Thursday, August 11, 2011

More on why to eat Paleo

Did you know?

Despite the US dietary recommendation to eat plenty of wholegrains, grains - even wholegrains, are non-essential foods in the human diet. You’re not missing out on anything by not eating grains! Grains do not offer any nutrients that you can’t obtain from other foods in higher quantities! Even fiber is available in large amounts from vegetables, fruit, nuts and nut flours such as almond flour. There is no nutritional requirement for grains in the human diet. Robb Wolf addresses this issue in detail. So, why are we constantly told to eat grains?

A Little-Known Secret:

The message to eat more wholegrains is pushed by the US government because of their financial links with the sugar and grain industries. Politicians fund the grain and sugar industries and in return are elected into office by the them. Talk about hidden agendas.

Did you know that grains are routinely fed to cattle for the specific purpose of fattening them up? By the time these poor animals are 6 months of age their bodies are racked with disease from the grains they are fed and they would die if they weren't slaughtered for meat. This is another reason that large amounts of antibiotics are routinely fed to cattle - to treat the diseases caused by the grain-heavy diet they are fed. In contrast, cattle that are allowed to graze on fresh grass remain lean and relatively disease free. While many humans can digest grains, like the cow's digestive tract, a human's digestive tract is not designed to handle a high-carb, high grain diet over a long period of time. Allergies and auto-immune problems such as celiac disease often appear in middle age as the gut lining becomes damaged and thus more permeable as a result of a diet high in wheat and other grains.

Contrary to the 'politically correct' low-fat dietary doctrine that is still promoted in our society, research throughout history (see Gary Taubes books "Good Calories, Bad Calories" and "Why We Get Fat" for an excellent overview of this research) has shown that fats and plenty of animal protein are good for you especially if they're derived from sources such as grass fed, organically-raised meats and butter, nuts and coconut oil. Instead, it is the consumption of refined sugars and high carb starches (yes, excess wholegrains) as well as processed oils that sets us up for for diabetes, heart disease, obesity and auto-immune disorders. Despite the public health message to eat more wholegrains and less fat, the rates of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity and its associated problems are higher than they were decades ago in the US? Clearly something is wrong here.

Loren Cordain's journal article "Grains, society's double edged sword" and Robb Wolf's book "The Paleo Solution" both provide an excellent overview of this topic.

Grain-free for weight loss!

Grains rate high on the Glycemic Index (GI) and their consumption sends blood sugar soaring. Grain-free goods, being low on the GI index allow for stable blood sugar and therefore easy weight loss and weight maintenance. That's good news for dieters who still like to enjoy a tasty treat. A low GI/ low carb diet is also beneficial to epilepsy sufferers and worldwide the ketogenic and low GI diets are now used as a therapy for epilepsy in children and adults with excellent results.

A short biology lesson:

When the bulk of our diet is comprised of grains and sugar (carbohydrates) our bloodstream is constantly flooded with glucose. Glucose in large amounts in our blood is damaging to our body. When our blood is flooded with glucose our body needs to constantly release insulin to redirect the glucose out of the blood and into our body cells where it can be used or stored. When the body's muscle cells and liver have stored all the glucose they need, the rest of the glucose is delivered to the fat cells where it remains stored as fat. Insulin is the fat storage hormone - it delivers glucose to our fat cells where it is stored as fat! Continued insulin stimulation (through continual consumpton of grains and other carbohydrates) also means that insulin locks the door shut so fat can't escape our fat cells and so prevents it from being released in our bodies for fuel. This means we don't lose weight - even with calorie restriction! Eliminating grains and refined sugar from the diet dramatically lowers insulin production allowing for easier fat loss without the severe calorie deprivation and hunger associated with typical high-carb/low-fat diets.

Stable glucose levels are associated with less hunger, fewer mood swings and improved well-being and may be the critical factor preventing sezures in epileptic patients following a low GI and/or ketogenic diet.

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