More often than not grains are thought of as a healthy nutritious food source by most people, including physicians and nutritionists.
But grains are not the health promoting food so often advertised on TV and in popular health literature you’re being lied to so people can make money from selling you cheap toxic crap.
Grains contain anti-nutrients which interact with our bodies function, producing adverse toxic effects inhibiting nutrient absorption and attacking enzymes needed for digestion. Grains also contain lectin and gluten; both linked to inflammatory problems and digestive diseases such as leaky gut.
The Glycaemic Index of grains is also much higher to that of un-processed fruits and vegetables. A consistent rise in blood glucose levels leads to many health concerns, including diabetes, weight gain and cardiovascular diseases. Types of grains to avoid include wheat and all processed foods made with wheat or wheat flour, rye and all processed foods made with rye, barley, rice, oats and corn.
It is fairly easy to see how sweets weren’t part of the hunter-gatherer diet; most candies and desserts are the result of modern technologies and heavy processing combining sugars and chemical flavours together.
For many thousands of years the paleo hunter-gatherer survived without consuming any traces of sugars apart from those found naturally in fruit such as berries. Refined sugars are only a recent introduction to society but its consumption is rapidly increasing every year; in 1900 the average person consumed 10 pounds of sugar a year, in 1985 the average person consumed 124 pounds a year, by the year 2000 the average yearly consumption of sugar was 160 pounds per person.
The list of negative health effects sugar plays on the body is endless, not only is sugar nutrient deficient, but it also acts as an anti-nutrient inhibiting and draining nutrients from the body. Sugar is the leading cause of diabetes, weight gain, tooth decay, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and immune dysfunction.
With the addition of advanced food technologies, calorie-free sugars such as Aspartame, Equal and Splenda were created.
These artificial sugars aren’t the solution to the negative health effects of refined sugars because they play their own role in harming the body. Artificial sugars are made up of table sugar and modified with chemicals such as chlorine and phosgene gas, they act as an excitotoxin in the body which leads to the destruction of cells.
The only type of fats healthy for the body is essential fatty acids; essential because the body needs them in order to stay healthy. These fats can be found in meat, nuts, seeds and some vegetables.
The problem again when it comes to un-healthy fats comes down to modern food technologies; when oil is heated above 200 degrees Celsius the shape of the fatty acid molecules change, turning it into a toxic fat called trans-fat.
Some fats can turn rancid and cause free-radical damage in the body if applied to high temperatures.
Our bodies use fat in many ways, but one of the more essential uses of fats in the body is to create cell membranes. Consuming the wrong types of fats (i.e., trans-fats) will cause the membranes to be un-healthy and ultimately malfunction and die.
Types of oils to avoid include supermarket oils such as canola oil, vegetable oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil.
Legumes according to the paleo diet these were not consumed but I do think that once every now and then as long as you don’t suffer any reactions to them then its ok, but here are the facts of what they can do:
Legumes also have similar traits to grains in their make-up; they contain phytates which inhibit nutrient absorption and cause inflammation. They also contain lectins and play with healthy hormonal functions.
Types of legumes to avoid on the paleo diet include lentils, all beans (such as kidney beans, pinto beans and broad beans), peanuts (peanuts are a legume not a nut), soy beans and chickpeas.
So the plan would be to eat ONE of these item’s every now and then do not mix to many of these into your diet as they will cause damage!
The reason dairy is not part of the paleo diet is because people did not eat dairy products before animals were domesticated. In my opinion, fresh dairy products from healthy animals (cow, goat or sheep) can be a beneficial addition to one’s diet. But the problem with the majority of dairy products lining up supermarket shelves comes down to two factors; the over-all health of the animal and the processing factors.
The environment and living conditions that commercial cows are placed under is not one that promotes good health. They are kept in a confined individual cell on cement floors in an over-crowded building, forced to produce milk ten months of the year. The cows are fed a diet consisting of grains, corn and soy and are more often than not pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones. An un-healthy cow cannot produce healthy milk, and considering the life span of commercial cows is 42 months (compared to 12-15 years of a pasture cow), the milk is definitely anything but healthy.
Most dairy items we are able to purchase easily at supermarkets are heavily processed. The pasteurisation of milk significantly denatures the milk proteins and kills beneficial enzymes and bacteria. This same process is associated with yoghurt; but to make things worse yoghurt will also contain high traces of added sugar.
You can get full fat unhomogenised creamy milk from most supermarkets sainsburys do a taste the difference one, it’s much better, also cheese keep it to minimum but again as long as you don’t suffer any reactions from it cheese is good as far as I’m concerned.
Veg such as green leafy vegetables are one of the main sources of nutrients in the Paleo Diet. Cabbage, collard greens, kale, lettuce, mustard greens, artichoke, spinach, Swiss chard and watercress are all acceptable.
In the Paleo Diet, root vegetables will be one of your main sources of carbohydrates which to start is only 50g per day which equates to just one potato. Most root vegetables are allowed in the diet, including potatoes and all potato products (always go for sweet potato if poss more nutrient rich than white potato). Turnips, rutabaga, radish, onions, green onions and carrots are all good choices too.
You can get carbohydrates from starchy vegetables such as cassava root, yams and manioc.
A number of other vegetables are acceptable in the Paleo Diet. These include less common options such as seaweed, dandelion, purslane and kohlrabi. More common choices include eggplant, celery, asparagus, artichoke, cauliflower and watercress and fungi such as mushrooms.
Fruit is good, full of nutrients so don’t avoid them because they are usually high in sugars just limit them to one a day at least until you have achieved your target weight, berries eat around half a cup at most a day that’s around a hand full.
Nuts and seeds are great try not to eat to many though at most 50g per day as they do contain a small amount of carbs
So I hope this has explained what foods you need to avoid – any grains or anything that contains grains like bread; sugars are a big NO NO and anything containing trans fats; keep legumes and dairy to a minimum. All the things that do the damage to you also are what contains the high carbs so you will automatically lose weight as a side effect from this eating plan and you will feel and look better within just a few weeks.
I know it’s a big read but hopefully its helped you learn what’s good and what’s bad and will help you to make better choices in the shops.