Mother Nature’s Diet FAQs – Why avoid grains and starchy carbs?
Why do we avoid grains and processed starchy carbs?
This, Core Principle 1, is mostly explained in detail here in the 12 Core Principles.
For further reading, you might like to check this post: Back off those carbs!
Now you will understand that:
1: We have not evolved to eat grains, we cannot digest these plants, that is why they have to be processed before we can consume them.
2: You understand there are compounds in grains – gluten, lectins, phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors – that are largely undesirable and have negative side-effects for many people.
3: For most people, the 99% of the population who are not elite athletes, eating a lot of grains and processed starchy carbs is probably contributing to undesirable weight gain.
4: Bulky meals of starchy carbs can cause your pancreas to work too hard and can trigger blood sugar highs and lows. In time, this can be a contributing factor to weight gain, insulin resistance, pancreatic stress and type-2 diabetes.
5: You do not need processed starchy carbs for energy – most people will actually find that they can regulate their energy levels better throughout the day and throughout their activities if they eliminate all those starchy processed carbs from their daily diet.
6: Mother Nature’s Diet is not a low-carb lifestyle. The MND diet provides all the carbohydrates you need from vegetables and fruits. Unless you are a weight lifter, bodybuilder or elite level athlete, then large amounts of additional carbs are just not required.
7: If you are interested in fuel for endurance sports, please also read this post: Eating to fuel Endurance Training and Long Distance Races
You may ask – If I have to avoid grains, what about other starchy carbs, the ones that don’t contain gluten, the popular ‘healthy choices’ – such as couscous, organic oats, sourdough bread, white potatoes, oat groats, quinoa and einkorn?
Certainly, if you have read those links above and you are not trying to lose excess weight, and you want more good healthy carbs in your diet, then these are definitely the ‘better options’. For a healthy, active person of a healthy bodyweight, there is really not much wrong with eating oats a couple of times per week or eating a few white potatoes.
That said, you may still like to consider eating more nutrient-dense foods instead. Processed starchy carbs are not-only a sub-optimal food group, but they are also displacing other, better, foods from your diet. In short, if you eat 2500, 3000, or 3500 calories per day, and you are getting XX percent of those calories from grains and other starchy carbs, then the question becomes “What else are you not eating, when half your diet comes from grains and starchy carbs?”
Personally, I think the carbs are displacing better choices from your diet. I prefer to eat 15 to 20 servings of vegetables and fruit per day, and 2 to 3 servings of oily fish, grass-fed meat and free-range eggs every day.
This way, my diet is amazingly high in valuable nutrients – that’s vitamins and minerals, top-quality proteins, beneficial fats and various other phytonutrients and trace elements. I want maximum ‘bang for my buck’ in everything I eat. Of those 3000 or so calories I may eat each day, I want them all to provide lots of micronutrients, and I do not have ‘space’ in my daily caloric intake to each food which provides calories but is comparatively low in micronutrients, or comes packaged complete with problematic compounds that over-stress my digestive system in order to process those foods.
Good choices of no-processed carbs
People often ask me “which carbs are best?” and while the answer might be different for everyone, generally I believe that sweet potatoes are good, they are superior to white potatoes, squash is great, and parsnips are delicious. You can enjoy pumpkin, carrots, beets (delicious roasted!), swede (rutabaga, or ‘neeps’) and most fibrous vegetables.
These are all good carbs that will give you the energy you need and provide additional micronutrients as a bonus.