You May Be Old, But Grains Are Young

The agricultural revolution has had minimal, if any, impact on our genes. And prior to the introduction of these crops and grains to our diet, we lived without the degenerative diseases that have unfortunately become ‘common’ in today’s world.

This is usually the part where some old guy chimes in with:

“Wheat and crops have been consumed for 100’s of years. I’ve eaten them, my parents ate them, and their parents ate them, and we all survived just fine.”

You may have survived, but how many of those family members died of heart disease or cancer?…More importantly, would you say that your physique is the epitomy of health and fitness?…That was bypass surgery you went for last month right?

The reality is, agriculture and modern food processing techniques are not old, they’re extremely young. Just because they’ve been around for as long as most of us can remember, doesn’t mean they should be accepted as normal. And as we’ve discussed, they definitely shouldn’t be referred to as healthy.

“Physicians and nutritionists are increasingly convinced that the dietary habits adopted by Western society over the past 100 years make an important etiologic contribution to coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and some types of cancer. These conditions have emerged as dominant health problems only in the past century and are virtually unknown among the few surviving hunter-gatherer populations whose way of life and eating habits most closely resemble pre-agricultural human beings.”

Other than ‘many sugars,’ grains (whole or not) contain foreign proteins and natural defenses that induce inflammation, and can pose a risk to our digestive system. Although the ‘common’ recommendation is to consume a high fiber diet (full of whole grains) the result is damage to our intestinal lining, and compromised digestive health.

Even though it appears the obesity epidemic experienced it’s biggest boom after the 1980’s, research suggests that North American children have been getting consistently bigger since the 1950’s – evidence from military cadets even shows increases in BMI as early as the 1920’s!

One paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research even identified a consistent increase in BMI for men aged 40-49 years old since the early 1900’s.

Clearly, the low-fat advice of the late 70’s and early 80’s is what really created the spike in obesity, but perhaps grains have been slowly tipping the scale sooner than we thought.

Stay Lean!
Coach Mike


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