WHY “WHOLE” GRAINS MIGHT NOT BE AS HEALTHY FOR YOU AS YOU THINK: INTRODUCTION

Grains

WHOLE GRAINS: WHAT WE’VE BEEN TOLD


Remember when we thought that eating fat made you fat?  Turns out most people eliminated essential and necessary fat from their diet and turned to carbohydrates (grains and starches) to meet their dietary needs. The pasta industry loved it.  How did that work out – people got FATTER, diabetes rose, inflammatory bowl conditions and other gut diseases including auto-immune diseases skyrocketed!  During the last decade, we have been inundated with advertising and marketing directing us away from those “white” non-nutritious carbohydrates that were being blamed for our fatness, and told to eat “Whole Grains.”  In fact, we still hear on commercials today that the best weight loss methods should  “include Whole Grains” in our diets.  Of course, those t.v. commercials are typically from cereal products and other very sugary products!  I’m sure that serving of whole grain in the Kellogg’s Whole Grain Pop Tarts is melting off the pounds, right?  WRONG!

THE TRUTH

Bottom line on grains (and starches) – many people simply cannot tolerate them and they are detrimental to many people’s health and weight issues. Can some people tolerate them better than others?  Yes.  But, can everyone live without them?  Yes.  The question is – can you tolerate them well?  This is the million dollar question and I encourage you to find out for yourself!  Take the NO-GRAIN, NO STARCH Challenge for 30 days and you will have a much better understanding of how these carbohydrates affect you personally.

MY CHALLENGE, AND YOURS

Whole grains do provide many nutrients that their highly processed “sister” products (highly processed grains) do not.  However, like many things in life, you need to outweigh the good from the bad.  Personally, grains and the anti-nutrients in them (specifically gluten and lectins) caused me to have Leaky Gut syndrome that lead to malnutrition and a very painful inflammatory gut disease.  It has taken years to repair and because of this personal journey, I have become quite researched and knowledgeable on gut permeability and intestinal diseases, and the harm that grains and starches can cause in many people.   I know – for you pro-wheat, pro-grain people – these might be fighting words.  Truly, I’m looking to provide you factual information on potential problems that are known to be caused by grains of any kind.  What you ultimately decide to eat is a personal decision.  For those of you still struggling to lose weight even though you are eating the right portions of good protein sources, lots of veggies, some fruits and “whole grains,” see what happens if you cut them out entirely for just 4-6 weeks!

MORE INFORMATION ON WHOLE GRAINS AND YOUR HEALTH

Because of scope of the variety of problems associated with grains (and starches), I plan to write a few posts on the topic, including information about gut health.  This is an introduction to those posts and I encourage you to read these two articles which present a great overview on the topic – What is Wrong With Grains?, and 10 reasons to avoid grains.  These articles are not at all any special endorsement of the specific Paleo Diet Theory – it just so happens that Paleo dieting eliminates grains and thus provides lots of research on the topic.

Remember – life is about balance.  If you can tolerate a little bit of grains (after testing by elimination and re-introduction), perhaps eat them 10-15% of the time while making vegetables your best replacement choice.  Need a little crunch – go for the nutritious raw nuts like almonds, walnuts, macadamia, etc.  And take the time to do an internet search on some great baking using almond and coconut flours and sweeten with applesauce or Stevia.  Enjoy Health!

Read the rest of this series:

Why “Whole” Grains May Not Be As Healthy For You As You Think: Series Introduction

Part 2: It’s As Simple As Sugar

Part 3: Understanding the Glycemic Load

Part 4: The Antinutrients in Whole Grains

Part 5: Lectins

Part 6: Gluten

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