Aristotle was perhaps the first to popularize the notion that human beings are rational animals, that reason is simply a part of human nature. It is also commonly recognized that arguments must be structured according to reason; therefore, so should our personal decisions.
For those that are still on the fence about grains, or are having trouble seeing the Reason surrounding them, I've laid out all the reasons here for you, for and against.
Reasons to Eat Grains
- They have lots of fiber*
- They contain vitamins and minerals**
- They are inexpensive***
- They taste good****
*Though, it's insoluble fiber, which does not create habitat for healthy gut flora, may disturb a sensitive gut, and may even promote bad gut bacteria colonization.
**Once cooked, which is necessary in order to digest them, grains are among the least nutrient dense foods. And they are dramatically inferior to their carbohydrate alternatives in fruit, tubers, and starchy vegetables.
***Does not account for indirect health care costs, which, upon inclusion, may place grains among the most expensive foods along with sugar and vegetable oil.
****You're damn right they do.
Reasons to Not Eat Grains
- They might be toxic to you (gluten, gliadin peptides)*
- Grain production via annual monocropping is environmentally destructive and unsustainable**
- They are highly rewarding (opioids) and palatable (sugars), which fuels their overconsumption***
- They are nutrient-sparse compared to all other carbohydrate sources****
*Although up to 80% of the population may see inflammatory markers go up with the consumption of these proteins, classifying these things is difficult, arbitrary, and the lines have not been clearly defined in regard to who can and can't safely consume grains.
**Does not apply to traditional grain farming that promotes biodiversity, polycultures, etc.
***Palatability applies to anything that tastes good.
****Except for refined sugars and sweeteners, obviously.