Dangerous Grains – A book that blew my mind

dangerous grainsDangerous Grains by James Braly M.D. & Ron Hoggan, M.A. is an eye opening book and a must read for those interested in their health.

So over a year in my new residence and I have only recently sought out my nearest library. I love libraries for their air-conditioned quiet space, loads of magazines to read and newspapers and yes I am a reading nerd but since Big Bang Theory, nerds are cool, so all is well.

My reading material is always factual stuff, or is that non-fiction? What’s the difference? Why do we need two words that are the same thing? It’s like calling milk – non orange juice. It’s weird.

Anyway, I read mostly health books of course and a little self-help stuff (firm believer in taking responsibility for your own life) and had a list of a few titles that I wanted to find there. All were out with one in particular that I wanted being taken only a few hours earlier – doh! In any case I kept searching and found this amazing book called Dangerous Grains.

I don’t eat any grains. My reasoning for doing so was just because I knew I felt better without them. When I ate them I always felt bloated, lethargic and constipated. I couldn’t stop eating them and so it made me overweight as well. So there was no joy to be had when I included them in my diet.

Avoiding grains

Well thousands of others must have felt the same way because the recent Paleo explosion took place with everyone shunning grains as well. I can hear the collective cry of “you shouldn’t remove whole food groups.” However my view is that thousands of people following Paleo wouldn’t be seeking alternatives if they were glowing with health and balanced eating was giving them the healthy body they wanted. But it’s not and this Dangerous Grains book rammed the point home even further.

People are suffering on a daily basis for years until mostly they seek out the information for themselves.


Interestingly both authors only pursued this line of research because they both suffered from gluten sensitivity and Coeliac’s disease and their family members did too. What they uncovered from years of research and over 30 pages of resources is that over 200 chronic illnesses are associated with gluten grains. Some of these include:-

– Coeliac’s disease
– autoimmune disease
– osteoporosis
– brain disorders
– digestive disorders
– schizophrenia
– depression
– infertility
– attention deficit disorders
– short stature
– cancer
– and many, many more.

Basically gluten attacks the inner lining of the small intestine and compromises the immune system. And once your immune system is in trouble, what hope have you got?

Gluten  Sensitivity

And get this, the big thing they found is that while a relatively small percentage of people have full blown Coeliac’s disease, millions more have gluten sensitivity. This manifests itself in joint aches and pains, digestive disturbances, general tiredness and feeling unwell that normally people can’t pinpoint. But left unchecked and if you keep eating the food that is causing this ruckus, eventually you will end up on the serious side of a disease like cancer and having to do way more than just avoid grains to stay alive.

The stupid part is that this book was written 10 years ago and is citing cases and research as far back as the 1800s. This is actual research and case studies by medical doctors, and their own profession don’t even follow this stuff or think it’s important unless they have a particular open mind about food and its role in health.

While people continue to suffer.

Of course the resistance and closed mind is prevalent in most of society. In fact I was at a Christmas party this year where a friend was explaining her gluten issues and the difficulty of finding appropriate food on holidays and one of those listening in to the conversation did the whole eye roll and had the ‘yeah, yeah gluten blah’ look on his face. She went on to explain that no, she actually has been tested and if she eats food with gluten in it the reaction is so severe, like the worst hangover you have ever had and you can’t even get out of bed in the morning.

But why should we need to explain and justify? Why are people so closed minded to this stuff? People should be applauded for taking steps to improve their health and feel better, for taking preventative steps before they are incapacitated and on their deathbed.

I just don’t get it.

Some of the case studies in the Dangerous Grains book…

One of the authors himself Ron Hoggan – was called emotional, picky, fussy, attention seeking and a hypochondriac. Diagnosed with an ulcer, colicky appendix, irreversible neurological damage related to partial hearing loss, chronic back and leg pain, hand tremors, and chronic heartburn. All cured when he was diagnosed with Coeliacs and stopped eating all gluten grains.

His daughter – suffered depression, abdominal pain and lethargy. They ignored a doctor’s diagnoses that a thickening of the bowel wall was not Coeliacs and went gluten free anyway and she is all cured.

The other author James Braly – would break out in hives if he ate bread and then exercised. Also his stomach severely swells if he eats gluten. So while he doesn’t have the full-blown disease, he is gluten sensitive and knows it’s in his best interests to stay away.

His son – suffered severe bone & muscle pain preventing him from sleep, also frequently had migraines and his growth was slow. On a gluten free diet the pains disappeared and within even two months on the strict gluten free diet grew two inches.

Patti V. – started to get MS symptoms. She radically changed her diet to exclude all processed foods and gluten and the symptoms faded away. Gluten she says has the most severe reaction.

Mary H. – son had bowel issues with chronic constipation then diarrhoea. Then descended into autism. She had him tested for food allergies and found dairy and gluten to be the issue. After following a strict diet for some time he returned to being an engaged child and is now developing normally.

More examples…

Jim B. – chronically underweight, stress fractures in his feet, vision deteriorating, nosebleeds, headaches, abdominal cramps, leg cramps, muscle twitching, bone pain, tingling fingers, and hair loss. Started to feel better after only three days gluten free and eventually completely recovered.

Lucille C. – had rheumatoid arthritis, sinusitis, and chronic constipation and was told she would need a hip replacement. All gone once gluten was removed from her diet.

Barb W. – had an itchy rash on different parts of her body for 33 years. She read something about gluten and after only three days on a gluten free diet, she stopped itching after all those years.

And there were many more examples even more severe, that were cured by a removal of gluten from the diet. Amazing stuff and so easy to implement if you even believe you are affected. Even if you don’t know for sure, isn’t it worth a try to see if whatever is ailing you goes away?

Listen or suffer?

Or would you rather dismiss it all as nonsense and keep suffering? Your choice.

So this Dangerous Grains book just blew my mind because while I knew instinctively to keep away from grains because it didn’t make me feel how I wanted to feel, imagine if I had ignored my body signals and tried to persist with the recommended daily allowance of the grains you are supposed to be having? Look at all the potential illnesses that lay in wait!

I for one am not going to wait until the mainstream catches up. Even in the book they bemoaned the slowness of their profession to accept actual case studies and research that they have proven to be true. Often they were ridiculed for their findings. We are lucky to have mavericks like these authors who go on to help thousands of people despite the opposition. And the solution is so simple, it doesn’t require special medication or treatment that costs a fortune, every person can implement it today and may just improve their quality of life.

Great book!

Kristy x

Note: The ZEN Beach Diet was inspired by Dr Ray Peat and is 95% grain free. One meal has real sour dough bread which is meant to be easier to digest but can be easily left out. Also a few meals have white rice which is supposed to be the only grain that doesn’t damage the gut.

Click here to read more about this diet.

Zen Beach Diet

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