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Old 06-30-2010, 06:57 PM   #1
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Grains... to eat, or not to eat?

Lately I've heard a lot of hubbub about grains, "whole grains" and otherwise. Some people have said they are completely unnecessary and offer nothing in terms of nutrition, while others have said they are a healthy and wise choice for fiber, carbs, and vitamins.
I was just wondering if one way or another was more true. Are there any "experts" on this subject? Or at least anyone who has some reliable sources to back up their claims?

 
Old 07-01-2010, 07:18 AM   #2
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Re: Grains... to eat, or not to eat?

Foods such as whole wheat bread are nutritious. According to the label on my loaf, there's 10% of your daily fiber and 5-10% of your B vitamins in every slice. Oatmeal is even better.

White starches such as white bread or cake do have the B vitamins, but they also have a lot of quick calories and no fiber, so they can contribute to weight gain and possibly to the risk of diabetes.

So, whole grain foods ARE part of a healthy diet, but white starches should be kept to a minimum.

Of course, there are a few people with gluten sensitivities who need to completely avoid many grain products.

 
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:29 PM   #3
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Re: Grains... to eat, or not to eat?

WHOLE grains are a very important part of a healthy diet. Processed, "enriched" grain products like white flour shouldn't even be considered a food because they've basically been stripped of all their nutrition and have had some nutrients added back in (hence, enriched). People seeking to eliminate "carbs" should be eating less or no processed/refined carbs and work whole grains into their diets.

Whole wheat, oats, amaranth, barley, quinoa, brown rice, etc are all great examples of healthy, whole grains that are loaded with fiber and nutrients. Check out the bulk section of your grocery store. And if you don't know what to do with this stuff, I highly recommend Bob's Red Mill baking/cooking books.

There is tons of great information out there about the value of eating whole grains.

Read Marion Nestle's "What to Eat" for information about this and many other food (health and safety) issues. Awesome book.

Other sources of info about whole grains on the web include:

American Heart Association
http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4574

FDA
http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm151902.htm

Oregon State University
http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/foods/grains/

Happy reading (and eating)

 
Old 07-02-2010, 11:16 PM   #4
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Re: Grains... to eat, or not to eat?

Hi all,


Whole grains have been eaten as staple foods by many healthy, non-modernised people. The important thing to remember though, is that they need to be properly prepared (as by old tradition), otherwise they can cause digestive problems and interfere with nutrient absorption. Properly prepared means fermenting or sprouting.

Last edited by fanman; 07-02-2010 at 11:23 PM. Reason: too long

 
Old 07-11-2010, 04:23 PM   #5
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Re: Grains... to eat, or not to eat?

Ah heck I might as well get in on this.

Thumbs up to true whole grains.

Thumbs down to white starches.

Be careful of one thing: cereals that proclaim whole grains. Usually it's just as refined and processed as anything else. Enriched whole grain cereal? What?

 
Old 07-19-2010, 09:38 AM   #6
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Re: Grains... to eat, or not to eat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherAnn View Post
Are there any "experts" on this subject? Or at least anyone who has some reliable sources to back up their claims?
We all take it for granted that whole grains are good for health. Most books recommend eating whole grains. It is said to prevent cancer, diabetes and many other health problems. And what would we eat if we didn't eat whole grains? Whole grains are a big part of my diet. I use whole grains to balance the protein from legumes because I'm on a plant based diet (vegan).

One good source is the book, "The Okinawa Program". It's a population study of the longest lived people in the world and grain is a big big part of their diet. They live long healthy lives.

There's never going to be 100% proof of anything I suppose. Can those who claim that we don't need grain prove that we can do better by eating something else? What proof do they give?

 
Old 08-01-2010, 03:50 PM   #7
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Lightbulb The case against grains and legumes:

If anyone is interested to know the other side of the story - the side against grains and legumes- they should read, "The Paleo Diet" by Loren Cordain, Ph.D..

This author claims that legumes and grains are not good for you and that it's a "dietary myth" that they are healthful. He calls them "antinutrients" because they block the absorption of many nutrients such as calcium, iron and magnesium, among others. They upset the acid balance in your body and interfere with kidney function. And, as if that's not enough, he says they themselves are poor sources of nutrients when compared with fruits and nonstarchy vegetables.

He recommends that we eat a diet consisting of lean grass-fed animals, wild caught fish, fresh fruits and vegetables (NO grain, NO legumes NO dairy and NO processed foods). That's it! It sounds good and I might even give it a try. If I do I'll let you know how it works out.


Last edited by JohnR41; 08-01-2010 at 03:53 PM. Reason: added word for clairity

 
Old 08-01-2010, 10:54 PM   #8
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Re: The case against grains and legumes:

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnR41 View Post
He recommends that we eat a diet consisting of lean grass-fed animals, wild caught fish, fresh fruits and vegetables (NO grain, NO legumes NO dairy and NO processed foods). That's it! It sounds good and I might even give it a try. If I do I'll let you know how it works out.
To simulate a true paleolithic lifestyle, wouldn't you also have to hunt, chase, and kill the wild animals, catch the fish, and travel (by foot) all over the place to gather the fruits and vegetables? I.e. much more exercise than one gets by carrying a few grocery bags of food from the store to your car.

 
Old 08-02-2010, 01:11 AM   #9
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Re: The case against grains and legumes:

JohnR41;

This antinutrient property is only for grains that are not properly prepared. Traditional peoples new to soak and ferment their grains, because these processes can almost completely get rid of the antinutrient effects of grains, and greatly increase the nutrients and digestibility.

Last edited by mod-anon; 08-02-2010 at 03:37 AM. Reason: removed quote

 
Old 08-02-2010, 07:56 AM   #10
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Re: Grains... to eat, or not to eat?

Yeah...thanks to the last two posters for chiming in. Eating no grains is absurd and I haven't come across anything in my reading that supports that. Sounds like one guy's wacky idea. Whole grains should be a substantial part of a healthy diet and they offer a great deal in terms of nutrients and fiber. Some research suggests oats, for example, help lower cholesterol. Wheat germ is an excellent source of protein and phytonutrients. Plus there are a myriad other reasons to eat whole grains. (Skip the refined stuff).

I do like the part about eating wild fish, no dairy and no processed foods. Although I'm not sure I personally could survive without cheese

 
Old 08-02-2010, 02:23 PM   #11
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Re: The case against grains and legumes:

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjlhb View Post
To simulate a true paleolithic lifestyle.......
Yes, I would be a pale imitation of paleo-man. Nothing will be the same as it was back then. The meat won't be the same even if it's "grass-fed". It might be one type of grass rather than a mixture of wild grasses. The fruits and vegetables will be different, with less variety. And I will only visit my air conditioned gym a few times per week because of the distance.

In another thread I'll explain why I'm interested in trying the Paleo diet.

 
Old 08-03-2010, 12:14 PM   #12
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Re: The case against grains and legumes:

What important nutrients are in grains that can't be obtained by eating meat, vegetables, fruits and nuts?

 
Old 08-03-2010, 12:49 PM   #13
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Re: The case against grains and legumes:

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnR41 View Post
What important nutrients are in grains that can't be obtained by eating meat, vegetables, fruits and nuts?
*scratches head* .... carbohydrates provide no nutrient value while only promoting exaggerated insulin response and excretion of minerals... fiber is not a nutrient either, and not necessary for health as is thought by general populace (and causes massive gastro problems in many)

I think that most all nutrients available in grains, as well as fruits and vegetables, are found in some form or another in other more nutritionally dense foods. The US government has put billions of dollars and decades of research into getting the conclusion that the SAD model for optimal health should be largely grain based. It's all we've been hearing for years, low fat, high fiber. Well, we now live in a nation more obese than ever, and rates of type 2 diabetes are skyrocketing at progressively younger ages. What's wrong with that?

If you're immune system has been able to ward off the problems caused by eating a grain based diet, then you have no reason, unless truly open minded, to believe that completely eliminating grains could improve your health. What about so many diabetic and obese people who are following their doctor's prescribed diets perfectly but only getting worse? There is obviously something else going on in their bodies. Anything that affects your immune system will affect your hormones, often beginning with insulin, which will cause a cascade of more problems.

Sorry if I got a little off topic, but I think if more people understood the connection between food and insulin there would be more health aware folks out there. I'm not advocating this for everyone, because everyone is different. But I would say experiment and cut out your grains for at least a few weeks. You needn't worry about giving yourself a nutritional deficiency, and it may even prove to make you feel much better.

 
Old 08-03-2010, 07:43 PM   #14
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Re: Grains... to eat, or not to eat?

I'll add this. If you don't think diet can cause diseases, consider this. I knew a guy who was doing research showing that corn syrup weakened cell membranes. Well, that makes cell division easier and can go out of control then. To that end, parts of the cells were destroyed to shut off the rapid division. Isn't that cancer? Yes.

Do I think grains are bad? No, of course not. However, eating too many grains isn't good either, and an all-grain diet would be pretty bad in my opinion. The bottom line is this. Keep a diet that has tremendous variety and you won't overdo anything and won't miss anything.

Too often people think, like the above poster said, "oh I need more fiber" so they go overdo it. Then it's "oh I'm low on calcium" so dairy gets overdone. That's when you will assuredly get serious problems.

 
Old 08-04-2010, 12:59 PM   #15
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Re: The case against grains and legumes:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mellowfish View Post
It's all we've been hearing for years, low fat, high fiber. Well, we now live in a nation more obese than ever, and rates of type 2 diabetes are skyrocketing at progressively younger ages. What's wrong with that?
Whatever the government or anyone else is actually saying is not what people actually eat. Typical diets in the US are:

* High in total calories.
* High in sugars and refined carbohydrates.
* High in fats, usually including lots of the bad ones (e.g. trans-fats from hydrogenated oils) and the polyunsaturated fats are very heavily biased to omega-6 relative to omega-3.
* Low in vegetables and whole fruits.

 
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