If Grains Aren’t Healthy, Why Do We Eat so Much?
If grains are such a strong staple for the human race, but yet a major factor in our obesity, why do we continue to eat it? Grains aren’t healthy, but we keep going after it.
This is a great question. (Probably worth writing a post about.)
Well there are a few reasons why we consume so many grains. I will talk more about this in our series on Sugar, but it comes down to pride, money and addiction. That sounds pretty typical huh?
The Medical Tangled Web
First, we have a bunch of very intelligent people that don’t want to believe they are wrong. I don’t think there are any malicious actions being done here, but the advice is simply false.
American health officials have assumed that if you are still obese it is your fault. It is a character defect. You don’t have the willpower.
That is partly true in that willpower will be required to get over grains, but the real reason is because of our genetic disposition and addiction to something that is so prevalent in all of our food. Our bodies are craving more grains and sugar because we put ourselves in this jam by our eating.
In fact, some of it may have been completely out of control by the genetics and eating habits of our parents. Yes our parent’s diets filled with grains and sugars before our birth deeply impacts our love for those same foods as well as our ability to get obese.
So when they put you on a low-fat diet and it fails, it is your fault. You weren’t strong enough. It could never be that the science is dead wrong.
And the further any professional goes down that path of an idea it impacts their income and integrity. They feel committed to it. It then becomes harder to objectively test new theories or admit its error.
The other problem the medical community faces is that if they prescribe anything other than a traditional low-fat diet with someone that has serious health issues, then they run the risk of being sued by a patient for medical malpractice if something goes wrong.
Low-fat, while maybe incorrect, is a very safe path for any doctor or physician to take. Remember that a low-fat diet has been highly entrenched by government mandates and medical prescriptions for over 40 years. The status quo is not only safe, but it becomes heresy to think otherwise. A great example of this is when Harvard professor Jean Mayer (no not related to the singer) said, “To prescribe a carbohydrate restricted diet to the public is the equivalent of mass murder.”
With all of this said, there are a lot of other doctors and physicians out there that are teaching correct principles that are making a huge difference. The Paleo Physician Network led by Robb Wolf is a great example of this. All hope is not lost.
Grains Aren’t Healthy and Mean Dollar Bills
This low-fat diet, which originated from Dr. Ancel Keys and the McGovern commission in the 1970’s, not only sounds nice, but also is very cost effective.
Grain production is cheaper. It is good for government subsidies. It is easier to preserve which makes it easier to ship domestically and internationally.
Grains have a longer shelf life so dollars aren’t lost, and more it is more stable in cost compared to produce like fruit and vegetables which can easily get damaged. Higher profit margins and predictable revenue is the foundation for many successful companies. It is clear to see why this becomes an easy decision to promote high consumption of grains from a government and corporate perspective.
What isn’t considered is the long term medical costs that come from this type of eating.
The Biggest Culprit of All
The biggest culprit isn’t the 1%. It isn’t bloated government agencies. It isn’t even money grubbing doctors.
The biggest culprit is us.
Corporations, doctors, and even governments don’t make money, unless we give them that money. The biggest voice we have is where we place our dollar bills. This is no different than cigarettes, alcohol, or anything else that can kill us.
If we spend our money on fruit and vegetables instead of grains, do you think grain companies are going to be as heavy? If we vote for legislation that promotes more grass-fed animal production, fruit and vegetable production, then the food pyramid will be set on fire.
Now I am not a revolutionary type of guy. Decisions will have to be made if we want to stop this obesity epidemic eventually, but that usually takes at least a generation after the cure is realized. There is too many people invested into you and I being obese.
The sad truth is I doubt that we will be alive to see that type of a food revolution happen. Unfortunately more and more people will live depressing, shorter lives.
But the great thing is you read this. Now you know.
You can start today by making a difference in your life. The biggest impact you can make is to lead and show by example. When things go well by cutting out grains and people ask why, tell them.
If you can at least make a difference in the quality of your life, then it will be absolutely worth it. And who knows…you may be able to help some other people along the way.