Will I Feel Hungry if I Stop Eating Grains?
If you have been reading my blogs, you know that I contend that the overconsumption of grains and grain-flour products such as breads, rolls, baguettes, flat bread, and others cause obesity, high blood sugar, and diabetes.
When I tell people this, their first reaction is usually focused on some fear they have about giving up on eating these. “I’m going to be hungry if I don’t eat bread, pasta or rice.” And then there are those who exclaim, “I will feel too tired without bread and other carbs.” Another common reaction is: “How can I possibly live without the convenience of bread to make sandwiches?” they exclaim, with an image of life that is almost unimaginable to them.
These fears make people reluctant to part with grain-based products. But if you are willing to listen and consider a change in your eating habits to avoid gaining weight, developing high blood sugar, you will increase your chances of not joining the group of one in three adult Americans who has pre-diabetes, or the 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 65 who has full-blown diabetes.
In the next 3 blogs, I will address these 3 commons fears that people have about giving up grains.
The fear of feeling hungry without grains.
Feeling hungry can be more intense than any other human feeling or desire. It drives us to form behavior patterns that lead to eating sugar, salt, and fat-filled foods that make us feel happy by overeating till we are uncomfortably full. The reason that grain products give you the sensation of fullness though is that they absorb water and swell up in your stomach, not because they provide nutrition to stop your hunger. Many people need to experience a bloated stomach to feel they have had a satisfying meal. However, although whole grains and grain flour products may contain bran with B vitamins, they are mostly made of molecules of glucose.
But the fact is, you can eat a meal without bread, corn, rice, and other grains and feel satisfied. How?
Let us start with how the brain creates the sensation of hunger. I contend that the hunger sensation is generated when the brain detects a critical level of depletion not just of glucose but of key nutrients essential for the normal functioning of the cells of your body. This is why even diabetics with high blood sugar feel hunger. The brain, being the command center of our nutritional regulatory system, knows when many key nutrients will soon be lacking in addition to glucose. Just as the brain detects an insufficiency of water in cells and bodily fluids and generates the sensation of thirst, it signals hunger when it detects that other needed nutrients are about to fall below optimum levels. This explains why you can feel the sensation of hunger at unpredictable intervals of time, even within a short time after eating if not enough of some nutrient has been consumed.
When you start eating in response to hunger, your brain is looking to acquire as many of the nutrients needed at that time. Sometimes, you may feel that your hunger does not abate at the end of a meal. One reason for this, confirmed by studies, is that during meals, most people can detect a reduction in the intensity of taste of food more than the intensity of their hunger. This is because the food you are eating may not contain all the needed nutrients. In other words, sometimes your hunger may not fully subside during a particular meal that you no longer enjoy the taste of. If you feel this, the solution is to tap into your will power for a few meals, because this sensation will subside as your brain learns that your need for nutrients not obtained during one meal will be satisfied in the course of the next meals.
It is obvious from the above description that you should eat a variety of foods so that your body can acquire nutrients needed at any given meal. This also reinforces the importance of chewing thoroughly, to release as many nutrients as possible for detection in the brain. If you eat your meals slowly, over about 20 minutes rather than gulping down your food in 5 minutes, the brain will have a chance to register the sense of satisfaction that you need to stop eating, even when you do not eat bread, pasta, rice, or other grains.
In short, the fear of experiencing the sensation of hunger more frequently or more intensely if you don’t eat grain-based products is unfounded. Your body does not need grains to stop feeling hungry, as long as you chew your food thoroughly and eat slowly, giving your brain a chance to register its satisfaction. If you are willing to try this, you will see that it is true.
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Based on more than twenty years of research, Eat, Chew, Live offers a revolutionary new explanation of high blood sugar and Type 2 diabetes. While traditional medicine says it is due to “insulin resistance,” Dr. Poothullil disagrees. Eat, Chew, Live will show you:
- How the consumption of grains causes your body to develop high blood sugar
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- How you can change your eating habits to avoid grains while still enjoying every meal
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