6 Reasons to Go Grain Free –
We all love bread, rice and pasta and most of us grew up believing that whole grains are health foods. It is hard to think of life without them, but when people start to understand the damage that these starches are causing it is easier to “just say no” to grains.
6 Reasons to Go Grain Free
Lectins: Grains are seeds that are trying to get through the digestive tract intact so they can be planted. Seeds have special layers that protect them from being broken down by animals. When we eat these lectin containing grains all our lives, it sets the stage for leaky gut syndrome where the villi of the small intestine become damaged and inflamed. A leaky or permeable gut lining lets undigested food particles into the blood steam creating an alarm reaction in the body. These rogue food particles bind with bodily tissues and the immune system begins an attack against our own organs, which sets the stage for conditions like IBS, Crohn’s, colitis, thyroiditis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and arthritis.
Gut Flora: A diet high in grains can contribute to altered gut flora, where harmful bacterial strains like E. coli can take over. Bacteria in the colon feed on starchy foods like bread and other grains creating a breading ground for parasites and yeast overgrowth. This dysbiosis is an imbalance of beneficial flora in the large intestine and is one of the the reasons people have weight loss resistance and never ending carb cravings. Negative bacteria can even proliferate into the small intestine (where they are not supposed to be at all) creating gas bloating and never ending food sensitivities/intolerances.
Phytic Acid: is found in the hull of grains (and beans) and humans are not able to digest phytic acid. Phytic acid binds to important minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc, blocking our ability to absorb them which sets the stage for many disease states.
Gluten: is a protein in wheat that has increased due to genetic manipulations performed by farmers starting in the 1970’s. These changes to the wheat kernel make people more likely to have a negative reactions when eating this new version of an ancient food. Many people have silent Celiac disease where they have no noticeable symptoms until they end up with a chronic condition. The testing for Celiac disease is very unreliable and doctors wait until there is major damage to the small intestine and years of patient discomfort before making a diagnosis. It is best to rely on your own elimination diet results to see if going grain free makes you feel better.
Diabetes: Two slices of whole wheat bread can raise blood sugar more than eating teaspoon of pure table sugar. All bread (white and wheat) is just like candy or donuts to our delicate metabolisms. Our body tightly regulates blood sugar levels and eating a high carbohydrate diet wears out the pancreas increasing the risk of diabetes. This blood sugar roller coaster create a chronic stress state leading to increased cortisol and belly fat storage.
Cross Reactivity: Removing all grains from your diet may seem severe but the problem is when a person has a damaged and leaky gut lining any food resembling gluten can cause major irritation. The structures of most grains are so similar that the body can not tell the difference and has an increased immune response to corn, rice, quinoa, oats, ect. Another problem is that so many other grains are contaminated with gluten during processing. By removing all grains, the small intestine is able to heal so it can get the nutrients it needs to rebuild the villi and diffuse the body’s need to self attack.
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