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More About Whether Wheat/Gluten Are Really the Devil

Robyn Openshaw - Jun 19, 2014 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

I got a lot of mail about my newsletter on whether it’s appropriate to vilify all grains, and all gluten. Thanks for the feedback and personal experiences you shared!

That original newsletter about whether we should really stop eating grains, is on my blog, HERE. Feel free to share your thoughts.

A couple of the biggest reasons I resist the idea that all grains are bad are these:

  1. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water! Many grains don’t even contain gluten, and haven’t been hybridized. In Africa, millet, faro, and amaranth are staples. They’re available in North America, too, they’re inexpensive, they store well, and they’re easy and quick to prepare.
  1. If you don’t eat grains, you virtually have to eat meat. People usually eat one or the other. It’s hard to get enough calories without any grains, or any animal flesh. (Forget about the protein obsession. It’s a myth that you need to eat animals to get protein. And virtually no one is protein deficient–many eat far too much protein, though. The World Health Organization states that 5 percent protein in the diet is ideal, and the average vegetarian gets double that amount. Greens are low in calories, but very high in protein.)

And if you eat meat, you have a whole host of other problems. If you eat grass-fed, free range, or wild caught, you’re at much lower risk of eating steroids, hormones, heavy metals, and other toxins. But meat eaters virtually never eat all clean meats. First of all, they virtually never serve grass-fed or free range in 99+ percent of restaurants. Generally, people who eat animal flesh at home eat it in restaurants, too. Second, hardly anyone can afford clean meat all the time. And conventional meat should not be eaten, period.

Meat lovers don’t realize that most of their meats are grain fed. Americans are addicted to grain-fed animals (the meat is tender when fed grains, not to mention cheaper to raise). If the animal was fed conventional grains, then you have most of the same health risks as if you ate the conventional, hybridized, sprayed grains!

So, what’s your choice here?

Eating grains still costs 10 percent what eating grass fed, organic animal products do. (I’m trying not to go off on a tangent about the REAL cost of raising animals for human food—if government price supports were removed, your chicken and beef would cost $20/pound! I believe price supports collapsing is a matter of when, not if.

So, when we vilify major food classes, what’s left to eat?

And, what’s worse, eating a lot of meat? Or eating lot of grain?

My simple answer is.

Eating meat is worse. Not all meat, and I’m not opposed to it categorically, nor am a vigilante vegan. But because eating clean meat is virtually impossible if you EVER eat out. Because of the heavy impact on the environment of meat-eating. Because if it’s really clean meat, you won’t like it–the beef is tough! (I do think that organic butter, eggs, and small amounts of clean animal products, especially fermented dairy like kefir or sour cream, can be part of a very healthy diet).

Because eating gluten-free is a lot easier. Because grains are ubiquitous, cheap, and raising them is easy on the environment.

You can store grain against an emergency, but not meat. (Sure, you can freeze it, but what if the power goes out?) Your hand-crank grain grinder and any emergency cook-stove or even the sun can make very nutritious sprouted-grain breads.

That said, there are some issues with grains, besides hybridized glutens that assault your digestive system and your immune system. If you feel like delving deeper into the controversies, and I don’t pretend to have all the answers here, just sharing more theories and information with you, here are a few things to consider:

One, Jordin Rubin and a number of other experts say you shouldn’t eat any stored grain, because it molds. I do think wheat and other grains stored in silos can be problematic. I avoid corn, soy, and most wheat (except organic, sprouted–and preferably ancient grains like Einkorn, spelt, Kamut). They are the most hybridized, the most genetically modified, and the most stored in huge quantities for long periods of times in silos. If you can find a local small farmer growing ancient grains organically, support that effort and buy grains from these safe sources.

Secondly, I also think there is an issue with diets high in many grains causing sulfur deficiencies in humans. You can read a thorough discussion of this by Mercola, interviewing Dr. Stephanie Seneff of MIT about this.

(You’ll get far more than you bargained for, reading this report or watching the interview–about how dangerous the sugar-rich American diet is, and how devastating statin drugs are!) The bottom line is that it may be a good idea to take MSM (a natural, organic sulfur), and soak in baths with Epsom salts. This is very helpful for those with arthritis or other joint issues.

Dr. Stephanie Seneff

Dr. Stephanie Seneff

Dr. Seneff backs the Weston A. Price Foundation, saying that butter and some foods high in fat (full-fat cultured dairy products) are good for you. (You can get sulfur from one of my favorite foods, though, too–coconut oil! Also Brussels sprouts, kale, asparagus, and legumes!)

Read more HERE about MIT’s Dr. Stephanie Seneff’s discussion of sugars, grains, sulfur, drug approaches to cholesterol, and more.

Feel free to share your own experience about eating grains, gluten intolerance, or anything else useful to GSG readers. The original “gluten theory” blog is HERE.



Posted in: Whole Food

7 thoughts on “More About Whether Wheat/Gluten Are Really the Devil”

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  1. bert says:

    I’m completely in love to Dr. Sephanie. Mainly because she’s restoring a principle of innocence and honesty back into science. It seems that the pressure of moneymen had made it gone missing. When she digs in she keeps at it until she gets to the root of things, and she has the education and open mind to decypher the technical research. Her interviews with Dr. Mercola and with Patrick Timpone are really worthwhile. At the Dallas conference a few years back, Weston Price Foundation gave her the floor for an entire Saturday. (Not that they didn’t have any other speakers with important topics.)

    I’m even more scientific and out of the box than she is. GMOs are dangerous. Every farmer using them is eventually committing economic suicide because he’s also slowly killing off his customers. Gyphosate is the precursor to GMOs. That is no farmer spends the hard premium cash to use GMO seeds (which have LOWER yields) unless that farmer is also using the broad spectrum biocide, Agent Orange (now marketed as RoundUp, after a few completely illusory chemical tweaks).

    Every culture which has adopted MAIZE, aka CORN, as a foodstuff has become either extincted and removed from nature, or it has been enslaved, i.e. the courage and strength of its men has been slowly dissolved away in bloat and obesity. When you create an agricultural system where success is defined by bloat and obesity of the harvested plants, that culture is headed for extinction. That happens because Evolution is a pleomorphic terrain. That’s my quote. (Grain, fruit, nut or leaf, the result of bloat and obesity, in food and in populations, is the same — extinction or enslavement.) Corn is easy to pick on because the sexual sterility of corn, due to its structual bloat and obesity, is obvious. A corn plant cannot reproduce itself without human intervention. This makes the eyes of the whitecoat and scientific liars of Big Pharma light up like bright red LEDs. The one thing they fear and even hate (omg! another reaction word, but it’s the right word to use) is the power of evolution, that is properly the exclusive domain of the knowledge that women have in their bodies. Yes, the GMO doctors are misogynists.

    That was all leading up to wheat. Over the centuries bloat and obesity has been added, in the name of bigger bloated-away seeds that fill bigger bushel baskets faster. It’s not scientific yet, but I believe the DNA of bloat and obesity has been bred into much of our agriculture, due to interference of economics by bloat, and by immorality of university whitecoats who gladly trade their silence for a “chair” with a big pension.

    When choosing any food, ask yourself, does this look bloated? Does it “feel” like it has a bloated or pushed cellular structure. Glyphosate is used on wheat (which is not GMO) in order to “push” or “force” an unnatural amount of bloat into each grain. If you’re looking at wheat, or spinach, the question is the same — does this look tight and disease resistant, or does it “feel” like its bloated, big and sexy, and about to fall apart. Then ask yourself, what kind of children do you want. What kind of future does evolution deserve? Should children have the DNA of bloat, and be unable to reproduce, or should they be a little bit scrawny and wiry, and able to reproduce themselves?

    I’d be interested in Dr. Stephanie’s thoughts on the DNA of bloat. The DNA of a seed that has been forced by bad economics, into a terminal bloated state will be different than a seed that nature has prepared for future reproduction. The DNA of populations that eat terminally bloated foods will eventually become degenerate as well.

    I hope Robyn gets to know Dr. Stephanie … the two of you together … wow!

  2. Leila says:

    I think each of us is an experiment of one. When I avoid all grains (not just gluten ones) and all dairy, and eat lots of good fats (saturated, coconut oil, butter — NEVER vegetable oils) and moderate protein (always grass fed) and lots of veggies, I feel better, look better, and all my health markers are beautiful. Add back any of those things I should avoid, and my health markers tank. So go figure — there just isn’t a one size fits all diet.

  3. Ann says:

    Your #2 reason is misinformation. If a person doesn’t eat grains it’s not protein they typically revert to, it’s eating more vegetables and/or more fat. Cauliflower Rice is a popular replacement for rice type grains. Sauces on vegetables instead of on noodles. Large lettuce leafs instead of taco shells or hamburger buns. Using coconut flour, almond flour, and egg instead for baked goods. Admittedly the last can be classified as a protein replacement, but the eggs and almonds are higher in fats, too. Typically the cravings for baked goods starts to drop as a person learns to bake their own foods using these flours. And since these flours produce something denser and heavier, people also eat less of it.

    1. Robyn says:

      Ann, hmmm, no, when people don’t eat grains, they don’t usually default to vegetables. 🙂 And cauliflower rice is far from “popular.” Sounds interesting, though! Where you do get it or how do you make it?

      1. Ann says:

        Keto-ers and Low-Carbers do. They just don’t eat starchy veg or sweet fruit. They increase their fat intake to increase their calories. Even Good Paleo sites encourage that non-starchy vegetables and lots of greens be used. By bulk these vegetables should take up at a minimum of half the plate. Have you looked up cauliflower rice? Or cauli-rice? It’s just cauliflower that’s been grated or placed into a food processor to break the vegetable down into approximately rice-sized bits. There are even recipes for turning this cauliflower rice into pizza “dough”, crackers, etc. Some people make mashed cauliflower to replace mashed potatoes. Some people do the same thing to make broccoli-rice. Then there are the spiral vegetable cutters so that people can turn thinks like zucchini into noodles which they’ll use to replace lasagna or spaghetti noodles. Plenty of recipes for vegetable chips. Often when a low carber gets a hamburger, then they remove the bread and place the meat, etc onto a bed of greens. Even places like Subway are now offering to turn a 6″ sub into a salad for the people who don’t want the bread. Seriously, the list goes on. People who remove grains and grained goods from their diet, when they look up nutrition and recipe ideas to help them with that, inevitably find themselves at either a Paleo site, a Low-Carb site, or a Keto site (very low carb). Paleo diets do use more protein, but women have to make adjustments. Most of the Paleo site regulars are guys seeking to bulk themselves up, hence their focus on proteins. They’re finally starting to recognize that women require adjustments, less proteins and more fats. So now there are Low-Carb Paleo sites starting to pop up to cover that need. The keto and low carb calculators base the allowed proteins on a persons body weight, or lean body weight, and amount of exercise a person gets. Then the person figures out how much carbs or “net carbs” they will allow themselves. The rest of their calorie allowance comes from fat. If these people eat a grained good, or starchy/sweet food, then their carb allowance is gone very quickly, and with minimal satisfaction. But if they eat nonstarchy veg for that carb allowance, that can be significantly more vegetables on the plate than most people are used to seeing.

        1. Victoria says:

          Hello, ladies. I have been sprouting Oats, Kamut(ancient wheat) and Rye then fermenting for 24-36 hours and baking bread. Do you think it gives me bloatness?

  4. dr Frank says:

    HI! – I have been ‘playing’ with studying health for 40+ years (I started when I was 16) and my opinion based on my study and application changed dramatically. (I journal my progress and keep track of how different foods impact my health.) Initially, I ate various grains including ‘whole grains’, rice, etc. However, over the past few years rarely do I eat grains (this is based on my own observation and how they impact my body) and do not eat gluten. I exercise daily and two + years ago I developed a sharp pain in my right wrist preventing me from doing many exercises. I read the book wheat belly and decided to eliminate all gluten from my diet – cold turkey. Within days I noticed the pain easing and within weeks I was (and still can) do the exercises without pain. I experiment with non-GMO corn but find that it impacts me (sluggishness and 1-3 pound weight gain within a week). Therefore, corn is rarely if ever ate by me and all gluten related products are gone from my diet regardless if they are ancient or modern strains.

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