What is Wrong with Grains? People have been eating cereals for about 10,000 years, since the Agricultural Revolution. Grains are a huge part of North American culture and in many parts of the world; heck, even the USDA recommends that people consume numerous servings of grains every day to stay healthy. So what about cereals?
The obvious problem with cereals that our bodies are not adapted to eat them. For many thousands (or more) years, our ancestors hunted and gathered their food. They did not grow wheat, rice, barley, oats, or other grains; they gathered berries, other wild fruits, and vegetables, and ate meat that they captured and killed.
In fact, no mammal fit to eat grains. once we eat them, our bodies can rebel, resulting in disorders, gluten intolerances, and autoimmune diseases, among others.
Grains’ Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
The tricky part is that the more grains people eat, the fewer fruits, meats, and vegetables they eat, which further contributes to nutritional deficiencies. The grains themselves have very low levels of vitamins and minerals, and they do not contain B12. There is simply no thank you for getting all the necessary nutrients while indulging in a cereal or grain and vegetable diet.
Vitamin B12, also like several other micronutrients, found only in animal products. Crops that eat mostly grains will be deficient in B12, among other nutrients. Humans did not evolve to become primarily herbivores.
Anti-Nutrients in Grains
Anti-nutrients are a plant’s defense system against predators. These systems help the plant to ensure the plant’s ability to propagate and protect the plant from being eaten entirely. The seeds are generally indigestible so they are excreted whole and continue to spread.
Some animals are better adapted to these antinutrients than others. Birds, some insects, and rodents are designed to deal with them physiologically, but humans cannot.
Phytic acid, or phytate, found within the bran and outer layer of all seeds (including grain) and nuts. It binds to minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc in your body and prevents their proper absorption. Crops that consume large amounts of cereals have lower concentrations of bone minerals and tend to suffer more from this type of pathology.
Lectins are proteins found in plants, intended to protect plants against insects and bird predators. They are anti-nutrients and work to cause digestive upset in the animal or insect that eats the plant. Lectins can negatively affect the gut flora, cause leptin resistance, interfere with digestive and absorption activities, and wreak great havoc on the gut and system. they will cause leaky gut syndrome, which can later cause autoimmune problems.
Gluten, oh my! Much more than lectin and phytic acid, this protein is toxic. Barley, rye, and wheat all contain it. Gluten can damage the gut’s microvilli, resulting in leaky gut syndrome. This causes digestion issues, allergies, and autoimmune disorders, as previously mentioned. [quote tweet] Disorders affect about 2% of Americans. [/ tweet quote]
About two percent of US citizens have the disorder and another 29% of asymptomatic people test positive for IgA anti-gliadin blood. a large part of the population suffers from what is called gluten intolerance, which can cause symptoms such as headaches, joint pain, skin problems, seizures, and mental disorders, among others.
Deficiencies in Essential Fatty Acids in Grains
A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids alleviates many of the effects of autoimmune conditions, as well as thrombotic tendencies and inflammation. Omega-3s can be used in meat and oily fish. Cereals, on the other hand, are rich in fat and omega-3s in particular. They have a higher omega-6 content, which contributes to an imbalance.
The increased consumption of cereals produces obesity, chronic diseases, and infertility. One of the main reasons is that people’s lifestyle consumes large amounts of cereals. With cereals come high levels of carbohydrates; too high for the typical sedentary person. Any carbohydrate that a person eats that is not burned as energy stored as fat. Opposing hormones released along with high-carbohydrate diets (insulin, adrenaline, and cortisol, to name a few) contribute, and a high-carbohydrate, high-grain diet can be a problem waiting to happen.
Too Much Fiber
Okay, they probably raised you when they told you that fiber sweet to you, and therefore the more the merrier, right? Wrong. Foods rich in fiber can damage the digestive tract, causing increased mucus production. Many IBS sufferers complain of excess mucus, so perhaps it is a symbol. If you want to learn more about fiber and how it is often bad, read Fiber Menace.
Protein Loss Associated with High-Grain Diets
People who eat large amounts of cereals may suffer from inadequate growth thanks to a discount in their intake of amino acids and proteins (returning to the idea that the more cereals you eat, the less meat you eat). The protein in grains is around 12 percent, while the protein in lean beef is around 22 percent.
What This Means
So with all the elements that are wrong with grains, why can we eat them? There is no reason to eat cereal; an individual can survive quite well without them, and one might imagine that they would be healthier for it. So why does the US (and the Canadian government, for that matter) recommend 6 to 11 servings of grains a day? This is often a completely different topic, having to do with subsidies and, some might say, a conspiracy to keep citizens sick.
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