The host is a highly educated, funny, well-spoken physician. He was on stage before a studio audience telling them about the nasty side of grains. At first I thought that he was referring to people with grain sensitivities like gluten intolerance. Not so. He was trying to convince healthy people that they should refrain from eating grains because they are high in carbohydrates and they elevate blood sugar levels. He argued that illnesses that plague our society – things like anxiety, depression, Alzheimer's, and ADHD – are linked to grain consumption.
When the camera panned the studio audience, some audience members had skeptical looks on their faces. I am fairly certain that some of them were wondering whether it is even reasonable to eliminate grains from their diets. They might have been having an “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” moment. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is a low-budget, 1970s sci-fi movie where tomatoes attack and kill people. In that movie the savage behavior of tomatoes forced people to go without things like Ketchup, salsa, tomatoes paste, spaghetti sauce – one drop could kill them. Having to go without tomato products was nearly as rough on the poor people in the movie as was dying from a frontal assault by an overgrown beefsteak tomato.
What was his rationale for arguing that grains are not good for humans? Apparently it all boils down to our evolutionary history. Hundreds of thousands of years ago humans evolved guts that were not built for grains. Unlike cows that evolved guts specially built for grass and grain consumption, we humans evolved grain-unfriendly guts that are not capable of digesting grains in a way that is beneficial to our health. Thus our distant ancestors did not regularly consume grains. (BTW, this wouldn’t be the first time that the trappings of evolutionary thinking contributed to an uncanny understanding of humanity.)
Anyway, according the to the presenter, humanity's troubles started some 10,000 years ago when our ancestors started consuming the seeds of grains. Today grains are a central part of the human diet, and they are responsible for driving up our blood sugar to unhealthy levels that damage our brains.
Solution: Drain the grains from your diet!
My immediate thoughts were that he is opposing the Word of Wisdom.” The Word of Wisdom contains the Lord’s counsel on how to eat healthy. The Lord said that “All grain is ordained for the use of man . . . to be the staff of life.” The Lord also said that “All grain is good for the food of man.”
I wish I had a brilliant idea that explains the inconsistencies here. I don’t. I admire the doctor’s efforts to identify a potential explanation for dementia and Alzheimer’s. I can see how a diet based solely on grains is not a good thing, but entirely eliminating grains seems unwise, especially in light of the Word of Wisdom.
I expect that science will eventually work through this issue. The doctor’s assertion that a “sugar brain” contributes to neurological disorders may be vindicated, but I am fairly certain that moderate consumption of grains will not be implicated.