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Why is it that so many of our favorite foods contain grains? Here at Clean Eating, we’re always looking for new ways to balance optimal nutrition with the tastes and textures that make food not just fuel, but also an enjoyable experience that invokes memories and brings us closer to the ones we love. And while most of us grew up eating –and loving–grains, they don’t always love us back. Various studies have linked inflammation to refined grains like white bread and white pasta, which can lead to chronic diseases, fatigue and obesity. Some experts have gone as far as to suggest shunning all grains, including brown rice and whole-grain breads.
Neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, for example, in his book Brain Maker (Little, Brown and Company, 2015), argues that a grain- and gluten-free diet is the key to preventing brain diseases such Alzheimer’s. Amy Myers, MD, New York Times best-selling author of The Autoimmune Solution (HarperOne, 2015), also advocates for a grain-free, gluten-free and zero-legume lifestyle for her patients. And while some experts are supporting the Paleo lifestyle, the successes of it are still mostly anecdotal, with the research yet to catch up to their claims.
But for us, it’s not black or white. After all, when eaten in balance, grains have their merits, including helping with weight maintenance and contributing to cardiovascular health, which is why we’ve always included them as a staple to a clean-eating lifestyle. But what we love about the Paleo lifestyle is that it focuses heavily on whole foods such as proteins, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds – and that’s something we can definitely get behind. Eliminating grains also means eliminating gluten-containing grains, so those who are gluten-intolerant will benefit by removing such foods from their diets.
We also believe that everyone is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. While some may feel improvements on a grain-free diet, others may wish to include just a couple of Paleo meals into their rotation. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, taste is king, so we’ve created quite possibly the best grain-free recipes out there: out-of-this-world double-decker carrot cake, a bread that will rival any sandwich bread and fluffy pancakes that you won’t feel an ounce of guilt eating.
Try these grain-free recipes: