The Dangerous Grains: Why Gluten and Cereal Grains may be Hazardous to your Health
Our beloved amber fields of grain cover the heartland provide a wholesome staple that nourishes America. Right?
Wrong! It’s actually way more complicated than that! Why do you suppose our current generations may have a shorter life span than their grandparents? By the end of this article I hope you are clear that grain is responsible for destroying our health.
When I speak of “grain” I am specifically referring to wheat, rye, barley and bulgur. Gluten, which is discussed at length in this article, is mixture of proteins, including gliadins and glutelins, found in wheat grains. However, due to our modern processing systems, gluten cross contaminates all grains.
The Danger of Grains
In the last couple of decades or so, we have observed a huge increase in gluten allergy and intolerance and we have learned volumes on the effects of wheat and grain on the human body. So, you may ask, “why the sudden interest in grain and the onslaught of these diseases?”
Simply put, the wheat that has fed this country for generations has changed. Over the past 50 or so years, food scientists have been modifying grain plants. Intentions may have been good; wheat today produces more edible grain per plant and is resistant to drought and parasites. But this has come at a price to our health! Grain today contains proteins that didn’t exist in the ancestor plants and we have yet to fully understand how this affects human health.
Gluten sensitivity is separate from Celiac disease, which is an intolerance to a certain protein in wheat. However, gluten sensitivity has its own implications in terms of disease and, like Celiac, can cause various health problems. Consider gluten sensitivity and Celiac as two distinct diseases that are both equally as serious!
Health Effects of Grain
Even those without a diagnosed gluten allergy, sensitivity, or Celiac disease are susceptible to the dangers of grain. I would argue that between those with a gluten allergy and those who remain sensitive to the many non-gluten aspects of modern grain, nearly 90 percent of the population is affected by grain. Most people may never experience a digestive problem related to gluten, but this does not mean they don’t have a biological sensitivity that is affecting their health.
Modern research is suggesting that gluten causes inflammation in the body and, if this inflammation continues over years (from continued exposure to gluten) autoimmune disease can occur. Gluten stimulates an innate immune system response in people and creates auto-antibodies that trigger attacks against a wide range of bodily tissues and nerves.
Exposure to gluten can lead to:
- Thyroid disorders
- Migraine headaches
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Cardiac disease
Grain is a secret killer that so many people go unaware of. But it can be stopped, and the dangers reversed, if you start NOW! However, if you continue to eat grain, and develop these harmful antibodies, they can eventually cause irreversible damage. This is why I believe no one should be eating wheat!
Allergy Testing. Going Gluten Free. Beyond.
Many people who suspect gluten sensitivity are given blood tests. However, in the past, blood tests have not been very accurate. Many people received false negative results, even for Celiac. People with terrible digestive disorders were sent home and told they could continue eating wheat because the test failed to detect a gluten sensitivity.
I tell everyone I work with to go 100% grain free. However, if a client insists that they do not have a sensitivity, or cannot give up grain, then I insist they be tested. Cyrex Labs is a testing company whose results I completely trust. They are a new lab that has developed the most accurate tests for finding out if a person is sensitive to the Gluten Protein. If the test comes back that you have a reaction to gluten then I am 100% convinced that you cannot eat ANYTHING containing gluten.
If the results show that there is a gluten sensitivity, I help my clients heal in three important ways:
- Going 100% gluten free
- Healing the gut lining
- Eating a nutrient dense diet
You CANNOT go gluten free without all three of these! Understand that most people who have been eating gluten have done serious damage to their gut and must do these three steps simultaneously to heal.
An Important Note About “Gluten Free” Foods
According to Packages Facts, U.S. Sales of gluten-free food grew to $2.3 billion in 2012, more than doubling from 2006. Nearly half of consumers perceive these processed and packaged alternatives as “generally healthier” but this simply isn’t true. “Gluten free” options are usually less healthy than the foods they replace. Not to mention that replacing your everyday, whole food items with processed “gluten-free” options from the market won’t give your body the nutrition it needs. Processed foods are filled with chemical and fillers that, in the end, will only lead to other health problems.
The grain today is not the same as the grain produced 50 years ago. It has been modified in such a way that is extremely harmful to our health and should be eliminated 100% from our diets. Even if you do not experience symptoms, there is an excellent chance your body is sensitive to grain. Prolonged exposure to gluten can cause debilitating illnesses such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Elimination of gluten from the diet involves not only a 100% gluten free diet (devoid of any processed “gluten free” foods), but a nutrient dense diet and a plan to heal the gut lining.
It will take 1 to 2 years for you to see the full effects, but it will be worth it! Sadly, you cannot “cut back” on gluten, you must eliminate it. Even a single bite of cake will set those with sensitivity back to square one. I have been completely grain free for 1 year now and I can honestly say I don’t miss it. Eating pizza, pasta, or cake is simply not worth the possibility of a disease appearing in my middle age. I hope after reading this you feel the same way.
Eating a balanced diet rich in wholesome, whole foods, meals prepared from scratch, and no containing no wheat products will have a positive effect on your health. I can help you devise such a diet; get in touch with me if you’d like to discuss it!