Grains: Nutrient Superfluous, Calorie Surplus

Read time: 2 minutes

1 cavemen eatingSorry about the moon shot, but the grub was out of this world!

As much as we modern hominids like to eat, cavepeople loved their food, if not for the purpose of social tradition then certainly for survival. When they’re not hunting and gathering, then they’re probably eating. (Or playing, or just laying around musing about clouds.) Life was simple.

As someone in touch with his evolutionary heredity, I have a natural aversion to modern-day complication. So I present only one dietary rule in modern times. The rule is based on evolutionary simplicity: Avoid grain-based food and refined sugar.

A growing body of evidence suggests that the human species doesn’t function well on grain-based foods. Our genetic history wasn’t developed within the timeframe of the agricultural age, which had begun only about 12,000 years ago — a blink of an eye in the face of the 2.5 million years of human evolution.

Yes, grains contain vitamins, fibers, and nutrients… all of which we can get (and often in greater quantities) from vegetables and fruits, but without the empty calories inherent in grains. Eating grains to get the fiber is like burning the forest to start a campfire.

Additionally, found in most grains is a harmful but lesser-known protein called lectin. In many people lectin triggers systemic inflammation, which is bad news for health, period. But, let’s back up. All foods contain lectin, some more than others. The most common foods containing a significant amount of the potentially allergic and inflammatory lectin include:

  • grains, especially wheat and wheat germ
  • quinoa
  • rice
  • buckwheat
  • oats
  • rye
  • barley
  • millet
  • corn
  • all dried legumes, including peanuts, cashews, and soy

1 grains1As noted earlier, all foods contain lectin; but grains contain a significant amount and are a large source of calories for most people. And it doesn’t help that most grain-based foods are processed.

Also, grains tend to be heavy in starches and/or are processed, and their regular consumption may produce chronically high insulin levels. This may lead to insulin resistance and other metabolic 1 insulin1disturbances that divert nutrients away from muscle cells and into fat cells. Aside from the aesthetic downfall, this is a serious health disorder.

So, simple rule: avoid grains. You can get all the fibers and nutrients you need from vegetables and fruits but without the added calories and inflammation (as well as gut irritations, autoimmune diseases, and a host of other reported problems). And avoid grains to ensure a normal ebb and flow level of insulin that won’t cause excessive fatty deposits.

If you’ve eliminated or minimized grains from your diet, share how you feel (and look) in the comment section.

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7 Responses to Grains: Nutrient Superfluous, Calorie Surplus

  1. Grok says:

    It’s really too bad that grains are so terrible, because they sure are tasty. The big push to eat whole grains to get fiber is so tragic. One might even call it genocide.

    Just found your site. Having fun looking around 🙂

  2. Ogg the Caveman says:

    Thanks, Grok. I’ve grown to love the taste of most grain-based foods, too, and can easily become an addict (like most modern folks). But I’ve seen the ugly side of addiction! I’m just as happy with the no-grain meals on which I feast. Maybe I will post some pictures of these meals here and there on the blog…

    Ogg the Caveman

  3. Grok says:

    The very ugly side! The problem is there are also so many delicious non-grain combos that I’m a bit overwhelmed playing catch-up for the lost decades and wanting to eat every one I see of hear about.

    Ogg, I have plenty on my site that may help inspire you:
    http://castlegrok.com/primal-food-best-of-last-90/

    Non-cave people:
    Keep in mind I’m dieting & my cuisine still looks like this 🙂

  4. Ogg the Caveman says:

    Grok,

    Sweet Dino, I’m hungry!
    Thanks for the link…

    Ogg the Caveman

  5. sub4 says:

    I’ll share one experience I’ve had on my eating large quantities of peanuts: the headaches I’ve got after eating them. My research on those hard brown buggars, after the fact, is that they do cause headaches in many individuals and can irritate the stomach and gut linings. Alas!

  6. Hiit Mama says:

    Interesting about the peanuts. I too have eaten a whole bunch of peanut butter. It started with my first pregnancy and the craving reared up again with my current pregnancy. I’ve gone with almond butter almost exclusively, but boy I want that PB. It seems to me that anything one craves is generally not what we evolved to eat. Bread? Sugar? Soda? Ice Cream?

  7. Pingback: What Makes Us Overeat? « The Lean Saloon

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