A majority of health specialists believe that grains are the basis of a healthful diet. They dictate that one should eat a number of cereal servings in a day, as they contain an adequate supply of minerals, fiber and vitamins. They give such advice despite the fact that the human body is poorly adapted to consume grains and their consumption can lead to several health related complications.
The human body can tolerate grains to a certain degree only, and there are some valid reasons why removing grain consumption from your diet can prove to be healthy.
Grains can cause over-weight and insulin resistance
Carbohydrates in grains are converted into simple glucose after consumption. When insulin is secreted, glucose is allowed to spread into various cells over the body. People who are not very active physically do not need continuous muscle refill with glycogen, and they start becoming insulin resistant on grain based diets. Consuming high density carbohydrates regularly not only causes over-weight and insulin resistance, but also altered gut flora, inflammation and leptin resistance. Leptin plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure, including appetite/hunger and metabolism.
Grains contain harmful anti-nutrients
Cereals contain evolved protease inhibitors, phytic acid, lectins and other such anti-nutrients which can potentially disrupt normal physiology of the gut. Regular consumption of such anti-nutrients can lead to autoimmune disease, poor absorption of minerals, low level chronic inflammation and leaky gut.
Grains contain insoluble fiber
While vegetables and fruits contain soluble, heart healthy fiber which promote favorable gut flora, grains contain high content of insoluble fiber which can be harmful if eaten in excess. Healthy gut bacterium is responsible for relieving constipation and achieving optimum bowel movements.
Grains have several diet related shortcomings which can disrupt appropriate nutritional balance. Grains are not very good sources of minerals, fiber, vitamins and proteins, as compared to fruits, vegetables and animal products. They do not contain any vitamin A, C, B12, calcium, and sodium. Some studies even show that consumption of grains can lead to vitamin D deficiency and alter metabolism.
Many traditional cultures are known to include grains in their regular diet and still maintain good health. However, they use soaking, fermentation, sprouting and other such methods to make them easier to digest. Such methods deactivate and remove some anti-nutrients found commonly in grains. Fermentation is an excellent process to increase digestibility of grains. So, if you are also consuming grains in your daily diet, know how they can affect your health and why removing them can add to your health.