White bread has long been denounced for its lack of nutrient and fiber content. Instead, U.S. dietary guidelines have steadily pushed the whole grain agenda, driving the crop to the top spot in a recent poll of healthy foods. Despite it’s rise to fame, the truth is:
Whole grains make you fat and sick because they contain lectins –
One of the largest threats to our health.
Lectins are protein substances found in grains and other plants. They cling to molecules in your nerves, gut, joints, and even enter your bloodstream. Once settled, they wreak havoc on your body. According to Dr. Steven Gundry, author of The Plant Paradox, lectins compromise your immune system. Whole grains, the so-called wholly food of nutrition are very high in lectins.
A compromised immune system can lead to multiple disorders like Crohn’s disease, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, MS, lupus, IBS, celiacs disease and anything where the immune system mistakenly attacks itself.
Through evolution, our immune system developed by taking instructions from our gut bacteria on which foods are safe and which are not. But when grains were introduced into the human diet 12,000 years ago, things went pear-shaped (pun intended).
Grains were foreign to our gut bacteria who didn’t know how to handle them, causing a malfunction in the instructions sent to our immune system. A subpar immune system paved the way for ill health.
And if you’re trying to lose weight, guess what….
Lectins can make you fat. They do this by interfering with leptin, your body’s hunger hormone. Leptin controls appetite by telling your brain when to stop eating. But when lectins attach to leptin receptors, your brain doesn’t get the message, encouraging you to eat more.
Consider the ancient Egyptians. They relied primarily on whole grains for their food supply, yet studies looking at the remains of mummified Egyptians showed signs of obesity, decayed teeth and clogged arteries.
Fast forward a few thousand years and we’ve found ways to mitigate lectins harmful effects. Cooking, fermentation and more recently digestive supplements can suppress symptoms, but rest assured, lectins compromise your gut and ultimately your health.
WGA: The most dangerous lectin of all
Gluten, the vilified bad-boy of health is a lectin, but it isn’t the most dangerous. That accolade goes to wheat germ agglutinin (WGA): a lectin common to whole grain bread, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta – the very foods we have been told to consume in favor of their refined equivalents.
WGA is found in bran – the hard outer layer of the grain kept intact in whole grain foods. By contrast, white bread, white rice and traditional pasta are stripped of the bran and do not contain WGA. Whole grains, therefore, consist of two villains – gluten and WGA.
The dangers of WGA:
- Infiltrates the intestinal wall, obstructing T-cell production associated with auto-immunity
- Converts sugar into fat by disrupting the body’s insulin mechanisms
- Reduces digestion of protein
- Neurological problems
- Destroys cells without distinguishing good from bad
- Prevents glucose from entering muscle cells, depriving them of energy
- Interferes with DNA replication
- Hardens arteries (known as atherosclerosis), increasing risk of heart attack
[source: The Plant Paradox by Dr. Steven Gundry]
Conventional wisdom should probably have the final say on whole grains. Is it a coincidence that croissants are made from white bread? Or white rice is a staple in Japan? Or that traditional pasta is made from refined grains?
The French, Japanese and Italians are not known for obesity, heart disease, and other conditions we are often plagued with in the U.S. It seems they’ve always known to avoid whole grains.
If you want to reclaim your health, opt for white rice, regular pasta and white bread (fresh baked, preferably sourdough).
As always, pushing for health
DISCLAIMER: THIS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE DIETARY ADVICE. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN IN THE FIRST INSTANCE.
Photo Credit (kingarthurflour.com)