I’ve been following the healthy-living blog community for around 3 years now.
It seems there are always these popular trends that people like to follow, such as overnight oats, frozen oatmeal cookies, socca, ‘what i ate wednesday’ and etc. The most popular one these days is the whole ‘anti-grain’ trend. A lot of recipes that appear on my google reader or recipe-sharing websites state “grain-free” as if it is the healthiest thing ever.
Well, about 2 years ago and up to just few months ago, I would have thought the same.
As I’ve mentioned in my “No-Longer Paleo” post, I used to avoid grains and instead focused on fats, protein, and some root vegetables like sweet potatoes and winter squash. I also bought expensive items such as Coconut Flour, and various Nuts and eggs for my baked goods. But now that I realize the anti-grain craziness is in fact Craziness, I no longer fear my lovely whole grains at all.
The biggest argument against grains is probably that grains (and legumes) were not consumed in prehistoric times, or the so-called “paleolithic times.”And that ever since the Neolithic Era began, people got fatter and unhealthier.Well, I have some issues with this statement.
First of all, how can we prove that we never ate grains before we began to cultivate them in large quantities? Now scientists are discovering that Hunter-Gatherers probably depended more on plant-based foods instead of animal foods because plant-foods would last longer, and also provide dependable energy source for living. For hunting, not only is it restricted to healthy men, but it is also very difficult to hunt down a giant animal – which means that it probably did not happen that frequently.
Yes, we do see remains of dead animals in the camp-sites of hunter gatherers. But that does not mean they only consumed animals. Plant foods would have obviously just decomposed in the soil over the years. Does this ring the alarm to anyone? While plant foods move gently inside your system, animal meat/flesh will stay in your system for a much longer time.
Second, how can we prove that these hunter-gatherers were disease free, like those anti-grain people suggest? Well, the truth is I’ve seen BBC documentaries showing a lot of fossils of the paleolithic era showed severe cases of ARTHRITIS and OSTEOPEROSIS, which are primarily caused by too much amino acid (protein) consumption. The acidity of your body forces your body to extract precious minerals like calcium out of your body. They are even finding that very old fossils of Native Americans and also Inuits all had symptoms of these ‘too-much-acid illnesses. ‘
Third, who says we “thrived” without grains? In fact when you look at human history, we are humans today because we started farming (grains). That’s when we began to build our own civilizations, and something called “culture” – music, art, language, writing, architecture etc. Before that we were just hunter-gatherers living with primitive lifestyle. Look at the world map. Which countries have the lowest rates of disease such as cancer, diabetes, and obesity? Which countries has most population? And which countries have the highest grain consumption? You’ll see the correlation there.
(From Dr. McDougall’s Starch Solution: Caloric Engines of Human Civilization)
- Barley – Middle East for 11,000 years
- Corn – North, Central, and South America for 7,000 years
- Oats – Middle East for 11,000 years
- Millet, Teff, Sorghum – Africa for 6,000 years
- Rice – Asia for more than 10,000 years
- Wheat – Near East for 10,000 years
I should mention here, back when I lived in Japan, I used to be so envious of these small, cute, slim girls of Japan. In lunch time, do you know what they ate? WHITE RICE. Lots of them. Their lunches were lots of rice + some condiment dishes. My friends and I would ask “omg, doesn’t carbohydrates make you fat?” But now I know it’s quite the opposite 😉
Then there’s arguments about LECTINS and AutoImmune diseases, like Celiac. The truth is that Lectins are existent in EVERY SINGLE PLANT-FOOD you eat. If you are eating grains to avoid ‘lectins,’ you better avoid tomatoes, potatoes, string beans, zucchini, green peas, asparagus, radish, sweet peppers, cucumber seeds, mushrooms, cherries, pomegranate, grape seeds, raspberry seeds, apples, watermelon, grapefruit, banana, lemon, orange, strawberries, currants and plums… Whew..hope you get my point here. (source)
(About Celiac Disease, please watch the video above)
Here is a GREAT ARTICLE dissecting the myth of “whole grains,” and why they are NOT bad for you.
I sincerely hope that this blog post and the article above, and the two videos in this blog would help you realize that whole grains are GOOD for you and that there is NO REASON to avoid it. Enjoy your delicious grain dishes and live a long, healthy life!
My love for whole grains recently:
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, please leave it in the comment section below!! And make sure you watch the videos!