Don't trust the food pyramid

Don’t trust the food pyramid

Dairy and grains are constantly promoted by the government as being an essential part of a healthy and nutritious diet. However, I believe both of these food groups are not intrinsically meant to be part of our diet. I would even go so far as to suggest that everyone is truly gluten and lactose intolerant – consider how the increased rate of diseases and allergies corresponds with the surge in processed food.

As I explained in a previous post, our diet has become worse than ever over the past 50 years or so. A little known fact is that humans have only been consuming grains for less than 1 per cent of our existence – with dairy coming in not far behind. The average person’s height has reduced by five inches and the average brain size has decreased by 11 per cent since the introduction of grains. Scary stuff.

Consider how poorly bread has evolved. Just 50 years ago, it was baked through an incredibly long process featuring a slow fermentation of the dough. As society became fixated with delivering food faster, that process was sped up to less than three hours. However, by reducing the fermenting period, yeast levels had to be increased – as did the levels of accelerants and artificial agents – and glutens and starches are no longer given enough time to convert to a digestible form.

Given that our bodies are not built to digest grains, combined with the fact that it is constantly drilled into our heads that we should constantly be consuming grains, it’s no surprise that many people feel ill after consuming wheat and gluten. Gluten, in particular, contains tightly-bonded amino acids which are highly resistant to human digestion.

The common result is that the intestinal lining becomes inflamed and damaged, which in turn allows further undesirable substances to sneak into the blood stream. While I can’t claim that everyone has full-blown celiac disease, it has been proven that at least half the population can be classified as gluten intolerant or gluten sensitive.

The real concern is that people who continue to consume grains despite not being able to digest them properly are setting themselves up for cancer, neurological disease, bowel disease, osteoporosis, infertility and all sorts of other nasties.

Although dairy is much more natural than grain, it goes through a destructive pasteurisation process which significantly changes its natural composition by killing germs but also destroying beneficial nutrients, including the ones that make digestion possible. If that isn’t enough to convince you, consider that humans are the only animals who continue to drink milk beyond infancy!

Yet the government continues to push breads, cereals and dairy on to the population as essential foods that should be eaten 6-10 times a day – more than meats, vegetables and fruits. We are taught that if we don’t drink milk our bones will become brittle and we will generally become weak due to a lack of calcium. If we don’t have grains, we will apparently be devoid of energy, vitamins, minerals and fibre.

Adding to the problem is the fact that people don’t want to give up eating their comfort carbs. I’m the first to admit that there’s nothing I enjoy more than chowing down on a fresh baguette or a big bowl of pasta. Heck, I love it so much I’m willing to deal with the horrible feelings I have afterwards. So I was pleased to hear that there’s a reason I inflict this pain on myself: grains have been proven to be addictive, mimicking the effects of opioid drugs.

After suffering from horrible cases of bloating as a result of eating gluten and drinking milk, where I would go from having a flat stomach to looking at least five months’ pregnant in less than an hour, I decided to trial giving up gluten about six months ago. The results were amazing. I felt better than ever before and I finally had a stomach that looked the same at the end of the day as when I first woke up! I finally realised that the sluggish feeling and protruding tummy I had day after day wasn’t normal.

Now, both my dairy and gluten intake are very, very limited. I have a couple of serves of natural yoghurt a week as well as some milk in my weekly coffee (yes, weekly) and the only grains I eat are gluten-free oats and rice. The only time I eat gluten is during my cheat meals. Rob is exactly the same. Yet both of us are extremely healthy and, shock horror, we don’t have osteoporosis. I just got over a cold, yes, but it was my first in about a year. In the past three years I have known Rob, he has only gotten sick once.

There are other foods you can eat that will give you the nutrients grains and dairy provide, if not in a more concentrated form, so don’t be brainwashed by the government! Foods that I eat which are high in calcium include spinach, cabbage, fish, almonds, broccoli, berries and eggs. I’m on a muscle building diet, so have little choice but to stick with my staples of oats and brown rice.

The only way to know whether you are in fact sensitive to gluten is to eliminate it from your diet completely, for at least two weeks. Do you eat a lot of grains and dairy? Have you tried eliminating them from your diet to see what effect it would have?

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