Grains: friend or fiendish foe?

There’s been a lot of confusion about whether or not you should include grains in your diet. This is largely due to many people claiming that grains contribute to weight gain and disease. So what is the truth about grains?

Like any significant change to your diet, this should not be attempted on a whim. Food is our fuel. The process of consuming food and then utilising it as a source of energy and nutrients is biochemical in nature. Sound complicated? It kinda is. So let me simply the whole issue of grains for you…

Do grains make you fat and ill?

Firstly, let’s address the issue of grains and modern chronic illnesses. David Gillespie, author of Eat Real Food, argues that it is highly unlikely that grain-based carbohydrates could be responsible for the rise in those chronic diseasesPeople argue that cutting out carbs will help them to lose weight and therefore reduce their risk of getting lifestyle diseases such as Type II Diabetes. That’s only true for carbohydrates that are high in fructose. Fructose, a natural sugar, is what really causes the damage.

Despite what your paleolithic pals might tell you, grains can be part of a healthy diet. But you need to focus on fructose free grains. (1)

Choosing a diet without grains

It’s true that some people do have an intolerance when it comes to grains. And grains don’t have to be part of your diet. Just be careful what you’re eating as substitutes. Things like honey and agave syrup are high in fructose. Not a good idea. Similarly, nut products such as nut flours and almond milk are high in Omega 6. Also not such a great idea. Make sure that if you are trying to follow the paleo diet that you really are doing so. Many of these foods were not available to ancient man – a good warning sign for anyone trying to eliminate grains from their diet.

For the majority of us, grains (the kind without fructose) are perfectly healthy and a good source of energy to help us get through the day.

What are your thoughts about this issue?


Fructose in Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts, Seeds, Legumes and Grains