Flours, Grains, carbohydrates and diets, why so confusing?

There was a time when refined flour was used solely as an ingredient for recipes that called for flour. It was super refined removing all the essential nutrients so that it would last longer on the shelves and being white, made it appear pure to the consumers, in essence it would sell more. They would add smidgens of nutrients back in the flour and called it “enriched” great buzz word for sales.
Then America went on a “fat” paranoia, where fat was the culprit to heart disease, cardiovascular disease and cancers among other diseases so that experts advised in diets of reduced fats. According to them by reducing fats this would reduce diseases.
So everyone starting buying all foods with the words “fat Free” thinking that it was the salvation from certain conditions, and as we now know, these “fat free” foods became a huge factor for initiating diseases such as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes and inflammatory processes due to the refined ingredients and sugars added. Later they would substitute artificial sweeteners which in my view are toxic and should be avoided.
Then there was talk about how refined starches such as white flour may also be contributing to diseases as previously stated because these flours had hardly any fiber in them, in fact, fiber became the new buzz word. Now fiber is extremely important for a variety of reasons such as: reducing insulin output from the pancreas, reducing insulin insensitivity in our cells, reducing type 2 diabetes, reducing the so called “bad cholesterol”. It also provides the colon with a decrease transit time of bowel movement meaning, you went more often and with more ease thus reducing toxicity which can start oncogenesis (cancer). It also is a supplier of nutrients (prebiotics) for the good bacteria (probiotics) in our digestive system so our good bacteria would always remain strong.
Then came along another concept and that was, too many grains were detrimental to one’s health due to the potential of inflammatory processes associated with grains, flours and carbohydrates in general, as well as contributing to an increase in type 2 diabetes. So diets that were either grain free such as Paleolithic diets became popular and an overall reduction in carbohydrates was touted as the new savior treatment plan, in fact many lost weight due to this reduction of carbohydrates overall.
More recently total carbohydrate elimination diets came on the scene known as the Ketogenic diet where fats were utilized instead of carbohydrates for energy. This diet has a place for certain conditions such as epilepsy and other conditions but certainly not in the mainstream populace, for this type of dietary change needs careful physiological monitoring.
Are there health benefits to these changes? For some yes for others maybe not as clear. In part two we will discuss how I treated patients with a variety of conditions utilizing dietary changes, laboratory analysis and nutraceuticals for healthy changes. But as we will see that permanent abstinence from grains may not be beneficial in the long run and is it possible to re-initiate these powerhouses of condensed nutrients back in? Stay tune, because the latest research can be eye opening.
Also stay tuned for our final part on our series on cancer!

Dr. Paul Stefanelli
Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist
Fellow of the American College of Functional Neurology
Nutritionist
685 Bloomfield Ave St. 104
Verona, NJ 973-239-0070

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