One of the toughest concepts to swallow when it comes to Paleo eating is the No Grains rule. How in the world could bread, the manna from heaven be bad for you? I had the same reservations as the rest of you. I just couldn't wrap my brain around it. Grains provide Fiber, B-vitamins, whole carbohydrates, FIBER, right? Well, that is true but grains also provide: phytates, gluten, and lectins. What is wrong with that group you ask?
Well, phytates bind to iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium making them nonabsorbable in the human gut.
Gluten destroys/damages the intestinal microvilli causing a host of problems. Think you don't have an issue with gluten? Think again. A recent study showed 29% of asymptomatic (non-Celiac) folks tested positive for a reaction to gluten. I have seen other studies showing a 90% reaction when looking at another marker. Take home message: even if you do not have gut irritability, you still have a reaction to gluten. That "reaction" may not rear its head now, but more and more studies are linking gluten issues to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Type I diabetes, Lupus, and a medley of other maladies like migraines, acid reflux, reproductive problems, arthritis and asthma. If you would like science to back this up, hop over here.
FIBER: non-starchy vegetables can have up to EIGHT times the fiber of grains. That's eight.
Now you have a bit of an expanded explanation on why grains are not the best choice. But how do you handle friends and family that are skeptical of your new approach to food? Here is my elevator speech:
Believe me, I was skeptical too. I thought grains were really good for me. However, I did a little research because I knew eating grains was making me sick with: x.....issue. For me it was IBS. Turns out grains have anti-nutrients which bind to all the great minerals we think we are getting out of bread and pasta. It also has the kind of fiber that kind of scratches the inside of our intestines making them inflamed just like the redness we get around the area when we skin our knee. That inflammation keeps our immune system busy so it might miss a real bacteria that it might need to squish. That bacteria gets through and we get sick. Once I quit grains (and beans for that matter), I really don't get sick. Maybe once a year! The best thing about removing grains and adding more vegetables is that you are getting tons more vitamins and minerals than ever before because your body can actually absorb and use them now!
So, my speech was a little longer than I wanted, but you get the idea. When I get tired of discussing I always give them a challenge: why don't you just try it for a couple of weeks and see if you see a difference! Most folks see or feel an immediate change and your work is done!
What is your elevator speech when it comes to grains? (Beans have similar issues, I lump them into one when emplaining).