Eating grain free versus high grain. I have been battling bacterial overgrowth/ IBS for the past two years. It is finally somewhat manageable after I cut out sugar, gluten (even though I dont think I'm gluten intolerant), and animal products. However I am very confused and frustrated right now because I am hearing opposing views from different people about whether grains should be a part of my program. My nutritionist says that I should eat very low grain but Alicia's book suggests eating high grain. What's the deal? Any thoughts, suggestions, recommendations?
Human beings have been eating grains for about the last 10,000 years. WHY? Because when we started populating areas of the world that weren't tropical and didn't have year round growing seasons, we needed to be able to rely on some kind of food that lasted through the winter. Before we became agriculturalists, we were pastoralists, relying on animal products to sustain us. It "worked" to some degree, but we are still lactose intollerant, we still get disease from eating more and more meat, etc. In other words, we never adapted and ADOPTED this way of eating. But it did keep us alive during parts of our history. What about grains? Well, you harvest them and you can store them much longer than fresh veggies and fruits, so therefore they have a great value for being able to sustain a population through the winter, or through a drought, etc. So, indeed, we relied on grains at one time in our history. However, the advent of grain consumption was accompanied by stunted growth, tooth decay, evidence of disease, etc. As early as Egypt. To this day people have allergies to grains, it causes digestive issues etc. I will say this: from what I understand Alicia S's book does NOT promote refined grains, and instead promotes whole grains. This is far better than refined grains. However, the fact remains that grains are, when eaten in higher and higher amounts, a cause for concern.I can give you 1000 reasons why grains are a sub-optimal option, among them: they destroy parietal cells in the stomach (you know, the cells needed for production of intrinsic factor...hint hint, b12 deficiency), they promote acidity in the body, they also tend to promote leaky gut syndrome the more of them you eat.
You might find this nuts, but I eat an almost entirely raw vegan diet, I replaced grains with bananas, figs, seeds and raw nuts, etc. Bananas, most people do not know, are a prebiotic food...huge benefit for anyone with digestive issues. : - )
Hi Ashley, On a slightly separate note have you ever tried the IBS Audio Program 100? I used to suffer terribly from IBS and I did the program about two and a half years ago and have been symptom free since then. I ran across it on the internet after trying countless medicines and eating techniques and it's the only thing that has worked and now I can eat however I want without symptoms. I just borrowed the audio cd's to my co-worker and she is already feeling much better after only a week. I would suggest giving it a try. Good luck!
Hmm...Don't be confused, I don't think I said anything particularly contradictory. What I said was that grains have been used by our ancestors at some time in our history, when there was really no other food available. it worked, but we didn't thrive off them. Grains, for many reasons, are not best suited to be consumed by primates. I was simply saying that they did have a function in our history as a species at one point. That is all. I do not advocate them. And if you do eat grains, I do suggest small quantities of them, and to eat the ones which do not contain the gluten proteins (wild rice, quinoa, amaranth, cornmeal, etc). Actually, I am of Romanian ancestry and my family all eat lots of polenta, it's a very simple dish and it is really not bad at all. Their only problem is they eat it with lots of salt and feta cheese. Gross. But hey, I'll give them credit for trying. ;-) ...Anyway, the point still stands that when we eat grains in large amounts, even if they are "whole" grains, we lose nutrients. Why? Most grains do not have the same micronutrient composition as fresh fruits and veggies. Also most of them need to be COOKED, which significantly reduces the vitamin, antioxidant, phytochemical content. Now, that's fine, if you eat small amounts of grains, and base the majority of your diet on WHOLE foods in their raw state. That's just a fact. So to clarify again, I didn't actually "support" grains at first. I simply mentioned how, they were a part of our species' history. So was eating meat and milk. And so was war. But I don't support those either. :-P Many vegans will run into b12 issues when they start to rely on grains. In fact, it's not being vegan that makes one require b12! It is the consumption of GRAINS. Even meat eaters who consume lots and lots of grains will have b12 issues! Most people do not know this. But that's the truth.So, moral of the story imo is LIMIT grains.
I got my metabolism tested by my naturopathic doctor last year. They told me all the goods and bads of the foods I should and shouldn't eat according to my specific metabolism. The testing was a very involved and lengthy process. Turns out I don't respond well to cold food or even food at room temperature. As well, my Ayurvedic type suggests I need warm or hot foods and liquids. I have no grain allergies and was told they are great for my specific metabolism. For instance, starchy fruits make me feel tired and I thrive more on citric fruits. I think when it comes to plant based foods, we have to look at what works for us and what doesn't. The same thing won't be good or bad for everyone. We all have different genes, and are all from a blend of different ethnic groups.
All grains spike blood sugar more than dark green leafy veggies. Refined grains are often stripped of their husk making them more quickly and easily absorbed. For those with digestive troubles, refined grains may be easier to tolerate. For instance white rice for diarrhea. Whole grains tend to digest slower and contain the smaller amounts of fiber, protein and fat that make them superior. The trouble with grains and bacterial or any micro-organism overgrowth is blood glucose control. For some, the consumption of even modest amounts of grain based food leads to chronic infection. Most people rely on grains for the majority of their caloric needs without deleterious effect.
I also think this idea of "metabolic typing" is a joke. "Turns out I don't respond well to cold food or room temp food"?
I highly doubt that. We have been cooking food as a species for only a blink of an eye in our evolution. Cooking destroys nutrients, cooking often creates carcinogenic compounds, and generally doesn't increase our levels of health. You want me to prove this to you? Here is what you did: you took a questionnaire, not a test. A test is something that is not subject to interpretation. A test for instance, would be a genetic test. But you didn't take a genetic test. You filled out a survey and responded to how certain foods make you feel, and so on. But that doesn't mean anything. If there is some science to this idea of "biochemical individuality" then there should be actual biochemical tests, not surveys. Same with this "Aryuvedic type"...it's not based on science, but based on surveys. We have not yet evolved to be able to handle cooked food. Why? Because cooking destroys nutrients. How can we possibly have the "genes" for being able to survive better with fewer nutrients. There is no science backing that up.The body heats itself up. You want to raise your core temp during the winter time? Eat more calories. We are warm blooded animals, not cold blooded, meaning...that we are not subject to the outside world to maintain our homeostasis.
It's just a fact. You can run away from it if you want, but the bottom line is it's still a fact. As far as grains, if your naturopath recommended that, I am ashamed for them. I am myself in the process of becoming one, but believe me, I have seen quite a few naturopaths that have some absolutely unsound ideas and suggestions. Go figure.
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