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Why are grains and legumes so unhealthy ?
The original question
So far I have been reading and learning. I
have a question that stems from talking with a nutritionist and Drs. The
following quote kinda sums up my question I guess.
"We have had several people starting problems
arguing about how soy and grains (or other illegals, such as sucralose)" are
Why are the soy and grains not good? What makes them bad? In other diets
such as that are gluten free, some grains are allowed. Why are they not
allowed in SCD? And does leaving all grains out put you at a risk of not
getting enough carbs and will it lower your energy level?
A good question..
It's good to point out that grains and soy aren't edible in nature
without processing and so it's safe to assume we haven't eaten them for
millions of years. Only since the advent of agriculture we started to
rely on grains for our food supply. That was a huge mistake. There are
several reasons why grains and soy are bad:
Grains are in fact a large supply of starch, surrounded by a kernel.
Starch decomposes (digests) into maltose and isomaltose in the
intestines, which then decompose into glucose. You can look at it this
way. When you take a slice of bread and crush it in your hand, you are
virtually eating that amount of refined sugar. The problem is that that
amount of sugar elevates the bloodsugar levels amazingly fast and
causes your pancreas to produce lots and lots of insulin to metabolise
it. Humans are not adapted to eat such amounts of concentrated
carbohydrates and the pancreas (and adrenals) aren't fit to the job.
Over time one will develop insulin resistance, hypoglycemia, diabetes
II. Another problem is that the immune system crashes when your
bloodsugar levels increases to high levels. It takes *hours* for the
the immune system to recover fully.
Another problem with refined grains is that it's void of minerals and
vitamins, which are needed to properly digest and metabolise the huge
amount of starch. So, each time you eat a slice of bread, your body
needs to take minerals and vitamins from its limited stores to digest
and metabolise it. Over time, you will develop deficincies of these
vitamines and minerals.
You could eat the grains unrefined, but then a lot of antinutrients
will remain. Antinutrients are substances that bind to essential
vitamins and minerals, making them worthless or impossible to absorb
from the digestive tract.
So, either way, refined or unrefined, grains will cause problems..
Further, many grains contain a lot of allergens which upset your immune
system and causes the development of allergies. Imagine this: Humans
have never in their evolution of millions of years eaten grains and
now, since only 4.000-10.000 years ago, we are relying on this food.
Our genes aren't adapted to these foods. Grains are in fact
incompatible with humans (and also dogs and cats and many mammals)...
Soy beans aren't edible raw and they are full of antinutrients and
substances that act like hormones in the human body. Eating soy can
cause women to have menstruations that last 2 days longer than normal
and are way more painfull.
Another problems with grains and soy bean it that they can't be eaten
raw, which only allows us to eat them cooked. Cooking essentially
damages all foods. The more you eat raw, the better you will feel..
I forgot perhaps the most important reason why grains are bad: They are
very hard to digest properly. As I said above, they need to be digested
in two phases.. First, the starches, which are very long chains of
carbohydrate molecules, must be seperated into small pieces consisting
of 2 glucose molecules. This is called maltose (or isomaltose). Next,
the intestines need to produce enough enzymes (maltase) to digest the
maltose into the elemental glucose molecules. As you see, quite a lot
of work.. The problem is that the human body isn't fit for this job and
a part of the starch isn't absorbed and descends into the large
intestines, feeding critters, causing inflammation, gasses, damage to
the wall of the intestines, and other problems.
Compare this to fruit and honey, which are predigested foods. They
primarily contain glucose and fructose, which don't need to be digested
at all and can be absorbed painlessly by the intestines. Because
everything is easily absorbed it can't feed the critters..
I bet there are even a dozen more reasons why grains and soy are bad
but I think these are the most important..
As for the problem of not getting enough carbs: No such problem exists.
Carbohydrates are optional. You can survive and feel perfectly healthy
on a zero-carbohydrate diet.. Look at the Eskimo's who virtually eat
zero carbohydrates and look at the thousands of people eating according
to a low-carbohydrate diet.. They are a *lot* healthier than people
eating their grains each day..
By the way, on http://www.healingcrow.com
there are some great articles
on this topic..
2nd answer by another HealingCrow listmember
I guess you haven't read BTVC* yet. After you have, you probably won't ask
what is wrong with grains and soy. BTW, there is no human dietary
requirement for carbs, as there *is* for protein and fat. The health
risks are from having too many carbs, and in addition, the SCD can be a
low or high carb diet, depending on how the individual chooses to dine.
When you read the book, you'll see how incredibly many legal very high
carb foods there are.
If you're interested in other reasons why grains and soy (and other
legumes and sugars, to say nothing of processed foods) are bad for
everyone's health, I suggest you read the Cordain files to start.
*BTVC = Breaking The Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall