other words, when we eat too much carbohydrate, we're essentially sending a hormonal message, via insulin, to the body (actually, to the adipose cells). The message: "Store fat."
One other aspect of grains is that, if you are not going on a no grain diet and choose instead to eat them, you need to soak them first to remove antinutrients from them. This info is from Sally Fallon at the Weston A. Price Foundation (www.WestonAPrice.org):
“Grains require careful preparation because they contain a number of antinutrients that can cause serious health problems. Phytic acid, for example, is an organic acid in which phosphorus is bound. It is mostly found in the bran or outer hull of seeds. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption."
"Other antinutrients in whole grains include enzyme inhibitors which can inhibit digestion and put stress on the pancreas; irritating tannins; complex sugars which the body cannot break down; and gluten and related hard-to-digest proteins which may cause allergies, digestive disorders and even mental illness."
"Proper preparation of grains is a kind and gentle process that imitates the process that occurs in nature.It involves soaking for a period in warm, acidulated water in the preparation of porridge, or long, slow sour dough fermentation in the making of bread. Such processes neutralize phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors.”
Changes In The Way Wheat Is Grown
Sally continues on the subject:
“Bread can be the staff of life, but modern technology has turned our bread—even our whole grain bread—into a poison. Grains are laced with pesticides during the growing season and in storage; they are milled at high temperatures so that their fatty acids turn rancid. Rancidity increases when milled flours are stored for long periods of time, particularly in open bins.
The bran and germ are often removed and sold separately, when Mother Nature intended that they be eaten together with the carbohydrate portion; they're baked as quick rise breads so that antinutrients remain; synthetic vitamins and an unabsorbable form of iron added to white flour can cause numerous imbalances; dough conditioners, stabilizers, preservatives and other additives add insult to injury.
Cruelty to grains in the making of breakfast cereals is intense. Slurries of grain are forced through tiny holes at high temperatures and pressures in giant extruders, a process that destroys nutrients and turns the proteins in grains into veritable poisons. Westerners pay a lot for expensive breakfast cereals that snap, crackle and pop, including the rising toll of poor health.
The final indignity to grains is that we treat them as loners, largely ignorant of other dietary factors needed for the nutrients they provide. Fat-soluble vitamins A and D found in animal fats like butter, lard and cream help us absorb calcium, phosphorus, iron, B vitamins and the many other vitamins that grains provide. Porridge eaten with cream will do us a thousand times more good than cold breakfast cereal consumed with skim milk; sourdough whole grain bread with butter or whole cheese is a combination that contributes to optimal health.
Be kind to your grains. . . and your grains will deliver their promise as the staff of life. Buy only organic whole grains and soak them overnight to make porridge or casseroles; or grind them into flour with a home grinder and make your own sour dough bread and baked goods. For those who lack the time for breadmaking, kindly-made whole grain breads are now available. Look for organic, stone ground, sprouted or sour dough whole grain breads and enjoy them with butter or cheese.”
Problems With Bromine
Another argument for a no grain diet is that commercially made wheat products today often contain Potassium Bromate as dough extenders. This excerpt is from Dr. Mercola’s web article on bromine:
"When you ingest or absorb bromine, it displaces iodine, and this iodine deficiency leads to an increased risk for cancer of the breast, thyroid gland, ovary and prostate -- cancers that we see at alarmingly high rates today.”
The final reason for going on a no grain diet is that American wheat has been bred to have a higher gluten content as compared to European wheat. This increased the potential for gluten sensitivity in individuals. From Dr. Mercola’s site again:
“Gluten is the primary protein found in wheat. In my experience, there is an epidemic of hidden intolerance to wheat products. There are frequently no obvious symptoms.
Rice, corn, buckwheat and millet have glutens, but the glutens in these foods do not contain the gliadin molecule that can provoke the inflammatory reaction. Therefore, they are usually safe. Other safe grains include quinoa and amaranth.
Gliadins are molecules that frequently cause toxic reactions that trigger your immune response. When gliadin in gluten becomes water soluble, it is free to bind to cells in your body. If you are sensitive, your body will make antibodies to gliadin and attack the cells gliadin has attached itself to, treating those cells as an infection. This immune response damages surrounding tissue and has the potential to set off, or exacerbate, MANY other health problems throughout your body, which is why gluten can have such a devastating effect on your overall health.”
The most common symptoms of gluten intolerance are abdominal pain, diarrhea and fatigue, which, of course, can be caused by any number of different things. My personal experience was an almost constant abdominal cramping, gas, bloating, diarrhea and weight gain. That was enough to convince me to go on a no grain diet for myself.
I thought that it was normal to feel that way, and only by eliminating grains, did I find out that it was not. If I only do it occasionally, I can still have some wheat but I usually pay for it with poor health the next day.
You can use coconut oil and coconut flour to make great tasting baked goods and have a no grain diet. If you use natural sweeteners as well, you can control all ingredients and therefore all aspects of what you eat. That will make a huge difference for yourself.
If you will take the steps to eliminate all harmful grains from your meals and go on a no grain diet, you will see an amazing change in your overall health. Just eliminate the major offenders and see how you feel.
Then, for optimal health, try the gluten-free recipes on this site and compare your daily health after wards. Healthy eating can also utilize good-tasting food. You just have to be willing to experiment and try new things.
Barbara's new video series is available now. Check it out here.
Barbara's book "Alive Health Recipe Book" is published. Find out more here.
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