Saturday, February 9, 2013

Grains, what’s the big deal anyway?

After publishing my fabulous Whole21 results, so many people have been asking me about the Paleo Diet and the Whole30 program!  I’m so excited to share my knowledge with everyone, so I decided to do a series of posts!

Please acknowledge that all of the information I’m presenting can be found on the internet, there are so many Paleo gurus, so feel free to do some research of your own.  Also understand that everyone is different, so question everything, experiment with different foods, and find what fuels your body best!

First of all, if you are seeking a slender, fit physique, grains are not your friend.

As Steve from Nerd Fitness so neatly sums up:

“Grains are composed of carbohydrates, and those carbs are turned into glucose (a type of sugar) in our system to be used for energy and various other tasks to help our body function – any glucose that isn’t used as energy is stored as fat.”

Back in the day, this was an advantage: your body could survive in times of famine using stored fat.  However, now we seldom find ourselves without a steady source of food but the fat continues to be stored by an automatic response in our bodies.  Just to make it clear: it is not fat that gets stored in your fat cells, it’s sugar!

Second, excessive grains cause excessive insulin to be secreted into your body, which can lead to insulin insensitivity, aka diabetes.

When we eat too many carbs, insulin comes to the rescue to try and deliver the glucose into your muscles or liver, but when those cells are full, the glucose hangs out in your bloodstream which causes the pancreas to deliver more insulin to try and deal with the toxic situation.  But, excess insulin is also toxic and the excess insulin causes the cells to become insulin resistant.  This is a bad cycle that keeps getting worse as you keep putting bagels, bread, and pasta dinners into your body!  Eventually your pancreas gets too overworked and it cannot produce any more insulin and now you have to inject insulin to survive.  Type 2 diabetes!

Third, grains contain gluten, lectins, and phytic acid – and they suck!

I’m sure you’ve all heard of gluten and the gluten free products popping up.  Gluten causes an inflammatory response in our bodies (which leads to a number of chronic diseases) and over time can cause a number of issues including dermatitis, joint pain, reproductive problems, acid reflux, autoimmune disorders, and Celiac disease.

Have you heard of lectins?  They are natural toxins found in grains that exist to defend against consumption!  Grains don’t want to be consumed, so this is their natural defense.  Lectins prevent our gastrointestinal tract from repairing itself which causes a lot of damage!

Grains also contain phytic acid, which blocks absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc.

Finally, grains do not offer much nutritional value.

People have been taught that grains are a necessary staple in our diet, but they just aren’t.  You can get all of the nutrients found in grains through a balanced diet of meat, veggies, fruit, nuts, and healthy fats without all the negative aspects of grains.  There are carbs in vegetables, sweet potatoes, and fruit and they are totally unprocessed!

Here’s a basic scenario that makes a lot of sense to me.  Think about eating a big basket of bread at a restaurant, it’s high in calories, doesn’t fill you up, and leaves you feeling ready for more food!  What if you ate the same amount of calories in a small piece of steak and a large helping of veggies?  You would feel satiated, full, and without a swollen, bloated tummy.  You can get off the blood sugar rollercoaster (goodbye post lunch crash!) and feel satisfied until your next meal!

Well, this is a TON of information and it’s really just the tip of the iceberg.  I hope this post was enlightening and not extremely overwhelming.  I know that this goes against so many things you’ve been told your entire life, but when I started reading about all this it really just clicked in my head.  Click on those links if you’re looking for some more information from the experts!

Are you interested in the Paleo Diet?  Is there a specific topic you want me to cover?


  1. Great post! I steer clear of most grains (except au naturale oats) and my body loves me for it. Our dinner plates are usually 25-30% protein and 70-75% veggies/complex carbs ( sweet potatoes!). I honestly feel so sick when I eat bread/pasta/rice anymore snd I don't miss it!

  2. Very interesting! I don't eat a lot of grains as it is, but I also don't steer clear of them. What I'm most curious about are legumes. I'm sure it will come up somewhere in this series--thanks for pulling all this information together! :)

  3. Hi, I enjoy your blog. Wondering if you have a contact email so I can ask you some more questions about your paleo experience? Thanks!!


Every comment makes me smile, so keep 'em coming!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...