To say that the SAD (Standard American Diet) is wrecking our health is an understatement at this point. Sugar rightfully gets the bad rap but what about the bad wrap that appears at almost every meal, elevates blood sugar and causes inflammation in your gut?
Yes, I'm rapping about grain again.
A bagel or toast for breakfast, a sandwich or tortilla at lunch and pasta or bread with dinner is a set up for leaky gut, weight gain and systemic inflammation. Here are 3 reasons why.
Grains like wheat, barley and rye contain gluten. Gluten triggers a morphine-like response in our brains so we feel sedated (you know it's true gnocchi lovers) and that feeling is addictive so we eat more and more and more...
2. HIGH CARB LOAD
Grains are mostly carbohydrates so they melt into sugar, which is why we love them and eat too much of them and gain weight because of them.
3. INDIGESTIBLE PROTEINS
Gluten is one of the many proteins in grains that we cannot digest so they cause an inflammatory response in our body. That doesn't always mean a bellyache but any extra inflammation is unwelcome, as it leads to disease.
Why are grains problematic now when people have been eating them since the dawn of time?
There are a lot of ideas in circulation about this but to me there are 2 main reasons: people have changed and grains have changed.
WE ARE DIFFERENT
Our bodies must now carry a heavy toxic load because we're exposed to more chemicals than ever before in our food, air and water. At the same time, we're not getting the same amount of nutrition from our food because of over-farmed and chemically treated soils. Sort of like driving a car in the most extreme conditions with the lowest octane fuel - results are not guaranteed.
GRAINS ARE DIFFERENT
Grains, or cereal grasses, and field crops are grown in chemically fertilized soils and doused with chemical pesticides and herbicides so there is either heavy metal residue and/or it is woven into the DNA of the grain in the case of GMO grains.
Here's how that makes the grain less digestible. Digestion happens with proper enzymatic activity. Imagine enzymes like scissors designed to cut paper. If the paper has a metal staple in it, the scissors do not cut through it as they should and maybe we ruin the scissors.
Here's the good news: there are so many great foods we can eat to nourish our bodies and please our palates! To begin transitioning away from grains, wrap sandwich fillings (the good stuff like egg salad, meats and cheeses) in a collard leaf, romaine or Boston lettuce or even a sheet of nori seaweed. You can still eat with your hands!
Plants and proteins are the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet and our access to organically grown plants and pastured proteins is improving as demand for them increases.