Cakes are generally made from a base of wheat flour, sugar and some sort of fat and protein (usually butter and eggs). There’s nothing wrong with butter or eggs, but we have a big problem with wheat and sugar, especially when used together.
Wheat may contain some minerals, but it’s not a great source of nutrients, and it contains antinutrients, like gluten, that prevent the absorption of these nutrients into our bodies.
Paleo and Carbohydrates
Wheat is also extremely high in carbohydrates. It causes a massive spike in blood sugar that leads to a crash and an energy slump. The rise in blood sugar leads to a corresponding rise in insulin to deal with all that sugar. There’s nothing inherently wrong with insulin, but a steady diet of carbs and sugar leads to chronically high insulin levels. Over time, the cells become desensitized to insulin and don’t react to it. The pancreas has to respond by producing more insulin, which results in insulin resistance.
That’s just the effect of wheat. Sugar also creates a huge spike in blood sugar, so when you combine wheat and sugar you get a serious sugar high and all the insulin that goes along with it.
Cake is just an occasional thing though, right? We’re not eating it every day, so what’s the harm in indulging every now and then? Depending on your tolerance for gluten and how active you are, maybe not much. Mark Sisson has a great breakdown of what happens to your body after just one cheat.