GRAIN-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE, WHEAT-FREE
Starting out on an LCHF/ banting lifestyle is a bit like being a mosquito in a nudist colony – you sort of know what to do but not where to start. You’ll be presented with so many choices, many of which are confusing to the new low-carber. So, if you’re w
Why you should – and how you can – eliminate grains from your diet
wheat, rice, corn, rye spelt, oats and barley are cereal grasses – seeds from grasses, if you like – but we call them grains. Grazing animals eat them without a problem, but grains have no place in the human diet, especially those that contain gluten (the glue-like substance that makes bread elastic and allows it to hold together in baking). Gluten damages the human body. In fact, even pets develop cancers and other illnesses from grains.
WHAT IS GLUTEN ACTUALLY?
It comprises glutenin and gliadin, two proteins found in wheat, barley, oats, rye, spelt and, in smaller amounts, in some of the ancient grains usually thought of as gluten-free. Not all cereal grasses contain gluten – rice and corn don’t – but they are all high in carbs and out of bounds to the low-carb dieter.
WHAT DOES WHEAT FREE MEAN?
It means the flour is free of wheat – but it still may have gluten from other grains, and either way will be high in carbohydrates. You even get gluten-free wheat now – which is a bit puzzling and means definite human interference, which is not what we want from ‘real food’. The more processed wheat and grains are, the higher their carbohydrate content. Add to this the fact that most grains – especially wheat – have been
hybridised, and more recently, genetically modified, and you are dealing with an experiment. And we’re the guinea pigs. Modern wheat is not the wheat of the Bible, and is nothing like the wheat of even 100 years ago. (Two superb books on the subject are Grain Brain by Dr David Perlmutter, and Wheat Belly by Dr William Davis – if you read these, I doubt you’ll look a grain of wheat in the eye again.)
The growing intolerance to gluten has led to a global epidemic of coeliac disease, a severe and dangerous intolerance to gluten with devastating health consequences. While only 1 in 100 people now have this disease, 80% of people have all sorts of autoimmune problems and cancers that go undiagnosed and therefore remain untreated. Instead of cutting out the culprit, they unwittingly continue to eat the offending food. If you are a coeliac disease sufferer, your only way back to health is 100% avoidance of even a molecule of gluten. Unfortunately, gluten is not only in breads and flours today – it’s ubiquitous. Just read your labels and you’ll see. Even some medications have gluten as a filling agent!
is the LCHF and Paleo stance. Even if you are not a coeliac sufferer, gluten and grains are not good for anyone, and slowly erode everyone’s health – ask anyone who has cut them out of their diet for any length of time. We all feel better off gluten-containing grains, and reintroduction causes bloating, gas, discomfort, reflux, headaches and a host of other avoidable and uncomfortable conditions.
You can do this slowly, or you can dive right in, depending on your desire for change, and your desperation for renewed health and energy (not to mention weight loss). But whatever you do, do it. Grains really have nothing to offer, and all our nutrients can be derived from plants, fats and animal protein. We can do perfectly well without them.