All grains (including wheat) contain certain irritants and anti-nutrients; as well as a predominantly carbohydrate nutrient profile and all of its associated issues. This can cause damage and inflammation to the lining of the gut. A damaged gut does not always present obvious symptoms and is a major contributor to ill health. Damage to the gut lining means unwanted particles can pass through into the bloodstream and also tampers with nutrient intake. The balance of good bacteria to bad will fall in favour of bad.
Found in grains are three substances considered detrimental to human health; gluten, lectins, and phytic acid. Gluten is one of many proteins in wheat and other grains that can damage the body. Not limited to the symptoms of celiac disease, or even those of a noticeable intolerance, the ravaging effects of gluten can have ill effects on everyone. We discuss issues specifically with wheat below.
Lectins, also present in grains, cause the body to mount an immune attack against its own healthy cells; a situation that can lead to auto immune diseases. Phytic acid binds to certain essential minerals and carries them out of the body, leading the way for mineral imbalances; it is known as an anti-nutrient.
For these reasons, grains and cereals such as barley, buckwheat, corn, oats, rice, wheat, and spelt are not permitted in the Paleo diet. This includes all of their derivatives such as flours, and all goods made from these flours. These grains and cereals can find their way into everything in the form of fillers, flavourings and additives; even in products labelled as whole or health foods.
Grains, especially when ground into flour, form the basis of carbohydrate in the diet. Bread, pasta, noodles, rice, couscous and others all contribute, whether wholegrain or not, to the excessive carbohydrate load on the body and, alongside refined sugars are the biggest reason for insulin resistance in individuals. They also help to provide the greatest number of empty calories. See grains; think sugar.
Did you know that…
Lectins found in grains are damaging to the gut lining and cause inflammatory issues as well as bacterial imbalances
Phytic acid is present in grains and humans lack the ability to digest it
Phytic acid binds to certain essential minerals and carries them out of the body contributing to deficiencies
Out of all the foods that create havoc within the body, wheat is one of the worst. Modern wheat is a long way genetically from ancient wheat (for ancient read before 50 years ago – that’s how quickly our food supply has deteriorated) and contains many different proteins which have to be processed into our system. Once broken down within our system particles of these proteins have been shown to cause serious damage to the body. Modern wheat also has far fewer nutrients than its forefathers. Avoid it; always.
Did you know that…
Modern wheat contains highly inflammatory proteins that cross the gut membrane
Modern wheat contains highly addictive substances that increase appetite
Modern wheat plays havoc with insulin levels and is at the root of hormonal imbalances