Probably the LEAST understood change that I have made on this journey has been my choice to go grain-free. It is so counter-intuitive to all that we have been taught – chose whole-wheat bread, heart-healthy oatmeal, 7-10 servings of whole grains as the cornerstone of the food pyramid, etc. I know, I have heard it also. And, I firmly believed in the power of grains until recently. Until I did a some reading and discovered some surprising information. Here’s Grain-Free Part 1:
- Controlling insulin response: I want to control my insulin response. Why? Because insulin release causes calories to be stored as fat. Instead of weight-loss, you can expect weight gain. High insulin levels suppress glucagon and human growth hormone (both are fat burning hormones). Elevated levels of insulin can also cause your body to develop insulin resistance and lead to a myriad of health problems usually starting with metabolic syndrome (lifestyle-based diseases such as Type II Diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease) and moving on to more serious diseases from there. The food group that causes the greatest insulin release? Carbohydrates. What are grains? Carbohydrates.
- Curbing Cravings: I believe that sugar consumption wreaks havoc on our health (see here). Therefore, I am on the lookout for the BEST ways to control those cravings. In his book, The No-Grain Diet, Joseph Mercola writes, “By far, one of the most critical problems with grain consumption is that grains elevate blood glucose levels, and thus trigger cravings for sweets.” (p.21) I have found this to be true. When I “splurge” on grain-based foods, I have a very difficult time eating the way that I wish to eat. Want to be free from the addictive nature of foods? Break the cycle of insulin rise, fat storage and cravings –