Acidity, Osteoporosis, Diabetes and GRAINS.
Following on from the previous article about acid forming diets, pulling alkalizing calcium from the bones, leading to Osteoporosis, now we look at two of the main offenders for that acidifying process. This often comes as a surprise to many thinking their whole grain bread is healthy.
A Few Facts about Grains
• Research of more than 500 women found a diet high in refined grains, among other nutrient-poor foods, was linked to bone loss.
• Refined grains digest rapidly causing blood sugar spikes, paving the way to Diabetes.
• Grains, particularly Wheat, are the only plant foods that generate acidic by-products.
• Sugar content of Refined and Whole Grains is about the same.
• According to a UDSA survey, a refined Wheat loaf has 4.49g sugar, 4.1g of which is added.
• Refining grains increases the shelf life of products by removing oils which go rancid quickly.
Whole grains in themselves are a healthy food source, but when refined and eaten in excess the problems are twofold.
When we talk about acid or alkaline foods, we mean what those foods look like after digestion. For example, Lemons are acidic, but once digested they have a powerful alkalizing effect on the body.
As a food group, grains (wheat, rice, oats etc.) are acid forming. Our bodies neutralize prolonged over acidity by pulling alkalizing calcium from the bones. When grains are refined, calcium and magnesium in the husk are removed resulting in a net reduction in stored calcium.
Secondly, blood sugar spikes.
Refining grains leaves only the Endosperm; the white part comprising mostly carbohydrate (sugar). Without bran fibre, just sugar, digestion is rapid, causing blood sugar spikes leading to a rise in insulin to restore a manageable level. This results in hunger two hours later and a very real risk of insulin resistance and diabetes as you age. Fibreless grain flours require little chewing and a large quantity to fill us, so it’s very easy to over consume. Excess calories are simply stored for later, as fat.
Brown bread doesn’t mean Whole or Healthy.
If brown bread is not whole grain, it means colour has been added to make it brown after refining. Shockingly, Whole grain is not necessarily good bread either. In commercial milling plants, often the constituents of the grain are separated before making the dough, then put back in later. This may well help the bread to rise, but separating the grain like this fundamentally changes the interaction of its components, influencing both the nutritional value and flavour. Bread made from stone ground whole grains are superior in all aspects.
Fortified with Vitamins & Minerals.
Refining by definition can only take away. Vitamins and minerals are removed with the grain husk, and then sold back to you as nutritional supplements! What a great business model. Marketers would have us believe fortified products are somehow high in those nutrients, when in fact they are significantly depleted by refining.
Most modern-world degenerative conditions, from arthritis to heart disease & stroke, are inflammatory in origin. A diet high in grains, any grains, encourages inflammation, especially when refined and accompanied by nutrient deficiency. Repetitively elevated blood glucose (sugar) binds to proteins, resulting in a process called glycation, which is PRO-inflammatory.
Balance in Your Diet
Whole grains should form part of a healthy diet, so long as they are kept in proportion with the rest of our food intake. The old food pyramid with grains as our staple food at the bottom needs to be redrawn. Vegetables should form the bulk of a healthy diet, with a small amount of whole grain. Refined grains, white rice and white bread should be moved to the tip of the pyramid and eaten rarely, if ever.
Article written by David Wells, Osteopath & Applied Kinesiologist
The perspective shared in this article comes not just from medical training but from symptoms and treatment protocols observed over more than 20 years of clinical experience.
If you found this article interesting, this topic and many more are explained in depth in the book, 'Finding Awesome: Proven Steps to Extraordinary Health'. Read more about it here.