Many people advocate going grain free as a way to treat food allergies or intolerances, lose weight, or live a healthier lifestyle. If you are an otherwise healthy person, a grain free diet will probably not have a huge impact on your health either way. However, if you suffer from chronic or temporary digestive issues, going grain free can help to reset your body’s gut flora and improve your overall quality of life.
Treating Food Intolerances
Many food allergies are caused by abnormal gut flora. This can mean one of several things. It can mean that something has killed off your body’s good bacteria, disrupting your internal balance. It can also mean that you have an overabundance of pathogenic or “bad” bacteria. These can build up over time, causing a slow onset of digestive problems that are otherwise unexplainable.
While there can be countless reasons that your gut flora could be disrupted, many common prescription medications have been shown to have a negative impact. As you might expect, prescription antibiotics do not differentiate between various types of bacteria. Most antibiotics will kill both the good and the bad bacteria in your gut. While you probably have a good reason for taking these antibiotics, you will want to load up on a probiotic afterward in order to restore this balance. Birth control pills can also negatively affect your gut flora.
In some cases, going gluten free, starch free, and/or sugar-free for a period of time can help to reset your digestive system. This can help with common intolerances such as lactose intolerance or gluten intolerance.
While this will not work for everyone, some people have found success in later reintroducing these foods. For example, those that previously could not handle gluten have no problems digesting it after going grain free for a few years. Note that this is not likely to work for anyone with full-blown celiac disease. It is, however, possible to cure mild gluten intolerance in some cases.
Is it better for the environment?
Many people consider going grain free in an attempt to be more environmentally friendly. While there are definitely ways that you can adjust your diet to decrease your environmental impact, going grain free is not one of them. This is because most people increase their red meat and poultry consumption when they stop eating grains.
When you take into consideration the costs and resources associated with producing meat and poultry for human consumption, its transportation costs, and economic impact dwarf the costs and resources associated with the production, processing, and distribution of grains.
Producing meat for consumption requires water and land to grow food for the livestock, transportation to bring this feed to the animals, transportation to take the animals to the butcher, resources to process and package the meat, and then yet another transportation network to distribute the finished product to grocers.
While there are plenty of valid reasons to go grain free for a brief period or permanently, becoming more green should not impact your decision one way or another.
Choosing Gluten Free Options
If you are looking to go grain free or gluten free, there has never been a better time to do so. In recent years, scientists have come to a much better understanding of celiac disease and other gluten intolerances. This means that more gluten-free options are available in grocery stores and restaurants than ever before. This should make it easier for those looking to avoid wheat to find suitable meals at an affordable price.
Is Grain Bad for Everyone?
While some people have success losing weight on a grain free diet, there is no evidence to prove that a grain free diet is healthier for most people. Cutting out grains also cuts out a large portion of processed foods. A grain-free diet is typically high in lean proteins and produce, both of which are featured prominently in many weight loss plans. This, more than the lack of grain, will contribute to weight loss.
However, grains are also one of the best sources of zinc and magnesium. It is common for those following a grain free diet to become deficient in one or both of these minerals. This can cause serious side effects such as loss of appetite and plateauing weight loss. As with any diet plan, make sure that you are taking the appropriate supplements and eating a balanced diet. To learn more about how you can supplement your diet or jump start your weight loss, contact our team at A New Me today.