Dirty Grains

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Dirty Grains – Part 1

As humans, we didn’t adapt to eat grains, we also didn’t adapt to consume dairy and processed sugars. However looking at our diet they are one of the most consumed foods, with fresh vegetables, fruits,
nuts, seeds and meat being far less consumed; and these are the foods
which we have been evolved to eat and should be eating. Grains are so
cheap to make and are sold in bulk to many billions of people and
incidentally, the average person worldwide has become fatter and
un-healthier since their overrated introduction to society.

Although grains contain protein, carbohydrates and some vitamins and minerals,
which will on the outside, make grains seem like a brilliant food
source, grains also contain what are called antinutrients, lectins and
gluten, all which have negative traits.

Antinutrients are pretty much how the word sounds, ANTI nutrients.
The main antinutrient found in grains is called Phytates, which bind to
vitamins, minerals and enzymes to make them unavailable to the body.
The main minerals Phytates target include calcium, magnesium, iron,
copper and zinc, which interestingly are also the main minerals found
in grains itself, preventing full absorption of the nutrients present
along with taking them out of the body to later cause, with consistent
consumption of grains, possible nutrient deficiency in those areas
and/or more.

Phytates will also attack enzymes which are needed for digestion and other bodily functions and will assist in inhibiting protein digestion.

Antinutrients are also found in legumes, nuts and seeds, and even eggs
contain an antinutrient called avidin; however you’d need to consume a
drastically high amount of raw eggs to get enough avidin to start
causing negative effects on the body. Nuts and seeds are a food source
that are good for us, as they contain good traces of fatty acids and
protein, so we don’t want to stop eating them because they contain
antinutrients; what we can do to reduce the amount of antinutrients is
to soak them in water, this is quite beneficial as this process will
not only reduce the antinutrients, but will also improve the nut/seeds
digestibility, so we end up getting more of the good stuff! If you
don’t have the chance to soak your nuts, just be moderate in the amount
that you eat.

The process of soaking grains and legumes is used a lot in
traditional societies and cultures, and is one reason why those people
don’t seem to obtain the same health problems as in the Eastern culture.

Traditional Indian, African, Ethiopian and Latin American cultures
prepare their food with great care by sprouting (consistent soaking
until a sprouted stem appears), soaking (in water or sour milk) and/or
fermenting their legumes, grains and nuts before eating. They will soak
these foods for several days or sometimes up to weeks before they are
prepared into a meal, this process dramatically reduces antinutrients
and leaves them containing more nutritional value, however there will
always still be some antinutrients left in the grain, and there are
also other factors of grains we need to take into consideration that
cause negative effects in the body, such as lectins and gluten.

Lectins and gluten are both types of protein and can be categorised in the same family. However each has its own dangers.

It’s important to know that lectins (which are also found in
legumes, peanuts and soy beans) are resistant to cooking and our
digestive enzymes, so it’s a hard task to try and stop them from doing
their nasty work in the body. Lectins have been linked to inflammatory
problems as well as digestive diseases; leaky gut syndrome becoming one
of the larger problems in society at the moment, which is then linked
to autoimmune diseases (in which the body attacks itself). The reason
lectins have such an intense effect on our digestive system and cause
leaky gut syndrome is because lectins dramatically damage the gut
defenses (as well as going on beyond the gut to damage joints and our skin complexion)
called microvilli which line the small intestine and help to digest and
transport food particles into the blood stream and the lymph system.
When leaky gut syndrome has set in, the damage done to the microvilli
has become excessive and has made the absorption of fats, vitamins and
minerals extremely hard to digest.

Most people have heard of celiac disease; celiac disease is when a
person has gluten intolerance. Although not everyone gets celiac, it’s
important to note that across all species of animals tested (including
humans), grains have shown to cause gut irritation. It’s also important
to note that you may think that the grains you are consuming are doing
you little damage, despite the somewhat in-depth information provided
above, but the negative side-effects/allergic reaction of grains aren’t
always something you will notice quickly, the damage done from grains
is a slow process that is generally only found out about when it’s all
too late. The majority of celiac disease suffers will only find out
about their allergy once they have become noticeably sick and decide to
get tested.
Click Here to Read Part 2


  1. Thank you! Great information and directions. It’s nice to know I’m on track, “normal” and how to improve the effects of such a drastic change.

  2. AND quick while I’m here – can you explain the process and ways to induce this: “An insulin spike for an endurance athlete during an event or training is extremely beneficial to bring up sugar levels for energy and to prevent hypoglycemia. Insulin spikes can also be beneficial in helping build muscle mass as insulin is an anabolic hormone which helps send proteins and carbohydrates into the muscle cells to promote growth.”
    Just curious.

  3. That is a lot of information…but all very good stuff. I almost printed it off to post here at work…but i don’t know if people would read past the 3rd or 4th paragraph where the heart of the good “bad” info is. Anyhow thanks for keeping us educated.
    Also, i was curious as Cullen was about good times for those insulin spikes during endurance events and for building muscle mass…. any articles on those areas?

  4. Cullen,
    There are many statements in this article that I would hesitate to defend or refute without considerable research. I feel some of the claims it makes about antinutrients are fairly extreme and require substantiation. I don’t know they are wrong, I just feel that to make such extraordinary claims requires extraordinary data – data I don’t currently have.
    That said, I do agree with the underlying message of the quote below, though I would have stated it differently. Glucose is the preferred substrate for the glycolytic pathway we always talk about. This supports intense exercise. By consuming more carbohydrate, even during exercise, one can prolong the time period where the glycolytic pathway provides energy for activity.
    In practical terms, this means that in the middle of a prolonged (i.e. endurance) effort, eating some carbohydrate will boost energy levels and reinvigorate performance. Many times in the middle of an adventure race or other prolonged activity I have felt the onset of a “bonk” – just a complete loss of energy. At those times I eat an energy gel (i.e. sugar) and within minutes feel 100% better. Yes, I spiked my glucose and therefore insulin levels, but I also was able to perform where I might otherwise have failed and the overall benefits of doing such a prolonged activity out-weigh the ill effects of a brief insulin spike in that setting.
    Post work-out is another time to eat some carbohydrate. You have just depleted your glycogen stores and your body is tuned to replace them maximally right after you exercise. Consider a post-workout meal with a good source of carbohydrate (yams and sweet potatoes are good choices) and a little protein. Interestingly, it seems that carbohydrate after exercise can actually increase insulin sensitivity. See Robb Wolf’s site for some more detail: http://robbwolf.com/?p=272

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