Gluten & grains

grain-free granola bars

This article by Amelia Freer opens up the debate about gluten and grains for me, particularly for people who have autoimmune diseases.

Particularly this comment: ”We are all unique and while some may say they feel fine eating grains, there is a wide body of evidence to show that today’s grains don’t agree with many of us and in fact are playing a role in autoimmune diseases such as hashimotos, arthritis, type 1 diabetes, plus depression, skin disorders, IBS, IBD and joint pain. It is predominantly gluten, a protein found in grains that is causing the problem.”

Not only is the link between autoimmune diseases and gluten intolerances, it is also our modern over-consumption of grains that can lead to obesity and weight problems. ”I often see a substantial weight loss when clients remove grains from their diet,” Amelia says. Too often I see people filling their plates with bread, pasta, rice, or other grains, and having only a limited amount of protein and vegetables.

I am not saying that everyone needs to cut out all grains from their diet. Certainly there are better grains than others – eating a little unrefined spelt, buckwheat, millet, brown rice or rye can’t be all tat bad for most people. However, highly processed grains and sugary cereals should be taken off everyone’s shopping list. I also believe in reducing grains overall and filling your plate with more fresh vegetables and protein, particularly for those wanting to achieve stable blood sugars or settle their IBS or gluten intolerance. Experimenting with how your body reacts to certain grains is also a good point made by Amelia. Everyone’s bodies are different and there is no one fixed rule for all.

Removing or limiting grains does not deprive your diet; it means increasing nutrient-rich vegetables, low GI fruits, seeds, nuts, fish and eggs.

I really like the dos and don’ts list quoted from – eating lots of nuts and seeds, not being afraid of fats sourced from avocados, nuts, seeds, oily fish, increasing vegetables in your diet, including fibre-rich root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, avoiding high GI, gluten free substitutes which often include rice starch and potato starch, and instead opting for grain-free seeds such as chia, quinoa and flax.


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