Chris, or anyone else for that matter, I have been thinking a lot about grains/diet/anti-nutrients due to reading Marks Daily Apple, Primal Blueprint, Rob Wolffâ??s article, Precision Nutrition website, and various paleo diet books/sites. I have come up with my own position (I think) on the matter and would like to know what you think.
First, I am not a believer in evolution, but instead believe that man was created by God. One can also argue old Earth vs. new Earth theories. I think that a personâ??s belief on that matter is a personal one, but besides that, evolution is theoretical and could be wrong. It can be easy to use other theories to support oneâ??s own beliefs. Keeping an open mind goes both ways.
Second, from a dietary perspective I think that the paleo diets get it right. I just think that the additional reasoning, i.e. evolutionary biology, is faulty. It is all about inflammation, and an over consumption of grains leads to hyperinsulemia and inflammation. Add processed grains and foods made from these to the equation, and things get exponentially worse. I guess if you want to give a scientific/genetic perspective as to why this is, maybe evolution is a good fit?
But I donâ??t understand why you even have to go this far? Over consumption of grains = increased inflammation = health problems. Simple. I think that this could also lead to the same 90â??s mentality that we had with dietary fat, and the vilification of grains. Personally I have come to the decision that grains are not evil, can be a part of a healthy/inflammation controlled diet, but need to be put in their proper place.
Obviously, this would not be the case for those who have a specific disease or intolerance to grains. I think that it would be good for most people to start with a strict paleo diet for a few weeks or month, and then gradually reintroduce whole grains into their diets to see how they respond/feel, if they desire. They may find, like I have, that I feel better and have less pain, when the strictly limit grains from their diet. I like Dr. Berardiâ??s thoughts (Precision Nutrition) on grains in the diet. Very limited, whole natural grains, and only for a short time after you earn them (following exercise) or maybe rarely at breakfast.
Third, I think that the lectin and anti-nutrient content in grains and legumes as bothered me the most. It was these statements from the paleo diets that made me really examine my position on grains. These anti-nutrients are found in all foods, even meats, but some are classified as healthy, neutral, or harmful. From what I read lectins in meat do not seem to be harmful, but those in grains/legumes can be toxic.
When I first read about some of these anti-nutrients even I was a little fearful of eating grains due to the potentially harmful substances that would cause me to have a leaky gut and make me ill. I think that is like everything else, try to limit the amounts of these (moderation), avoid them if they cause you specific problems. Heck, just a thought, but what it small amounts of these harmful lectins in our diets help to keep our immune system primed in some way? I can also see how the American diet with a continual over emphasis on grains could lead to intolerances and auto-immune problems due to too many of these anti-nutrients in our system. Much like how over consumption of milk very a period of time can cause someone to develop lactose intolerance. The truth usually lies somewhere in the middle, and maybe we are not looking at lectins/anti-nutrients with the right perspective. I am not going to sweat a few of these nutrients in my diet from now on.
Agree/Disagree? My personal belief about God and creation gives perspective as to why I disagree with some of the premises of the paleo diets, and I hope that this does not prove to be a remark that leads to arguments in the nature of evolution vs. creation. I use it as perspective in regards to what got me considering these subjects. Besides I donâ??t think that it even needs to go there when you examine the underlying cause of why grains are bad, specifically inflammation and dietary displacement.