They are digested in two stages:
- The starches, which are very long chains of carbohydrate molecules, must be separated into small pieces consisting of two glucose molecules. This is called maltose (or isomaltose).
- The intestines need to produce enough enzymes (maltase) to digest the maltose into the elemental glucose molecules. The main point is that the human body isn’t fit for this job and a part of the starch isn’t absorbed and descends into the large intestines, feeding critters, causing inflammation, gasses, damage to the wall of the intestines, and other problems.
What is Gluten and Gliadin?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, triticale and oats. The component of gluten that causes problems for people with celiac disease is the prolamine fraction. The prolamine fraction in wheat is called Gliadin; in rye, it is called secalin; in barley, it is hordein; and in oats, it is avenin.
Celiac Disease: The small intestine of a person with celiac disease is sensitive to gluten, which is a protein component of the grains wheat, rye, barley, triticale and oats. Even tiny amounts of gluten can cause harm. When the lining of the small intestine is damaged, nutrients are poorly absorbed.
Untreated, this can result in a range of disorders including malnutrition, osteoporosis and infertility. The cause of celiac disease is unknown, but it is thought there are both genetic and environmental factors involved.
There is no cure, but the disease can be managed by lifelong adherence to a strict gluten-free diet. This allows the microscopic, finger-like projections of the small intestine to recover and assist in normal absorption of nutrients. For more information, please visit the Mayo Clinic.
Internal Inflammation & Blood Sugar
As humans we have not been consuming grains for all that long if you look at the timeline of evolution. We only began agriculture a few thousand years ago and began only then to rely on grains largely for our food supply, which was a terrible mistake.
Grains are in fact a large supply of starch, surrounded by a kernel. Starch breaks down into maltose and isomaltose in the intestines, which then decompose into glucose. [Bread = Sugar] The problem is that one slice of bread, has large amounts of sugar, and yes it elevates the blood sugar levels amazingly fast and causes your pancreas to produce lots and lots of insulin to metabolize it. We are not adapted to eat such amounts of concentrated carbohydrates and the pancreas (and adrenals) isn’t fit to do the job. Over time it is possible to develop insulin resistance, hypoglycemia, diabetes II. Another problem is that the immune system crashes when your blood sugar levels increase to high levels. It takes sometimes hours for the immune system to recover fully.
Research published in The Journal of Nutrition shows that eating almonds may play a role in avoiding blood sugar spikes after eating a carbohydrate-rich meal that would raise blood sugar levels. The same study shows that eating almonds may help prevent oxidative stress.
“We found that eating two servings of almonds can have a significant impact in blunting the glycemic and insulin responses of the body when fed with a meal high in carbohydrates,” said co-author Dr. Cyril Kendall from the University of Toronto. He added that including almonds in the diet may have implications for helping in the management of blood glucose levels.
A 1 ounce serving of almonds is an excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium, a good source of fiber, and offers protein, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and monounsaturated fats, and will keep you from getting hungry in between meals.
Almonds appear to not only decrease after-meal rises in blood sugar, but also provide antioxidants to mop up the smaller amounts of free radicals that still result. (Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, The Journal of Nutrition)
Refined grains are also void of minerals and vitamins, which are needed to properly digest and metabolize the enormous amounts of starch. So, each time you eat a slice of bread, your body needs to take minerals and vitamins from its limited “internal pantry” to digest and metabolize it. Over time, humans will develop deficiencies of these vitamins and minerals.
[Unrefined grains = anti-nutrients] Anti-nutrients are substances that bind to essential vitamins and minerals, making them worthless or impossible to absorb from the digestive tract.