In order to experience good health and avoid disease, its essential to cut out grains from our diet, says Robert Redfern.

Anyone with an interest in natural health and wellbeing will be aware that white rice, bread and pasta should be avoided as they are not part of a healthy lifestyle. These grains are nothing but sugar and can lead to unstable blood sugar levels. However, replacing them with whole grains and cereals will not help. The fact is that we need to avoid all grains as they are associated with numerous health complications and diseases. Let’s take a look at the top reasons why we should eliminate these foods right away.

THEY HAVE A HIGH GLYCAEMIC INDEX

According to Dictionary.com the glycaemic index is a system that ranks foods by the speeds at which their carbohydrates are converted into glucose in the body; or to put it more simply, a measure of the effects of foods on blood sugar levels. All grains rank highly on the index, meaning that they raise blood sugar quickly as opposed to a slow, sustained release of sugar. High blood sugar levels are linked to a multitude of chronic diseases.

THEY CONTAIN MYCOTOXINS

Mycotoxins are poisonous substances produced by fungi which grow in yeast and mould. These toxins are linked to numerous diseases.

THEY CAN CAUSE INFLAMMATION

A proper essential fatty acid ratio is imperative to good health. Grains contain an improper balance of omegas-3s to omega-6s, leading to inflammation. This inflammation is further exacerbated by the unhealthy spreads we put on our grains. The sugars also contribute to damage through a process called glycation. These all damage the walls of our arteries and joints.

THEY CAN BE ACID-FORMING

Our body is naturally alkaline and to remain this way we require the majority of our foods to be alkaline-forming. Grains are acid-forming which can lead to calcium loss in the urine and an increased risk of osteoporosis. When our body becomes too acidic, acidosis sets in, bringing with it many health concerns.

THEY FEED THE UNFRIENDLY BACTERIA IN THE GUT

An overabundance of sugar from consuming grains feeds the unfriendly bacteria in our intestinal tract. In the proper amounts these bacteria are necessary; however, in abundance they create illness.

THEY HAVE A LOW FIBRE CONTENT

Fruits contain twice as much fibre as grains, while non-starchy vegetables contain eight times more fibre.

THEY ARE A POOR SOURCE OF VITAMINS

Grains do not contain vitamin C or B12 and contain only trace amounts of folate and biotin, another B vitamin. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and low levels of B12 and folate lead to increased levels of the amino acid homocysteine, increasing the risk of heart disease.

THEY INHIBIT THE ABSORPTION OF VITAMINS AND MINERALS

Pyridoxine glucosides, found in grains, block the absorption of B vitamins grain in the intestines, including B6, which
is also related to increased levels of homocysteine. Vitamin D metabolism is also inhibited by the consumption of grains, reducing calcium absorption. Phytates, which are antioxidant compounds found in whole grains, chemically bond the iron, zinc, copper and calcium within grains, blocking their absorption during the digestion process.

THEY CONTAIN ENZYME INHIBITORS

Enzyme inhibitors suppress the enzymes you need to digest food, compromising digestion and placing stress on the pancreas.

THEY CONTAIN GLUTINOUS PROTEINS

Glutinous proteins are found in grains and are responsible for food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities.

THEY CAN EXACERBATE COELIAC DISEASE

Coeliac disease is a genetic autoimmune disease affecting the small intestine. It may be triggered by eating too many grains early in life or a traumatic event creating stress in the body. Coeliac disease causes great distress to the immune system and can only be managed by completely avoiding gluten.

THEY CONTAIN LECTINS

Lectins are proteins in grains which are indigestible. Instead of being absorbed, these proteins attach to cells
in the intestines, increasing intestinal permeability and allowing partially undigested food proteins and undesirable bacteria to enter the bloodstream. This is a condition known as leaky gut syndrome. A leaky gut confuses the immune system, causing it to attack the body’s own tissues.

Eliminating grains and replacing them with low sugar fruits and non-starchy vegetables will lead to better health. Nutritious, healthy and gluten-free alternatives to grains include quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat. Get creative with these new foods and they will open up a whole new world of flavours and good nutrition.