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Forbidden Foods on the Paleo Diet

verdungal Community Member November 15, 2010
  • I don't like troublemakers. And I have noticed  a lot of them these days, most hang out in grocery stores, restaurants and even in my own kitchen! You can't see them with the naked eye, but they are there, hiding in whole grains, beans and potatoes. If you don't want these troublemakers in your diet they can be quickly disposed of by adopting "paleo" approach to health.

     

    The Paleo Diet is probably the most natural and right way that we should eat. Not only have we veered away from this diet that has basically stood the time of evolution, but our society is moving further and further away from foods that made and kept us well.

     

    The core of Paleo Diet: eschews grains, beans, and potatoes, sugars, and modern vegetable oils in favour high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.

     

    The Problem With Grains

     

    At first glance one would think that whole grains are healthful. After all, whole grains do contain more vitamins, minerals and fibre than their refined counterparts. But there are problems with whole grain products and one of them is that they raise our blood sugar levels.

    And, while the fibre contained in whole grain products should reduce the insulin response to these carbohydrates by slowing their absorption from the intestine, the grains in these products are usually so finely ground that most of them rank about evenly on the glycemic scales with refined grain products.

     

    As a result, most whole grain products raise our glucose and cause as much insulin release as refined grain products. Insulin stimulates the synthesis and storage of fat, so eating these products can cause weight gain.

     

    Morphine-Like Substances in Whole Grains

     

    These substances are partly responsible for the temporary feelings of "comfort" that the consumption of grain products produce.

    Unfortunately, they also slow metabolism. And, like morphine, they are addictive and create cravings that cause us to eat more foods that are high in carbohydrates - and to gain more weight!

     

    High carbohydrate foods also create comfort by increasing the production of the brain's feel good neurotransmitter, serotonin.

     

    Whole Grains Contain Lectins

     

    Whole grains, beans and potatoes contain lectins,  proteins that are capable of binding to the surface of cells. Although some lectins may play a positive role in health, most act as powerful food allergens. Food allergens cause inflammation and can lead to a variety of health problems.

    While the inflammatory effects of lectins are becoming increasingly well known, another characteristic of lectins that causes weight gain is their ability to mimic hormones, particularly the hormone insulin.

     

    As previously mentioned, insulin is a hormone that stimulates fat synthesis and storage. It does this by binding to a specific site, called a receptor, on the surface of fat cells. This action allows glucose or blood sugar to enter the fat cells where it is converted to fat.

     

    Unfortunately, certain lectins, particularly the lectins found in wheat grain, can also bind to insulin receptor sites. By attaching to the insulin receptor, lectins give the fat cell the same message that insulin gives; that is, to take up glucose from the blood stream and convert it to fat.

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    However, unlike insulin, which is released from the cell, lectins remain attached to the insulin receptor indefinitely. This gives the fat cell a continuous message to take up glucose and make fat.

     

    In addition to stimulating the synthesis and storage of fat by binding to insulin receptors, wheat lectins can also bind to the receptor for cholecystokinin . CCK is a hormone that is involved in appetite control.

     

    When lectins bind to CCK receptors they increase your appetite causing you to feel hungry and eat more.

     

    Phytates Bind to Minerals

     

    In addition to weight gain, whole grain products can cause nutritional deficiencies.  Whole grains contain substances called phytates which bind to key minerals like calcium, zinc and iron in our intestines, preventing their absorption. This can lead to the development of mineral deficiencies - and to additional health problems.

    Iron deficiency, for example, reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood making you feel tired and unable to exercise, while calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, the leading cause of hip and spinal fractures in older women and men.

     

    And a deficiency of zinc can lead to impairment of the immune system with an increased susceptibility to infection and poor wound healing.

     

    Ironically, since phytates are removed during the refining process, whole grain products create more mineral deficiencies than refined grain products.

     

    Are Grains Making You an Exorphin Junkie?

     

    Exorphins are food chemicals that have morphine-like activity. They are found in wheat. and dairy products.

    It is reasonable to propose that in people whose intestinal digestion of these foodstuffs is incomplete, exorphins are absorbed and have the effect of a small dose of an opiate drug.  For example, patients who take wheat bran and find their constipation gets worse. On the plus-side, the well-known effect of pleasant somnolence after a meal is probably also due to morphine-like activity.

     

    When you combine the ability of whole grain products to: :

    Cause the release of large amounts of insulin,

    Increase your appetite

    Send a continuous message to your fat cells to synthesize and store fat

    Slow your metabolism and create cravings

    It is not difficult to understand why weight loss programs that include a large amount of whole grain products usually fail.

     

    From a diabetic's point of view, don't you owe it to yourself to start cutting down or eliminating grains in your diet to enhance your health?

     

4 Comments
  • Gretchen Becker
    Health Guide
    Nov. 15, 2010

    One problem with some Paleo diets is that they let you eat anything a Paleolithic person could have eaten. This includes fruit, so some people gorge on fruit. I know one man who gained weight on a Paleo diet because of all the fruit.

     

    In fact, early humans sometimes had access to fruit, but in most parts of the world, not often, and then the fruit was...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    One problem with some Paleo diets is that they let you eat anything a Paleolithic person could have eaten. This includes fruit, so some people gorge on fruit. I know one man who gained weight on a Paleo diet because of all the fruit.

     

    In fact, early humans sometimes had access to fruit, but in most parts of the world, not often, and then the fruit was small and not overly sweet.

     

    Clearly, different people interpret the Paleo diets differently, but I think it's safer to recommend low carb instead of Paleo to people with diabetes.

     

     

  • frankenduf
    Nov. 18, 2010

    this is an interesting post, but certainly not alot is known definitively- the opoids found in milk are speculated to be evolutionary- the morphine effect would bond the calf to the mother's milk- i would guess the amount in dairy is low enough to only effect some who are sensitive to the opoids (the cravers?)- and i believe it's the tryptophan in the milk...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    this is an interesting post, but certainly not alot is known definitively- the opoids found in milk are speculated to be evolutionary- the morphine effect would bond the calf to the mother's milk- i would guess the amount in dairy is low enough to only effect some who are sensitive to the opoids (the cravers?)- and i believe it's the tryptophan in the milk which causes the sleep inducement- in fact, this effect is greater when taken with carbs, as insulin facilitiates the tryptophan crossing the blood/brain barrier- this is why cookies and (warm) milk may be more effective for sleep inducement

  • juan
    Nov. 16, 2010

    Came across a very interesting website:

    http://paleobioticslab.com/

     

    Actual archaeologica evidence of paleo diets from well-preserved human dung & bits of food from 10's of thousands of years ago...

     

    Short version--they ate everything they could --100's of different foods, lots of veggies, lots of  roots & tubers high in inulin and...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Came across a very interesting website:

    http://paleobioticslab.com/

     

    Actual archaeologica evidence of paleo diets from well-preserved human dung & bits of food from 10's of thousands of years ago...

     

    Short version--they ate everything they could --100's of different foods, lots of veggies, lots of  roots & tubers high in inulin and oligofructose . The gorilla strategy--feed your lower gut flora & they'll make short chain fatty acids for you to absorb.

     

    "Paleo Man, ( or Woman?), Heavy Root Digger" is not quite as romantic as the image of  "Paleo Man, the Hunter"...Although bringing home a large animal with Actual Fat was likely an occasion for a big party!

     

    Bon Appetit!, Juan