November 2011

from PaleoDietLifeStyle Website





Iíve talked about how grains in general are a poor choice for your health, but gluten containing grains like wheat, barley and rye require special attention because they can be particularly damaging to your health.


All grains, including other non-gluten containing grains like oats and corn, are bad because they contain gut irritating lectins and mineral binding phytates, but youíll learn here why gluten-containing grains and wheat especially can not only cause the same problems as other grains, but also cause much more trouble down the road.

Three main constituents are of interest here:

...found in wheat.


Gluten is a compound protein that composes about 80% of the protein found in wheat, barley and rye and WGA is a lectin found in wheat that can be particularly damaging.


Opioid peptides are psychoactive chemicals and those found in wheat are similar to those found in other well known psychoactive drugs like opium or morphine.

Contrary to what is believed by many, wheat is not to be avoided only by those who suffer Celiac disease, the autoimmune disease caused by a reaction of the immune system against gliadin, a gluten protein.


Those with Celiac disease only react more strongly to wheat and gluten than those without the disease, but most people have a reaction in some way or another to wheat consumption, often in insidious ways.





Bread is bad for you

Here are 11 reasons why consuming wheat or any of the gluten containing grains can be very detrimental to ones health:


  1. Gluten causes gut inflammation in at least 80% of the population and another 30% of the population develops antibodies against gluten proteins in the gut. Furthermore, 99% of the population has the genetic potential to develop antibodies against gluten. Antibodies acting in the gut can actually be good news, because when the body doesnít react against gluten right away, gluten proteins can enter the blood stream more easily, especially if the gut is already leaky, and trigger immune reaction elsewhere in the body.

  2. Since gliadin, the main problem causing gluten protein, can be similar in structure to other proteins found in tissues of such organs as the thyroid or the pancreas, antibodies against gliadin can end up attacking those organs and ultimately cause autoimmune diseases like hypothyroidism and type 1 diabetes.

  3. Glutenís inflammatory effect in the gut causes intestinal cells to die prematurely and causes oxidation on those cells. This effect creates a leaky gut and a leaky gut can allow bacterial proteins and other toxic compounds to get in the blood stream, which can also lead to autoimmune attacks on the body. A leaky gut also means that food as not digested properly and nutrients are not absorbed fully, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

  4. Antibodies against gluten have also been shown to attack heart tissues and cause heart disease.

  5. Gluten has been strongly associated with cancer. It is potentially cancer causing, but at least cancer promoting.


WGA (wheat germ agglutinin)

  1. WGA, like gluten, irritates and causes premature cell death in the gut and leads to a leaky gut condition, with all the detrimental effects that are known to follow.

  2. WGA also disrupts the mucus membrane in the gut, which can cause bacterial overgrowth and lead to a host of digestive issues like GERD and ulcers.

  3. The lectin also often ends up circulating in the body and in the brain, where it can cause leptin resistance and cause effects similar to insulin. Those two factors could be a cause or promoter of obesity as leptin and insulin are the two most important hormones to properly regulate in order to maintain a normal weight and energy balance.

  4. WGA and another unknown factor in wheat cause vitamin D stores to deplete abnormally fast and can therefore lead to vitamin D deficiency, with all its accompanying issues like weakening of the bones, a weakened immune system and a vulnerability to infectious diseases and bacterial attacks.


Opioid peptides

  1. The opioid peptides found in wheat are known to cause addiction to wheat in some people and withdrawal symptoms can happen upon the removal of wheat from the diet.

  2. They have also been associated with Schizophrenia as a possible cause or at least as a promoter of the disease. Furthermore, Schizophrenics often see their symptoms reduce by a lot when removing wheat from their diet.




When it comes to things that we, humans, are not adapted to eat and digest, wheat and its gluten protein is probably at the top of the list.


Itís very sad that wheat is so omnipresent in our society though and many health conditions would probably not even exist if it were not for our high consumption of wheat.


Positive changes are often noticed immediately after removing wheat and other gluten containing grains from the diet.

Even though most people can indulge in less healthy choices from time to time without negative consequences, wheat and other gluten containing grains should, in my opinion and the opinion of many others in the Paleo diet blogosphere, be completely avoided, especially for those who suffer any kind of autoimmune disease or inflammatory condition.









What Is Wrong With Grains

September 2011

from PaleoDietLifeStyle Website






As you probably know, weíve been eating grains, refined or whole, only since the beginning of agriculture some 10 000 years ago.


The problem is that our genes where formed about 2 million years ago and havenít changed much since then, nor did our digestive systems. Eating structurally and chemically different foods is therefore more often than not asking for problems. Grains are miles away from what our bodies should be processing.

In fact, grains arenít really a good thing for any mammal. Weíre better off leaving them to the birds, who have a system adapted to them.

The problem is that our food system is so skewed in the wrong direction that everybody now thinks that grains, especially whole grains, are healthy and nutritious. Grains, a food group that we didnít eat for 97% of our human existence, are now at the bottom of the USDA food pyramid with a recommended 6 to 11 servings per day.


This is amazingly wrong!


Be aware that the reason why governments pushed grains in the first place were economical:

  • they are cheap to produce (although not without environmental costs)

  • they can be stored for much longer

  • they can be sold overseas much more easily

In fact, itís now one of the few things that the US successfully sells overseas, so I wouldnít count on them to stop promoting them as the healthiest thing around. Sad but true!

Now on to why exactly grains are probably one of the worst mistakes human kind made.




High carbohydrate intake and elevated insulin


Chronically elevated insulin levels is indeed the number one problem we now have as a society.


In a few words, blood sugar has to stay between a very narrow range, otherwise you would die. Insulinís main job is to lower blood sugar levels after you consume any form of sugar or carbohydrate (theyíre converted to sugar anyway).


When insulin has to deal with so much sugar that it doesnít know what to do with it anymore, it stores it as fat.


Also, when insulin is always high, inflammation begins and cells become resistant to insulin, so your pancreas has to produce even more of it. When your cells have become resistant to insulin, youíve become diabetic. This is the new epidemic of westernized countries that we also call the metabolic syndrome.

Guess what, the main food source of carbohydrate in our diet are grains (wheat, corn, rye, oats, barley, riceÖ). Breads and pastas are mostly made of wheat. Without grains, people wouldnít get fat and wouldnít have high insulin levels.


Try to get 300g, USís recommended daily intake of carbs, with vegetables and fruits. Youíll have to eat buckets of them.

Bread, cookies, cakes, crackers, rice, pasta, pastries and breakfast cereals are all staples and consumed at almost every meal by almost everybody. This leads to a high carbohydrate load at every meal and this is why people get hungry all the time and have so much fluctuation in their energy levels (blood sugar levels are unstable).

Your grand-mother knew that potatoes and pastas are fattening, maybe we should listen to her wise words.

Donít worry, replacing carbs by fat sources will not kill you.


For all human evolution, weíve been eating animal meat and fat with some vegetables, fruits and nuts in the mix and yet observations demonstrate that caveman was lean, strong and healthy.




Gluten, lectins and phytates, three poisons you can live without


Living organisms all develop ways to protect themselves against preys and invaders.


Itís the basis of our survival mechanisms. Animals can usually run or attack, but plants have to find another way. In fact, most plants contain some form of toxins so animals canít eat too much of them before getting sick.

The only part of a plant that wants to be eaten are fruits, and this is not without a purpose.


Fruits contain seeds that we and other animals canít digest so we evacuate them elsewhere and help propagate the plant to new horizons. Itís a fair partnership after all. Itís not by accident that plants produce fruits, it takes up most of its resources do to so.

Grains are not different from most plants and in certain regards theyíre much worse. Grains are the offsprings of soon to become grasses so they need even more protection in the beginning to ensure other species stay far away.


Other than that, they also contain toxins that inhibit their own growth until they have what they need to grow (soil and water).





Gluten is, arguably, the worst offender. You can find gluten in wheat, rye and barley.


Donít forget that wheat is absolutely everywhere today. You probably already know that those who have Celiac disease canít have even a tiny bit of it or else theyíre in for big trouble.

What you might not know though is that 30% of the population have noticeable amounts of anti-gliadin in their stools.


Anti-gliadin are antibodies secreted when the body sees gliadin, one of glutenís constituent, as an intruder. Having the antibody in your stools means that your body is actively fighting an intruder and that you already have a low level of chronic inflammation, the source of all modern diseases.

Gluten also has this weird ability to mimic certain proteins and to make its way into your cells, then wreaking havoc and making you develop autoimmune diseases where the body attacks itself (Chronís disease is an example).




Lectins are other toxins present in all grains that cause their load of problems.


First, they damage the gut lining and a damaged gut lining is an inflamed gut lining that will have difficulty absorbing nutrients. This also leads the way to colon cancer.


Lectins also causes leptin resistance, which means that your hunger signal is suppressed and that youíll be hungry even when your body has had more than enough calories.





This other set of toxins, also found in lesser quantities in nuts and seeds, bind to nutrients and robs them from your body.


You can then think twice when you think that eating grains will feed you loads of nutrients. Phytates make a good job of making them less bio-available. All this list of nutrients on a bag of sliced bread is only a small proportion of what your body will really be able to get.

Do you think that grains can beat any vegetable or fruit nutrition wise or that youíll find some nutrients only in them?


The answer is NO!





I sincerely hope that this article helped shed some light on the problems caused by this group of food that is so popular.

Of all the habits that you can develop, dropping the grains off your diet is probably the one that will pay off the most