The 4 Horsemen will usher in a new age of fitness. The traditional versions of Conquest, War, Famine and Death are represented in our focus on Goals, Competition, Nutrition and Metabolic-conditioning. We firmly believe that strength, power and fitness are best achieved by utilizing CrossFit methods and the 4 Horsemen of Lifts: Squats, Presses, Deadlifts and O-lifts.
Monday, March 16, 2009
In our article "The Foundation" we outlined the foods that we try to avoid at all costs, one group being grains. Why would we do that? Aren't grains an excellent source of fiber, vitamins and minerals? NO, they are not! They aren't even on the same playing field when compared to fruits & vegetables. But the lack of nutrients is the least of our worries when we think about grains. The real problem with grains is their ability to promote chronic high levels of insulin and insulin resistance (hyperinsulinemia); and their toxic/irritant effects on the body.
What was that about insulin?
Grains for the most part are entirely carbohydrate, usually consumed in large quantities. Starch, the primary carbohydrate in grains,consists of a large number of glucose molecules joined together by glycosidic bonds. These bonds are easy broken upon digestion causing a significant insulin response in the body. Why is this bad? Because chronic spikes in insulin lead to the down-regulation of insulin receptors (found on every cell in the body). As these receptors become more resistance to insulin, the pancreas will need to secrete even more insulin to get the job done (hyperinsulinemia). Hyperinsulinemia has been linked to every disease associated with the Metabolic Syndrome, increasing your risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer etc. It should be noted that the more refined the carbohydrate source the easier they are to digest=greater insulin response. Whole grains are also the problem because of the large quantities in which we consume them, also causing high levels of insulin.
Anti-nutrients are plant compounds that actually decrease the nutritional value of a plant food. One anti-nutrient in particular, Phytic Acid or "phytates" actually bind to metal ions (calcium, magnesium, zinc)from the plant source and rob your body of them as well!
Gluten, part of the lectin family, is a protein found in wheat and other grains. Gluten plays a significant role in the issues with grains by damaging and destroying the gastrointestinal tract. Microvilli are structures found in the small intestine which are covered with enzymes that aid in the digestive process and transport nutrients from food into the various tissues in the body. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder when all of the microvilli are completely destroyed, making it impossible to absorb fats, minerals and many vitamins into the body.
Of course everyone isn't going to be diagnosed with Celiac but all grain consumption has been shown to cause irritation (digestion, stomach aches, IBS). Lectins are found in many foods including legumes and eggs. But you would have to consume a large number of raw eggs for them to take any effect, as the lectins found in eggs are destroyed during cooking.
There seems to be this false idea that grains should play a major role in our diets, but that is just not the case. You can find more nutrients in fruits & vegetables without the side effects that grains give you. In paleolithic times we couldn't have possibly consumed these foods, you cannot just pick up wheat and eat it and for legumes to be edible they have to be cooked.
Don't believe me? I don't give a shit! Everyone I know who cuts these foods out of their diet feels, looks and performs better! It's up to you to try it out!