Going Grain Free
Even though a grain free diet offers amazing and delicious meals why would you want to try it? Going grain free would mean nothing to you if it did not change the way you feel and give you real health results. Well, you’ll be pleased to know that the many health benefits of going grain-free are the best part of the deal.
Ready to give up your morning toast, lunch sandwich, and dinner roll? Not to mention your mid-morning muffin or scone and your late afternoon dive into the tortilla chip bag?
Let’s look at some powerful results you could notice in less than 2 weeks:
- Weight loss
- Less acid reflux
- Less digestive distress/IBS
- Improved energy throughout the day
- Decrease in joint pain
- Clearer skin
- Better sleeps every night
- Steadier moods
- Appetite control
- Fewer cravings
- Increased focus and clarity
- Decreased total disease risk
Going grain-free is the first step towards optimizing your overall health and adopting an anti-inflammatory diet. It is the beginning step to normalizing your blood sugar and decreasing inflammation throughout your body. Blood sugar imbalances, insulin resistance, and chronic inflammations are some of the top risk factors for heart disease, fatty liver disease, hypothyroid, infertility, cancer, Diabetes, and obesity. Read more about blood sugar here and chronic inflammation here.
The top 5 reasons for going Grain Free:
- Grains contain anti-nutrients that are inflammatory. Chronic inflammation is caused by poor lifestyle and dietary choices. One of the toxic substances found in grains are called lectins. Lectins are a protective mechanism in all grains to keep them from being eaten by animals or at least allow them to get through the digestive tract unbroken. Animals avoid eating lectins because they are indigestible and cause digestive upset. If animals don’t want them should we eat them?Lectins cause our guts to become inflamed by damaging the cells lining our intestines (enterocytes). This sets the stage for more damage by creating a leaky gut and damaging the cells so that they cannot breakdown carbohydrates properly or allow proper absorption of nutrients.
- Eating grains can contribute to imbalance gut flora. Once the enterocytes are damaged and cannot properly break down carbohydrates, the stage is set for pathogenic and opportunistic bacteria to take over. They feed off the undigested carbohydrates and produce more toxic compounds as by-products, which lead to dysbiosis, yeast overgrowth, IBS and more. Pathogenic bacteria are also involved in carbohydrate cravings and weight loss resistance.
- Grains cause blood sugar to elevate quickly, high blood sugar means high insulin levels, and high insulin levels mean high inflammation. A slice of whole wheat bread has a higher glycemic response than a teaspoon of table sugar. All carbohydrates once digested are turned into glucose or stored as glycogen for later use. Our blood sugar levels are normally regulated tightly by hormones but with a constant exposure our systems break down and our pancreas wears out. This sets the stage for hypo and hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, type 2 Diabetes, and obesity.
- Grains can cause damage to the intestinal lining that results in leaky gut and leads to increased food sensitivities and toxic load. Once the intestinal barrier is broken down from inflammation and the food is not being properly digested the gates are wide open to allow undigested food particles, larger proteins, and pathogens entry into the blood stream. This situation triggers an alarm system in our bodies as molecules are attacked increasing inflammation. Molecular mimicry (when the foreign particles look so similar and to our own molecules and are mistaken as self) then increases the possibility that our own bodies are attacked resulting in an autoimmune reaction.
- Eating grains can lead to mineral deficiencies. Grains contain phytates or phytic acid, which are indigestible compounds (also found in nuts, seeds, and legumes) that bind to minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, and iron keeping them from being properly absorbed. Phytates are found in the hulls of grains. Soaking or fermenting nuts, seeds, legumes, and to some extent grains will break down the phytic acid as well as make many vitamins and enzymes more bioavailable. Learn more about properly preparing your nuts and seeds here.
You may not even be aware that your blood sugar is imbalanced or that you are dealing with chronic inflammation unless you have been diagnosed with pre Diabetes, Diabetes, insulin resistance, an autoimmune disease, or have heart disease. However, these diseases don’t happen overnight. They develop over many years, creeping up to become debilitating often without your knowledge.
By removing grains from your diet, you give the small intestine the opportunity to heal and the cells can then digest your food, absorb your nutrients, and protect your body from invaders.
If you experience any of the following you may want to experiment with going grain-free for the next two weeks and see the results for yourself:
- Stomach cramps
- Acid reflux/belching
- Joint pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Difficulty sleeping
- Intense cravings
- Acne/skin problems
- Inconsistent energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Autoimmune disease
It is certain that almost everyone eating the Standard American Diet of high carbohydrates and low fat (which undoubtedly includes processed grains, refined sugars, and vegetable oils) is living well below their ultimate potential and maximum level of performance.
“Most people have no idea how amazing their body is designed to feel” –Mark Twain
Once you’ve committed to improving your health by going grain-free, you’ll definitely be ready to drop refined sugars and processed vegetable oils and increase your amounts of healthy fats. In fact, just by going grain-free, you are already lowering your intake of refined sugars. Read more about dialing in your diet and changing your metabolism to optimize your cellular function and permanently reverse your disease risks in this article about Ketosis.