The Mediterranean Diet has a lot going for it. While it’s taboo for vegans, it promotes whole foods, a large dose of fruits and vegetables every day, healthy fats, and food rich in the omega 3 essential fatty acids (also known as fish and seafood).
So, what’s the problem with the Mediterranean Diet? Why wouldn’t it work for Americans?
I explain in the following video…and below the video.
(Please click on the video to get to YouTube so that you can share it with your online network.)
This diet also promotes the consumption of bread and pasta, because those are two foods that are consumed along the Mediterranean coast. If you’re afraid I’m going to go off on another anti-gluten spiel, well, I am. But not in the way that you might think.
Gluten is a toxin. All grains contain some kind of toxin, just like all vegetables do. Gluten happens to be a particularly dangerous one. The following is an excerpt from my book Simple Diet, Beautiful You:
Gluten prevents new cell growth in the intestinal track. It also increases free radicals, and actually changes the structure of the intestine in a way that reduces its surface area. Not only that, but also it is seen as a toxin by the body. Thus, the body works to clear it out, which in turn causes inflammation, which subsequently kills intestinal cells.
When that happens, intestinal permeability – more commonly known as “leaky gut” – begins. This is a disaster for anyone’s health, because some of the toxins you ingest “leak” through the walls of the intestine and into the bloodstream, rather than being sent down through the colon like they should be.
This happens with over 80% of the population. Chances are good that is how your own body reacts to gluten.
The reaction goes farther than most people know: the consumption of wheat can trigger any number of autoimmune diseases, heart disease, neuropathy, or cancer. Diabetes, both Type 1 and Type 2, is an autoimmune disease. William Davis, M.D., author of Wheat Belly, sees his diabetic patients cured when they stop eating wheat products.
And gluten cannot be neutralized by either cooking or sprouting.
Long story short: unless otherwise stated, the breads and pastas (not to mention cookies, cakes, pies, and pastries) made in America are made with wheat that has been bred to contain unnatural – and disease-provokingly high – amounts of gluten. In Europe, the gluten-containing grains may not be as low in gluten as wheat’s original ancestor, einkorn, but they are much lower in gluten than American wheat.
I believe that if Mediterranean residents cut out wheat from their diet, they would be even healthier and live even longer than they do now. On the other hand, it could be that the gluten they feed their guts are in small enough doses that their bodies can recover from whatever little damage it might do.
Americans overfeed their guts on gluten. That is why, unless an American is going to make the switch from hybrid wheat to either einkorn or emmer (the next generation after einkorn), they should not try to follow the Mediterranean Diet. Not to a tee, anyway.