Do you eat grains and other wheat products? Some believe that wheat is actually bad for your health. No one is telling you not to eat grains but here are some reasons what you might want to avoid grains in your daily diet.
These grains can be bad for you because they contain lectins which can irritate the lining of the gut and they also contain mineral binding phytates. The grains you want to avoid are the ones that have gluten like barley, wheat, and rye. Even grains that we eat all the time such as corn and oats can pose a problem for your diet.
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Many people can’t tolerate gluten and they can have severe problems when they try to digest it. This is one of the reason why there are now many products that are gluten-free. In wheat gluten is a protein that makes up about 80% of the protein that we find in wheat, rye, barley and other grain products. Another compound called WGA or wheat-germ agglutinin can be damaging as well. Many people can have a reaction to gluten and not even know that it is occurring in their bodies. The problem lies in that we ingest too much wheat to begin with so this consumption just makes the problems we face greater.
Ways Wheat and Gluten Can Impact Your Health
In about 80% of the population gluten causes inflammation in the gut and 30% develop ant-bodies against the gluten proteins in the stomach. For those that produce antibodies this is good because the body doesn’t react to the gluten right away. Gluten can get into the bloodstream and trigger immune reactions in other places.
Gliadin is one of the problem causing gluten proteins and it’s similar in structure proteins found in our organs like the pancreas or the thyroid. Antibodies that fight the gliadin can end up attacking the organs and may lead to autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes.
Gluten can cause an inflammation effect in the gut and cause cells to die at a faster rate and cause oxidization of those cells. This can cause a leaky gut and allow bacterial proteins and other toxins to get into the blood. With a leaky gut food isn’t digested properly and the nutrients aren’t absorbed as well which may lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Antibodies that try and fight gluten can attack the tissues in the heart and contribute to heart disease. Gluten has also been indicated as a contributor to cancer.
WGA (wheat germ agglutinin)
Like gluten WGA can cause cell death at a faster rate and lead to a leaky gut condition. WGA can disrupt the mucus membrane in the stomach which leads to bacterial overgrowth and may contribute to GERD or even ulcers.
Lectin can end up circulating in the brain and body ad lead to a leptin resistance which is similar to insulin. This can help promote obesity as insulin and leptin are two hormones that regulate normal energy and weight. WGA can also cause vitamin D stores to deplete faster than normal and can cause a vitamin D deficiency There may be a weakened immune system as a result and weakened bones.
We Aren't Meant to Eat Gluten
We aren’t meant to eat or digest gluten. We could eliminate many of our common health condition if we eliminated or drastically reduced our consumption of wheat but we eat this food all the time. We can get good changes after we give up gluten containing foods in our diet. If you have inflammation or auto-immune diseases you should avoid wheat and gluten all together as your health will improve if you do. For most other people mild wheat consumption probably won’t be a problem but it’s a food that in the opinion of many is best avoided if you want optimal health. Many people on the Paleo Diet adopt a lifestyle free of most grains or drop them entirely.