The grain-free diet initially caught fire as the go-to diet for dogs over the last decade.
The thinking here was dogs had never eaten grains, so why were dog food companies now putting grains in their foods? Dog lover's felt they were using them as fillers and perhaps compromising 'man's best friends' health. It's this same line of thinking that has been the cornerstone of the Paleo diet, and now both Whole 30 and the AutoImmune Protocol diet.
As food has evolved so have a lot of sicknesses; our bodies cannot digest a lot of these newer more processed ingredients. Inflammation occurs when the body suffers a physical injury or when there are substances in the body that are regarded as damaging or foreign in the bold stream. While we can't control when we get hurt, the most inflammation in our body comes from our food.
Food that cannot be easily digested escape in the form of microbes, plant pollens, chemicals and other gunk from inside your intestines through particle size tiny holes in your gut wall. This is known as leaky gut. These articles trigger your immune system to produce inflammation to battle what they think is a threat to your body. If your diet is poor for longer periods of time the inflammation can become chronic and result in permanent tissue damage and diseases (thyroiditis, arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, psoriasis).
So how do we avoid this inflammation?
"Many experimental studies have shown that components of foods or beverages may have anti-inflammatory effects" says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Bottom line is that choosing the right foods means controlling inflammation and acidity levels in your body. The foods you want to avoid when it comes to inflammation and acidity are grains, sugars, and anything that is highly processed or that includes processed meat. These are the fundamentals of Paleo & Whole 30 diets.
Some Paleo practitioners believe that they can eat any meat, but this is not what the principles teach. As a believer in greenhouse gases and an animal lover, I think the best and healthiest diet is one that is overwhelming plant-based.
I also like foods that are alkaline / have an alkaline ash, because reducing acidity is key when it comes to fighting inflammation. PH balance in the blood is measured on a scale of 1-14. Anything that is zero to 6.9 is acidic, and anything from 7 to 14 is alkaline. The main acidic foods are processed foods, dairy products, alcohol, caffeine, grains, sweeteners, cold cuts, peanuts, and walnuts.
In conclusion, notice that grains show up both when talking about inflammation and also acidity (the other ones are sugar and processed foods).
Nobody expects you to be perfect, but eating against the grain (or grain free) is here to stay.
Our Paleo Puffs are both organic (good for you and the planet) and grain free!
Over here at LesserEvil, we are always working on new innovations! Stay tuned.