Food is so confusing these days mainly because you’ve got many competing interests trying to tell you what to buy. From an unbiased health perspective though, let me explain why I believe grains are unhealthy.
Grains are one of two food types not recommended in the Ray Peat style diet. The other is Polyunsaturated Fats, which you can learn more about here.
The issue is not so much a piece of bread or croissant you are having occasionally, balanced with a nutrient rich, varied protein and fruit based diet. The issue is when people eat MAINLY grains and green leafy vegetables, day in and day out.
Things like cereal and toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch then pasta for dinner. For twenty years! Then over time, you start to see a systemic breakdown in optimal body function. For some it arrives sooner with gluten and other anti nutrients blasting holes in the gut, making people intolerant to everything.
Here’s where it goes wrong:
Briefly the problem with starch is that it all turns to glucose raising blood sugar sky high and requiring high levels of insulin. It also creates endotoxin in the gut and stress in the body.
(Sign up to our free 7 day email course on ‘How to eat for weight loss’ to learn more detail about the problems with starch.)
The well known protein in grain causing so many issues for an ever increasing number of people. While only about 1% of the population may have full blown Celiac’s Disease, another 4% have a diagnosed wheat allergy. With many more suffering symptoms such as these:
- Diarrhoea, Constipation and Smelly Faeces
- Abdominal Pain
- Feeling Tired
- Skin Problems
- Iron Deficiency Anaemia
- Auto immune disorders
- Joint and muscle pain
- Arm & Leg numbness
- Brain Fog
So it’s quite a line up of feeling poorly, which some may not even associate with their love of fresh crusty rolls!
3. Too much fibre
It’s a head spin right? Our whole lives we’ve been told to eat more fibre for a healthy gut and general health. As it turns out not even true, and in fact and many of the damaging anti nutrients following, are found in the outer husk of the grain which we are encouraged to eat. The main issues with harsh fibre is that it damages the gut lining leading to Leaky Gut issues, but it also feeds the bad bacteria in the gut, creating endotoxin and more problems.
4. Anti nutrients
– insoluble fibre – excess of which may cause gut issues and bacterial overgrowth
– phytates – blocking mineral absorption like zinc, iron, calcium & magnesium
– lignans – cause gastrointestinal distress
– lectins – damage the gastro intestinal lining and cause inflammation
– oxalates – which cause kidney stones
– pufas – causing thyroid and carbohydrate digestion issues
– goitrogens – disrupting the production of the thyroid hormone eg: millet
– saponins – can disrupt epithelial function in a manner similar to lectins, and cause gastrointestinal issues, like leaky gut syndrome. Eg: oats
No wonder we don’t feel so well. As I said, it’s not about the occasional croissant you are having, but the inclusion of grains daily in most meals for many years.
Cause tooth decay
Blood sugar imbalances
For all these reasons grains are relegated to the sometimes pile and limited to the two options -white rice and real white sour dough bread, which are the only two least likely to cause issues.
Keep and open mind, be aware of how you feel after grains and make your own decisions.
To your health,