This is an interesting yet still quite controversial point. Grains are not edible in nature without processing and it is therefore reasonable to assume that humans have only been eating them for a few thousand years (which in terms of evolution and adaptation is not very long). It has only been since the advent of agriculture that we started to rely on grains as a significant source of caloric energy. That was very likely a huge mistake.
There are several reasons why grains (and possibly soy as well) are bad:
1. Grains are, in fact, a large supply of starch, surrounded by a kernel.
2. Starch decomposes (digests) into maltose and isomaltose in the intestines, which then decomposes into glucose. You can look at it this way – When you take a slice of bread and crush it in your hand, you are virtually eating that amount of refined sugar. The problem is that that amount of sugar elevates the blood sugar levels amazingly fast and causes your pancreas to produce lots and lots of insulin to metabolize it. Humans are not adapted to eat such amounts of concentrated carbohydrates and the pancreas (and adrenals) aren’t really up to the job.
3. Over time one will tend to become overweight, develop insulin resistance, hypoglycemia, and diabetes. The continuum goes like this:
Excess consumption of refined carbohydrates (including most refined grains), leading to;
- Significant, rapid rises in blood sugar levels, leading to;
- Massive over-secretion of insulin, leading to;
- Hypoglycemic episodes which are associated with fatigue, brain fog, and a whole host of unpleasant symptoms which tend to make a person crave something sweet to give them a burst of energy. This of course leads to a vicious cycle of over-stimulation to the pancreas (which is where the insulin is secreted). When an organ or gland is over-stimulated, the first response is to become over-active. Eventually, however, the gland or organ “burns out” thereby leading to a whole different, more severe set of problems.
- The massive over-secretions of insulin cause the body’s cells to down regulate the number of insulin receptors and generally become less responsive to the insulin, this further compounds the problem (while attempting to correct the immediate oversupply of glucose) by making the cells “resistant” to inulin.
- This phase is called insulin resistance and it applies to a very large percentage of the population!
- The combination of over-consumption of refined carbohydrates (sugars and grains) with or without insulin resistance, leads to steady, progressive weight gain along with a wide array of physiological compensatory reactions (none of which are good in terms of your long term health are concerned).
- This eventually leads to a pre-diabetic state where blood sugar levels remain moderately elevated.
- The final step in the process is full-blown diabetes which has a huge negative impact on one’s overall health.
4. Another problem is that the immune system crashes when your blood sugar levels increases to high levels. It takes *hours* for the immune system to recover fully.
5. Another problem with refined grains is that they are largely devoid of minerals and
Vitamins as a result of both the demineralization of the soil and processing techniques. These micronutrients are needed to properly digest and metabolize the huge amount of starch. So, each time you eat a slice of bread, your body needs to take minerals and vitamins from its limited stores to digest and metabolize it. Over time, this leads to &/or exacerbates deficiencies of these vital nutrients.
6. An alternative would be to eat the grains in a more unrefined form, but they contain a number of substances that are considered anti-nutrients. Anti-nutrients are substances that bind to essential vitamins and minerals, making them worthless or impossible to absorb
from the digestive tract. So, either way, refined or unrefined, grains will cause problems..
7. Further, many grains contain complex substances, including proteins that can be quite difficult to digest and may act as allergens. This further upsets one’s immune system and causes the development of even more wide-spread allergies &/or allergic type responses.
Think about this: Humans have been on the planet for several million years and have only eaten grains for perhaps 4 – 10 thousand years. Much more recently, perhaps in the past few hundred years, we have begun to rely on grains as one of our primary staple foods.
The problem is that our genes are not adapted to these foods. Grains are, in fact, incompatible with humans (and also dogs and cats and many other mammals)…
The logic and evidence all point to the desirability of limiting / minimizing the amount of grains consumed by those concerned about optimal health, this is why we have gone to great lengths to make Bach Bars (and all of our products for that matter) grain free!