Grain free diet is very popular, but grains are highly affordable, low fat, packed with fiber, nutritious and they taste awesome. Some people say that grains are more harmful than they are good for the body. They are of the view that our bodies are not made in a way to be able to consume them easily hence we should reduce or stop its consumption. How are these claims true? Let’s investigate.
What is a grain free diet?
You must have heard of the Paleo diet that is popular among the athletes, but do you know what makes so many people opt for it? Also referred to as the caveman diet or Paleolithic diet, this form of diet has been around since 1970s and it is very similar to the Atkins diet.
The followers consume foods that are natural to the human diet and have been around for more than 10,000 years ago when the people’s primary occupations were hunting and gathering.
During that time, people did not have the health problems and diseases caused by processed foods, grains, soy, potatoes, beans, peas, dairy, refined sugar, refined oils, salt and alcohol.
Other side of the argument?
However, we should not miss the other side of the argument which says that our body has undergone dramatic changes since the Stone Age and our diets have also changed. Humans have now been consuming grains for last 100,000 years and there are many nutrition experts do not support the grain free diet.
Other food sources for the diet?
Although it is true that the grains are not nutrient-dense food and these nutrients can be obtained from other food sources, the whole grains are still affordable and healthy when eaten in conjunction with vegetables, spices and other healthy ingredients. If you cook grains properly, it eliminates the toxins so make sure that you prepare the grains by soaking, sprouting, and fermenting them to make the nutrients more useful.
Superfoods that you must eat with grains?
When you eat grains as a part of your diet , make sure you also include these foods to reduce the negative impact of phytate found in grains. Phytate is an anti-nutrient which limits the iron absorption by the body. So, you can counteract that effect by consuming superfoods such as Brussels sprouts, grapefruit, kiwi, strawberries, broccoli, kale and peppers.
Gluten intolerance: division into three groups
There is the group of celiac patients: they have a clear diagnosis from the gastroenterologist. Then there is the group of gluten-sensitive patients, but they have not yet been clearly diagnosed. For a third group it is pure lifestyle to eat a gluten-free diet. In the USA this is a real weight loss hype. But for the last two groups, the gluten-free diet currently lacks any scientific basis.”
Grain or gluten-free at your desired weight?
If you want to avoid cereals, you have to make a big change in your everyday life: no cereals for breakfast, no pasta for lunch and no sandwiches in the evening. If you instead take too much fruit and vegetables, natural dairy products, lean meat and fish, you can certainly lose a few kilos. However, it would be even more important to limit sweets and sweet drinks to an excessive amount.
If you only leave out cereal products, but continue to consume other carbohydrate sources unchecked, you will not be able to achieve great success on the scales either.
Especially if you replace products containing wheat with the countless gluten-free alternatives currently on the market: Bread, cookies, cakes, pasta, cereals, baking mixes, muffins, pretzels… Of course, all of these are significantly more expensive than the conventional products containing gluten.
So, should you go grain free? I’d say no. The key is to consume whole grains instead as include as many superfoods in your diet to make a healthy platter. But hey, you have to try and find the diet together with your doctor, that suits you.