Back in the day, grains weren’t part of our diet.
As Mark from Mark’s Daily Apple points out in his “definitive guide to grains” article: grains cause kind of a funky response in our system. Grains are composed of carbohydrates, and those carbs are turned into glucose (a type of sugar) in our system to be used for energy and various other tasks to help our body function – any glucose that isn’t used as energy is stored as fat.
For decades we've been told gaining and losing weight is all about the calories. Just one little problem: the research says otherwise. Diabetics undergo dramatic weight changes when they adjust their insulin levels — and so do you. Your diet determines how much insulin your body will produce over time.
Next, most grains contain gluten and lectins. What are they and what’s wrong with them? I’m so glad you asked:
- Gluten is a protein found in things like rye, wheat, and barley. It’s now being said that much of our population may be gluten-intolerant (hence all the new “gluten-free!” items popping up everywhere). Over time, those who are gluten intolerant can develop a dismal array of medical conditions from consuming gluten: dermatitis, joint pain, reproductive problems, acid reflux, and more.
- Lectins are natural toxins exist within grains to defend against consumption! Yup. Grains have evolved to keep themselves from being eaten by us. These lectins are not a fan of our gastrointestinal tract, prevent the tract from repairing itself from normal wear and tear. This can cause all kinds of damage.
As Mark so eloquently puts it in his article: grains are unhealthy at best, or flat-out dangerous at worst.
The Paleo Diet also almost completely eradicates sugar. Unless you’re getting your sugar from a fruit, forget it. Sugar causes an energy spike and crash in your system, turns to fat unless it’s used immediately, and wreaks all kind of havoc on our bodies.
So, no grains, no sugar, no processed foods. Many studies have shown that an incredible number of diseases and lifestyle issues can be reversed with these three simple changes.
So, if we’re not eating 300+ grams of carbs every day, where are we supposed to get our energy from? Our bodies are designed to operate on a lower amount of carbohydrates than what we’re used to eating, so less carbs isn’t an issue. When there is an absence of carbs (which is how we’re USED to operating), our body will take stored fat and burn THAT for energy in a process called ketogenesis. What I’m trying to tell you is that our bodies are pretty effin’ efficient. So, less carbs = less glucose in your system, which means your body will have to start burning fat as your fuel source. Win!