Updated: Mar 8
A grain-based diet contributed largely to my severe poor health and chronic pain for many years. Eventually, I transitioned off of them and made it sustainable, so I’m here to help you and your family firstly understand how the staple grain foods in your kitchen are affecting your health and secondly, how to move away from them and feel better.
Wheat, corn, rice, pasta, cereals, cooking grains (barley, millet, rye, oats, etc. + pseudo grains like quinoa), and all products made with them such as bread, pasta, crackers, snack foods, cookies, cakes, lollies and many other types of processed, packaged, frozen, and fresh-baked goods.
All forms of consumed carbs are converted into glucose in the bloodstream. While whole grains and other complex carbs may burn slower than sugars, they still contribute the same, gram for gram, to total insulin production over time.
Just as a quick sugar spike is pro-inflammatory and compromises immune function, a steady insulin trip from regular meals high in complex carbohydrates is also stressful and impacts our health.
Lectins, phytates and gluten are some of the natural defences in grains that the human body does not like at all.
“𝙄 𝙘𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙 𝙣𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙜𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙪𝙥 𝙗𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙙!” do you know who said that? Clint, back before we were Paleo, in about 2010, when he ate 6-8 slices of white bread daily. But guess what? He did get off bread! It sucked at first but it got easy quickly.
Same for me with oats for brekkie. And lunch. And snacks. I was addicted to muesli and porridge. But I transitioned out of them and over a decade later am doing MUCH better without ’em!
Check out my short video on my experience with grains and how they contributed to me living for a long time in agonising pain and always being exhausted and sick. 👇
You wanna know something cool? 𝙒𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙨𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙞𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙜𝙧𝙖𝙞𝙣𝙨 𝙢𝙖𝙠𝙚𝙨 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙘𝙧𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙜𝙧𝙖𝙞𝙣𝙨, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙗𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙠 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙘𝙮𝙘𝙡𝙚, 𝙞𝙩’𝙨 𝙞𝙣𝙘𝙧𝙚𝙙𝙞𝙗𝙡𝙮 𝙚𝙢𝙥𝙤𝙬𝙚𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙜!
𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗯𝗲 ‘𝗯𝗮𝗱’ 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘂𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝘄𝗲 𝗸𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝗴𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼𝗹𝗱 𝗯𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗮 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆’𝗿𝗲 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵𝘆?!
Grains are a cheap and easy to grow ‘food’ source. They have almost no nutritional value (none that are bioavailable anyway), create excess insulin production, contain anti-nutrients that muck around with our digestive and immune function, create systemic inflammation and prevent the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the gut.
Grains have been a part of the human diet for as far back as proof exists of what humans ever ate, but grains back then were not the same as today.
Modern AF corn vs heirloom 'OG' corn:
Most of what we consume today is GMO (new unnatural versions), produced using chemicals and are highly processed. Ancient cultures foraged for and grew original grains native to their region and had intensive processing methods to remove most toxins. Even so, grains were never a staple, plants in general were short-term food sources in between animal kills. They complimented the main foods, not were the main foods.
The companies who make the products promoted as ‘healthy’ are the same companies who finance the nutritional advice we’re fed (pun intended!). There is plenty of scientific evidence and sound nutritional advice proving modern grains are no good for us.
Today we basically live on grains and it’s having a hugely negative impact on our health. The protein in modern grains is addictive, the other ingredients added to make ‘food’ products are also addictive and harmful, and it can be hard at first to even think about going without, let alone actually weaning off and existing without them.
Grains don't have legs to run away from predators
But what they do have is built-in natural defences. Toxins unsafe for humans and many other animals to consume.
𝗔𝗡𝗧𝗜-𝗡𝗨𝗧𝗥𝗜𝗘𝗡𝗧𝗦 >> Agents present in grains that compromises nutritional health instead of supporting it. The 4 main anti-nutrients in regards to grains are:
𝗟𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗻𝘀 are natural plant toxins that damage the delicate lining of the small intestine, letting undigested foreign protein particles enter the bloodstream and cause an autoimmune response – commonly known as “leaky gut syndrome”.
𝗚𝗹𝘂𝘁𝗲𝗻, found mainly in wheat, is a highly allergenic type of lectin. Ingestion causes a mild to severe inflammatory response in the body, compromising digestive and immune function. Many functional medical practitioners believe we can all do better off gluten.
𝗣𝗵𝘆𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀 bind with nutrients in the digestive tract similar to how fibre does. Excess consumption can easily lead to nutrient deficiency. This is common when on a grain-based diet.
Saying goodbye to grains is doable
It's challenging initially but it's definitely doable!
As per my video, grains contributed to my many years of experiencing terrible health and incredibly bad gut problems. Going GF absolutely did not fix my problems or make me any better because I then relied on gluten-free grain foods.
Going Paleo was what helped me overcome my health problems and chronic pain. Healing the body, feeding it bio-available nutrient-rich foods and living more naturally.
If you and your family is pretty addicted to and reliant upon grain foods and can’t imagine going cold turkey off of them then a good first step would be a gentle transition.
𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲:
Swapping to GF breads and cereals to at least get away from gluten
Soaking, activating, fermenting some grains / buying soaked, activated, fermented products
Swapping some grain bars and snack food products to fresh fruit, GF ham, cold chicken wings, homemade gelatin lollies and hard-boiled eggs
Reducing the qty of grain foods each meal to smaller amounts and adding more eggs, meat and veggies to the plate (see previous posts about what grain foods actually are)
Using gluten-free flours and products
Adding in some healing and nutrient-dense foods to reduce inflammation
This could be done over the period of a couple of months with the aim of moving totally away from grains all-together. 𝙄𝙩’𝙨 𝙙𝙤-𝙖𝙗𝙡𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙨𝙪𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙗𝙡𝙚, 𝙄 𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬, 𝙄’𝙫𝙚 𝙙𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙞𝙩!
The next step would be a 21-day total grain detox/primal reset and learning how to go Paleo with some initial easy transition options and then eventually consuming mostly just the optimal foods.
I wish you well on your less-grains or grain-free journey and am here if you need help or have any questions!
Primal Health Coach
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