There’s a lot of good and bad talk about about grain in that innocent looking bowl of cereal we may eat everyday. But, how do you know what you should believe? Foremost, you should learn to trust how your body feels after you eat grain.
For example, if you eat bread, do you feel like taking a nap shortly afterwards? Does it make you hungrier? Do you want to eat even more of it? Can you never get enough cookies, crackers and corn chips? And, does that bowl of oatmeal you eat not give you the good feelings and health they said it would?
Did you know that wheat gluten has 'opioids' which are known to be addictive and neurotoxic?
You can eat wheat, barley and rye grain kernel whole (or intact) if it has been soaked and softened. Refined grain is basically a flour. This is how bread, crackers and cookies, etc. are made.
From everything I have read, I understand eating grains whole is considered healthiest [1 choosemyplate.gov/grains]. What they should mean by ‘whole’ is eating it ‘intact’ like a bowl of rice. This is what ‘whole grain’ means to me. You eat the whole thing, not ground up. But, whole grain is commonly known as ground up flour when the whole seed is made into a flour. White bread and white flour is not considered whole grain.
Examples of whole ‘intact’ grains…
- Brown rice
- And, many others…
There are grains known to cause some people problems because of its gluten (called gliadin in wheat)
- Wheat- Apparently, this grain has much more gluten in it than it used to have. This is probably due to it being genetically modified (GMO)
These below have their own gluten, which are also proteins like in wheat, but called by other names that can also cause people problems. I have learned most grains affect me adversely, so I don’t eat most of these on the lists above and below…
- Rice- seems to absorb arsenic, cadmium and lead very well
- There are even more not mentioned to beware of…
Despite what many experts say, grain is not exclusively linked to good health…
Grains can cause leaky gut, leading to inflammation in the body leading to many different diseases, conditions and ailments. Grains may affect people differently. If you have doubts about grains, you can get ‘genetically tested’ by your doctor for predisposition for certain grains that may affect you adversely.
Studies have shown a small percentage of people suffer from what is called ‘coeliac disease’. But, you can still have a ‘gluten sensitivity’ or ‘allergic reactions’ which can be caused by one, a few, if not by all grains.
‘Coeliac disease (CD) is an autoimmune condition, which affects the small intestine, resulting in malabsorption, weight loss, fatigue, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea [2 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov].’
Having coeliac (celiac) disease may contribute to the following:
Asthma, chronic fatigue, crohn’s disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, eczema, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, lymphoma, migraines, allergies, gluten intolerance, digestive disturbances, mucous and congestive conditions, yeast infections, several types of arthritis, multiple autoimmune diseases, lastly chronic overeating are all linked together with consumption of grains.
But, despite all this bad review of grains in general, you still have to have your grains, you want to eat them organic, like other produce you buy. You don’t want pesticides or chemical fertilizers used on anything you eat.
And, then there's the argument our stomach's are not designed like cows and horses, etc. to eat grain, therefore it is not our food.
And, then finally (if that’s not enough!) there’s lectin in grain (also, in seeds, nuts, nightshade vegetables and legumes.)
Everything considered, I would try to limit my intake of all grains, especially anything that has been refined or processed like cereal, bread products and pasta, etc. Refined grain can make your blood sugar spike, act like sugar on your teeth and cause you weight gain.
A plant based diet that escapes gluten would contain…
- Nuts and seeds like pumpkin and sunflower
- White potatoes and others like the tubers sweet potato and yam
- Legumes like lentils and beans
- Wild rice (not brown rice or any other grain)
All this being said, is eating grain worth the health risk?
To conclude, you really need to rethink eating any grains and decide for yourself whether they are worth the risk to your health, especially considering they also have lectins.
Furthermore, they aren’t really that nutritious compared to other plant based whole foods. Why would they add vitamins and minerals to cereal if it had complete nutrition?
There are other choices with better fiber (grain fiber may damage your intestinal lining) and superior nutrition like a huge variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, potatoes and legumes.
Lastly, you might want to try ‘wild rice’; but unfortunately, it contains similar levels of arsenic and other heavy metals as does brown rice.
1 URL choosemyplate.gov/grains
Website TitleChoose MyPlate
Article TitleAll about the Grains Group
Date PublishedNovember 03, 2017
Date AccessedMarch 01, 2018
2 URL ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4760426/
Website Title Nutrition Bulletin / Bnf
Publication Month March
Publication Year 2016
Date Accessed March 01, 2018
Note- consult your doctor before you change your diet.