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Danielle Prestejohn, NASM CPT, MS Nutrition, is a devoted CrossFitter, Group Fitness Instructor, and Health Coach. Residing in Boston, MA she is the blogger behind CleanFoodCreativeFitness.com and has a passion for all things nutrition and fitness. She hopes to share this passion and enthusiasm for health with all those in the Diet.com community!

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Danielle Prestejohn
by Danielle Prestejohn, Fitness and Nutrition Expert

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I'm getting my nutrition geek on today! Since being partly Paleo and 100% gluten free, I have taken a huge interest in why exactly grains are so bad for us! Here's what I've found!

Photograph of 4 gluten sources. Top: High-glut...
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One of the main points of a Paleo diet is to eliminate grains. Grains are a large staple of the standard American diet and are often promoted as being good for our health and our energy in the form of whole grains. Why, then, is there such confusion over whether grains are good or bad for us? Grains are largely considered to be gut irritants by the Paleo community; they are also an inflammatory food.  Examining the diet of our ancestors, we are able to see that they did not consume grains. Our bodies are not made to process grains; they have simply adapted to be able to handle them. Grains contain three harmful components: gluten, phytates, and lectins. If you are going to consume grains, be cautious to consume gluten free grains to at least eliminate one of the potential problems.

Gluten: gluten can be found in wheat, barley, and rye products. To those with Celiac disease or even gluten sensitivity, gluten can cause inflammation and many other unpleasant side effects. Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity can often go undiagnosed1.

Lectins: lectins are proteins that can lead to inflammation. Additionally they mimic insulin and can cause the body to send a message to convert stored glucose to fat, causing us to gain weight1.

Phytates: phytates bring with them phytic acids that can affect vitamin and mineral absorption. This can cause us to not properly retain all of the vitamins and minerals we need to retain from the foods we consume1.

What you can do: Giving up grains is difficult and can drastically change your diet. Keep in mind that grains are not carbohydrates. By cutting back on grain consumption, you are not cutting down on carbohydrates. Aim to consume a majority of your carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables. This will not only prevent inflammation but will also help you to consume adequate fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Start small if you need to...cut ...    Continue

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