Second Nature Care Blog

A Grain of Truth

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 27, 2017 9:54:53 PM / by Isadora Guggenheim

What is grain-blaming?

It did not take long for Medscape to post an article condemming clinicians for linking obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer's to the consumption of grains.  

They call it grain-blaming although the article admits that high blood sugar levels are linked to Alzheimer's disease.  People with diabetes have a significantly elevated risk of developing dementia.  They caution the reader from taking it too far by removing carbohydrates from the diet.  Removing "healthy" carbohydrate foods is referred to as stepping on a scientific landmine so we're allowed to make the connections, but not act on them.  

Grains that your grandmother prepared are not the same grains that are in the marketplace today. Impregnated with pesticides, insecticides, genetically-modified material and viruses - today's grains do not resemble our indigenous past. 

The article says -

"Take a lesson from Japan. In the 1960s and 1970s, Japan's dietary staple was rice. The Japanese diet was, of course, very high in carbohydrate, and yet diabetes was rare -- affecting a mere 1%-5% of adults older than 40 years. [2] In the ensuing years, westernization occurred rapidly. Meat displaced rice in Japanese meals and fat intake quickly climbed, while carbohydrate consumption plummeted. What was the result? By the 1990s, diabetes prevalence had risen dramatically. Clearly, carbohydrate was not the problem. The influx of fatty foods had elevated blood sugars and sparked a diabetes epidemic."  

Yes, it is true that in 1909 American meat intake was 123.9 lb per person per year compared to 2004 figures of 201.5 lb per person per year which is an average rise of 75 lb per person every year.  Cheese rose from 4 lb to 34 lb.  The article says that grain intake fell substantially and that our consumption of flour and cereal is far below the 1909 levels.  They don't give any numbers, but are they counting all of the processed convenience foods or the hidden grains in animal products?  They state that the real culprit in the current epidemic of obesity and diabetes is animal products, meat and cheese, not grains.

So why do my patients lose weight and feel better when they eat grass-fed animal proteins, low starch vegetables, low glycemic index fruits and very limited carbs?  It's not about calories because carbohydrates are only 4 calories per gram and fats are 9.  There's more to the story and current theories believe that modern grains injure the mucosal membranes in the gastrointestinal tract which leads to leaky gut or chronic inflammation.  I'll clarify why grains are in question today and how they increase inflammation in our system.    

Book Today!

Gluten and Gut Bacteria

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Isadora Guggenheim

Written by Isadora Guggenheim

Isadora Guggenheim, ND, RN, MS, CNS LMT, owner of Second Nature Naturopathic Care, LLC
For all appointments: Tel: 845 358-8385 Fax: 845 358-2963