Are Grains A Drain On Your Brain?

I’ve been reading a couple of interesting books lately. They both talk about the negative health consequences of eating wheat and other grains.

In “Wheat Belly”, Dr William Davis, MD, describes the biochemical drama that goes on in our bodies when we consume foods that trigger insulin production, which is a fat storage hormone. That’s why it’s possible to eat a so-called “healthy diet”, exercise regularly and still keep putting on weight, especially around your belly.

Today’s scientifically modified strains of wheat are very different to the stuff your great-grandmother used to make a sponge cake back in the day. Even today’s whole grain bread now breaks down into glucose in the blood stream so quickly that it has a glycaemic index higher than a Mars Bar.

Now factor in the gluten content of wheat and consider the low-grade inflammation this protein causes for the vast majority of people. Mouth-breathing children with swollen tonsils and adenoids, exczema, asthma and stomach pains are often exhibiting the consequences of long-term immune system irritation caused partly by too much gluten. There’s growing evidence that adults with inflammatory bowel conditions and autoimmune diseases are dealing with that same chronic inflammatory response to grains and gluten.

Then Dr David Perlmutter, a medical neurologist, takes it a step further in his book, “Grain Brain”. As well as all of the negative consequences raised by Dr Davis, Perlmutter shows that many neurological conditions including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and ALS may have their beginnings in the damage caused by fluctuating insulin levels and inflammatory responses caused by eating too many grains. He has a great deal of scientific literature to back up his claims.

As a chiropractor, anything that causes inflammation in the nervous system rings alarm bells for me. When vegetables are such a superior source of carbohydrate, the answer looks pretty straightforward. Get your carbs from lots of veggies.

Having said that, I’m not completely convinced that there’s no place for any grains in anyone’s diet ever. For example if you’re doing highly intense physical work or training, you’ll probably need more carbohydrates than you can manage purely from veggies.

But the chances are extremely high that you eat too many serves of grains a day.

If we’ve learned anything from the last 50 years of diet advice, it’s that if you stick to the food pyramid as your diet style, you’ll probably end up looking like one.

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