- They are high glycaemic index
- They are nutrient poor
- They take away space from your plate that could be occupied by more nutrient dense food
- They cause gut inflammation by direct toxic effects, gluten for example
- They cause gut inflammation by disrupting the gut microbiome. The large influx of easily broken down carbohydrates will promote bacterial overgrowth of some species that are associated with inflammation
- Increased gut inflammation increases gut permeability to an abnormal level. Thereby leading to an increased risk of autoimmunity and allergies
- They increase hunger, this obviously isn’t a good thing for people trying to lose weight.
- Blood glucose fluctuates to a greater degree because of the high glycemic index
- Basically, if you’re diabetic or even pre diabetic, you should be avoiding grains like poison.
There’s no real good reason to consume grains.
If you need fiber (You do. No doubt!) Eat more vegetables. Not grain. Grains in their natural state aren’t really digestible. Try eating raw veggies, raw meat or raw grains. Guess which of them is guaranteed to make you sick? Instantly?
Most of us need to lose fat /weight. We need to be in caloric deficit. Grains are the biggest source of calories in your diet. Cut those out, and you’ll lose fat easily.
The plus side of avoiding grains
1. Less empty calories in your diet
2. More space in your gut for nutrient dense food
3. A normal, more stable blood glucose 70-90 (yes that’s normal, not hypoglycemia)
4. Less inflammation, less allergies in general, not just food allergies
5. Less risk of autoimmune disease and cancer (less chronic inflammation)
Where will be get fiber from? Answered above. Eat more vegetables and fruit
What can we eat instead of grains? Ans- why would you want to substitute empty calories with something else? You need to cut calories anyway. Cut the grains and sugar, every other food group in your diet has a lot more to offer than calories. Grains are a one trick pony. All they give you is calories. Vitamins need to be added extra. After refinement, the nutritional profile drops even further
Not eating grains make me feel shaky and weak. That means I need it, no? Alcoholics get tremors when they quit drinking. It means you’re physically dependent. You should be able to quit any food for a week or more and not suffer a deterioration in physical performance. You’re probably dependent on the high blood sugar to function. You should be able to go without food for 24hrs without collapsing. You should be able to burn body fat when you don’t eat. If you can’t do so, you’re not metabolically healthy. And if you’re not metabolically healthy, that maybe the reason why you can’t get rid of body fat in spite of all the exercise and dieting you’re doing.
I don’t feel satisfied if I don’t eat grains You’re probably not eating enough vegetables and meat then. Increase the intake of vegetables and meat till you feel satisfied.
I feel tired- You’re probably dehydrated and running low on sodium. Increase water and salt intake if you’re going low carb, because now you don’t have the elevated levels of baseline insulin and aldosterone to help you retain sodium and water. You’re also feeling tired because it takes atleast 3 days for your body to start burning body fat to supply enough energy for your usual requirements. Most people are fine by the 5th day.
I have gastritis- and what are you doing about it? Other than taking meds and grazing on food throughout the day? If you need to constantly eat to prevent your stomach lining from burning through because of acid, then obviously something is wrong with your current diet. Why do you insist on continuing the same diet that is causing your trouble? I’ve said this earlier- if you can’t fast for 24hours without trouble, there is something wrong. If gastritis is your issue, then there is usually something in your diet and lifestyle that is causing it. You’ll usually find that it is grains, legumes, some spices, poor sleep, coffee, cigarettes or alcohol.
We’ve been consuming grains for millennia. How come they’re bad now? The context has changed completely. We’re not exercising like before. Physical work is shunned. Sun exposure is shunned. Fasting is thought to be evil. An empty stomach is despised. Chemicals to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi on every surface, skin, soil, water air. Our microbiome is nothing like it used to be a few decades ago. If your skin and got microbiome are deranged you can forget about a decent insulin response to a glucose load. The grains themselves are very different in nutritional profile compared to the ancestral grains we started off with. They’re also stored for longer in granaries and transported across thousands of miles, necessitating the use of pesticides and fungicides to ensure that they last long enough.
But the brain needs glucose. What if my brain dies? Some parts of your brain need glucose. The body is quite capable of supplying that miniscule demand through gluconeogenesis. Do you seriously think evolution made us humans so weak that our brain would die without glucose? The rest of the brain will shift to using ketones from body fat as fuel. If you are still not convinced, you could load up on starchy vegetables and fruits for your glucose requirements. Why would you want to continue grains that inflame your gut?
I’m an endurance sport junkie and I need my carbs- Okay. If you say so. If you’re happy with your levels of body fat and performance on your current carb heavy diet, why are you even reading this post? This is for people who find that their carb heavy fuelling isn’t working for them. You can keep your carbs. I’ll even give you mine. Eat that too. I can have dinner at 6pm, go for a 10 kilometres kayaking trip at 6am, then come back at 12noon and have my first meal of the day. No meals required. Forget about carbs. That is the kind of metabolic flexibility I would want you to have. Not having to reach for an energy bar or power gel ever half an hour. Alternatively, you could shift to a cleaner burning carb source like starchy vegetables or fruits. If you are competing in the tour de France and burning 9000cals per day, you already have your own nutritionist. Leave me alone.
The keto diet is dangerous- Maybe. I’m not even going to debate that, because I don’t care. I’ve not asked you to go keto. I’ve asked you to stop eating grains and sugar and increase vegetables and fruits. If you have a problem with that, I’ve got nothing more to say. Personally, though, I’ve used the keto diet very effectively for myself and patients that I trust you use it correctly.
I don’t like eating meat- No one asked you to eat meat. Or fish. or eggs. I asked you to stop eating grains and eat more fruit and vegetables. That too if you wish to find out why you’re not losing fat inspite of all the dieting and exercising. If you can lose fat without quitting grains, please write a blog and tag me. I’ll read.