Freedom From Grains: You Don’t Need Them
You often hear ads on TV to eat “whole grains” or multi-grains and that these are good for you. Even diabetes and nutrition specialists often justify the intake of grain by claiming that glucose is an important nutrient.
But this is the equivalent of “fake news” when it comes to real science. Consuming too much glucose is what leads to obesity and type 2 diabetes. Let me explain why.
Over-consuming grains produces a tremendous amount of carbohydrate in the body. But did you know that the body can only store a small amount (120 grams) of glucose as carbohydrate. All glucose molecules that your cells cannot take inside and use for energy within 4 hours of absorption into the blood are converted to fatty acids for long-term storage in your fat cells. Those fatty acids are then used for energy production when your liver is out of glucose. If you keep eating every four hours, you may seldom dip into your fat storage, and that is why you gain weight.
As this table below shows, it takes only a small amount of grains to add up to those 120 grams that the body can use
Carbohydrate content of common grains
|Per 100 grams||wheat||rice||corn||quinoa||barley||oats|
|Carbohydrate content (grams)||71.2||80||74||64||77||66|
Given that the body also makes glucose from foods we eat other than grain-based carbohydrates, the chances are that you are frequently overloading your body’s capacity to utilize glucose. It does not matter the type of food the body acquires the glucose from—120 grams are 120 grams! If you consume a heavy meal with a sandwich, meat, chips, and a dessert, you may be over the threshold of what the body can typically use over four hours.
But Grains Provide Other Nutrients?
Another claim why you should eat grains is that they provide other important nutrients. The claim is made as if you cannot obtain those nutrients anywhere else.
But as the table below shows, you can get nearly all the same grain-associated nutrients from vegetables, nuts, fruits and mushrooms. Moreover, grains contain only a fraction of over 100 nutrients the body uses on a daily basis. Using spices and herbs will give you many more opportunities to get those needed nutrients without having to consume the voluminous amount of glucose, of which thousands of molecules are present in each molecule of complex carbohydrate that constitute the bulk of a grain kernel. In other words, there is no health benefit from eating grains when it comes to getting nutrients.
|100g portion||Wheat||Brown Rice||Corn||Lentils||Brazil nut||Raisins||Mushroom|
|Pantothenic acid (mg)||0.9||1.5||0.4||2.1||0.1||1.5|
|Vitamin B6 (mg)||0.3||0.5||0.6||0.5||0.1||0.1|
|Folate Total (ug)||38||20||19||479||22||5||25|
Learning to feel full without grains
The main challenge in avoiding or reducing the amount of grain and grain-flour products you eat will be learning to overcome your sense that you do not feel that you have a full belly after eating.
The best way to solve this is to reduce the amount you eat to one half of what you are used to, then reduce it down even further little by little. For example, if you are used to thick crust pizza, change to thin crust. Instead of a regular sandwich, eat an open-faced one (with one slice of bread). Later, begin eating sandwiches with lettuce wraps. Over time, you will learn to feel full with the foods you eat, despite eating very little or no grains at all.
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