I first heard the song "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Tears for Fears when I saw the movie "Real Genius". A light comedic romp, a great flick. (Reminds me of me) A great song. And highly descriptive of life, and those living life. In reality who among us out there gets up every morning and says to themselves that they only want to follow along behind the crowd, living life as an observer, partaking in pleasures cast off by the crowds, never leading, never pushing themselves to excel, to grow, to be the best. No one I know of wants that, we all want to be the best. Everyone does. Being the best means fame, wealth, notoriety. TV shows us that anyone with big boobs or a great idea can be famous. And everyone wants to be the next Kardasian, or duck king, or whoever. I personally don't care about those things, but I would like to rule my World of information about health, and food. So do a lot of other people, and they are out there working hard to be the rulers of their little slice of the health world. In fact huge followings have been created around their concepts and pseudoscience. Some examples are the Paleo diet, the gluten free diet, the wheat free diet, and the Primal diet.
It is true I think, that everyone out there wants to be free of disease and chronic problems, to live a long and healthy life. At least I think it's true. It's just that most people don't seem to equate the consumption of McDonald's and other purveyors of nutrition free meals with degenerative health problems. Or how destructive soda is to their health. I mean the reasoning is simple, the government allows it, it must be safe. Not such great reasoning actually, but the masses have other things to occupy their minds, and for this purpose, they follow. Perhaps they attempt to rule their world in other ways and areas. But for many of us out there, we have seen that those that rule us, don't always have our best interests at heart, they only have their own interests and those are motivated by money. And that's why we have the system of food, drugs and well, everything else out there in America.
A few, see through it all. And want to rule the world. A few examples, Mark's Daily Apple, a website about the Paleo diet (Mark), William Davis, The Wheat Belly (Wheat Belly) and tons of sites about gluten and other wheat free diets. It seems to me that they all copy from each other and use the same basic science conclusions to show the world that their concepts are in fact true, and that they are in fact, rulers of their world. Their own little world where they perceive themselves to be king. Yikes, if only it were all true.
The gluten thing I have talked about here, and it is true that maybe 1% of people from Northern European ancestry in fact have a problem with gluten. That isn't in dispute here. What I have a problem with is the Primal, Paleo, Neolithic, Wheat and grain free diets that are becoming the rage and using science, flawed and inaccurate science, to achieve their goal. Well, that is sort of on target, I mean their science has a basis in truth, and modern food is at the root of all of the problems that these gurus of nutrition preach. But then so do I. Modern food is indeed a far cry from the foods that man evolved eating. That doesn't mean that the other gurus are right, and that grains are bad, that we need to eat like hunter gatherers; it means we, as cognizant thinking beings need to seek out the foods that were part of our heritage and find out how these foods were prepared so as to capitalize on the experiences that generations of humans that came before us used to determine the most effective methods to overcome the nutritional problems of these grains that modern gurus are spouting about that makes them toxic. When man was domesticating animals and crops, if those foods were not found to be edible and nutritious, then they were not used. Most of the food crops we use today do in fact have problems, but ancient peoples knew that there were things that could be done to make them more nutritious. And they found them through trial and error. And modern food processors have lost them, and so once again, the foods of our ancestors are no longer beneficial and healthful, and can in fact be harmful.
Lectins and phytates are the evil parts of the grains that are in question. Both are part of the plants natural defense mechanism. We know that plants have a somewhat developed system of communication that when insects attack a grouping, then that act triggers a greater production of lectins within individual plants within the grouping. Stressed plants produce higher amounts of both phytates and lectins. And many species of plants have gone so far as to make lectins in sufficient quantity as to make the plant itself toxic. Plants like castor, deadly nightshade, and soy. Insects don't eat those plants, because they would die. So most plants produce lectins and phytates, even lettuce and celery contain them. Just in small amounts. Wheat and other grains contain quite a few. That doesn't mean they are inedible, it means they need some adjustments to neutralize the toxic parts so that we as humans, can eat them and receive the maximum benefits. Just like our neolithic ancestors learned how to do.
Some simple steps can be done to make most of the grains and legumes we eat safe. Simple stuff. Soaking grains and beans removes most of the lectins and phytates. Fermenting them in an acidic substrate further removes them. And finally, steaming them or cooking them in a pressure cooker over 212 degrees destroys even more of them. The problem with modern food is that all of these techniques are expensive. So it doesn't get done. That's why I teach healthy cooking, so that people can learn how to make the food you eat, better.
One last thought I want to mention is about William Davis, the guy that wrote the book "Wheat Belly". In his book he states that gluten crosses into the blood stream through the intestinal wall and then passes through into the brain serotonin receptors and makes humans overeat. To the tune of 440 calories more than if they didn't eat any gluten. This is totally fabricated, gluten is not soluble in blood plasma, and if humans ate 440 calories extra daily they would gain 40 pounds a year. Oriental cultures consume two to three times the amount of wheat in their diet as Americans and have one tenth the obesity problems. Wheat might, I repeat, might, have a small part in the problem, but that part is in the products that are consumed in the SAD. Breads with huge amounts of artificial ingredients, bromine compounds and HFCS sweeteners along with all the other crappy processed and nutritionless wheat products on the market. However wheat itself is not the problem.
The other thing about going Paleo, or Neo or Primal is the reliance on meat. I will again tell you that I don't have a problem with meat, I have a huge problem with Modern Meat. The stuff in the store is not meat anymore, it is processed flesh of animals bred to make money for large corporations and the animals are fed toxins and waste products as well as live in filth and the stuff is covered with bacterial contamination. Unless those wanting to truly go back to feeding their bodies the way our ancestors did a hundred thousand years ago, they shouldn't eat today's meat. And scary as it seems, they should let it rot, and then eat it.
Yep, that's the real Paleo diet.