Here's a quote from one of my son's favorite bedtime stories.
"Charlie the Chick eats lots of Barley.
That's why he has such a big fat TUMMY!!!!"
My son is only 4 years old. Yet he's reading books that speak directly against a lot of the "health" advice most people take as god given fact. But let me ask you a question: How do you spell god?
What? It's G-O-D? And all this time I thought it was U-S-D-A.
That must mean the USDA's recommendation to eat 6-11 servings of grains isn't gospel? Then how'd that idea start? Luise Light, the creator of the Food Pyramid which was introduced to Americans in 1992, says that her original pyramid was corrupted. Instead of fruits and vegetables making up the base of the diet, cereals and wheat products were pushed. Her recommendation for starchy foods was only 2-4 servings/day.
She goes on to say, quote “…the health consequences of encouraging the public to eat so much refined grain, which the body processes like sugar, was frightening! But our exhortations to the political heads of the agency fell on deaf ears. The new food guide, replacing the ‘Basic Four,’ would be a promotional tool to get the public to buy and consume more calories, sugar and starch.”
Thank you Grain Lobby for your role in the sickening of America!
In previous posts you've read how the Standard American Diet (also known as S.A.D.) contributes to everything from obesity to Type 2 Diabetes. Now let me address how grains specifically create unhealthy bodies.
See, every living thing in Nature wants to survive, including plants. While animals rely on speed or armor or camouflage for protection, plants generally rely on chemical defenses. For example, the cocoa plant is naturally high in caffeine, and caffeine inhibits short term memory. So when an animal eats the cocoa plant, it often can't remember where he got that last meal.
The defense for grains is a substance called phytic acid. Phytates inhibit the absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. You need calcium for your heart to function, magnesium for carbohydrate metabolism, iron to transport oxygen, and zinc to procreate. Now I don't know about you, but I kinda like it when my heart beats and I'm able to breathe. And while I might be able to live without procreating...,practicing is a heck of a lot of fun, you gotta admit.
What's more, Biohealth Diagnostics estimates that 60% of Caucasians have gluten sensitivity. Many experts out there will tell you that it's as high as 90% of white skinned people with other races close behind. When a person is gluten intolerant, ingesting any grain other than rice, buckwheat, millet, or corn will inflame the gut wall. This micro trauma to the intestine causes tiny holes to form, allowing food particles to pass into the bloodstream undigested. The body then creates antibodies to that particular food and you have an immune response to whatever you're eating. This means that the brain fog, the lethargy, the bad skin, and any other symptom you are having due to gluten consumption, you'll now have with almost any food in your diet.
Additionally, this constant inflammation causes what's termed villous atrophy. Lining the wall of your intestines, you have little finger like projections called villi. These, in turn, have tiny little microvilli covering them--you have about 200 million per square millimeter. The job of the microvilli is to help you assimilate nutrition from your food by producing various enzymes. Unfortunately, with villous atrophy, the gut wall gets blasted and the intestine end up looking more bare than Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard. Less surface area = less micro villi = less nutrient absorption. This leads people down the road of sickness and obesity as they're forced to eat more to maintain nutrient status.
Now, many of my clients will me they don't have a problem with gluten. I guess they think it's normal to fart every 3rd step or something. And I'll admit it's often difficult to figure out the true etiology of the symptoms as average retention time in the body is 56-72 hours. This means you can eat something with gluten in it on Monday and not have a reaction until Thursday. Thus, it can be hard to correlate cause with effect. My suggestion is to cut out all gluten from the diet for at least 2 weeks and see how you feel. Most people will have a very hard time with this approach as they are literally addicted to gluten. Or more specifically, they're addicted to the dopamine created to counter the pain of an inflamed intestinal wall. But if they can last a good two weeks, they'll often notice a marked increase in energy and vitality.
So in conclusion, if you want to be healthy, don't follow the herd. In fact, move 180 degrees opposite of everyone else. Swim against the stream, people! Indeed, my advice: GO...against the grain!