Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Whole Grain Phood?

 I used to fall into the 'whole grains' marketing trap (who doesn't love cereal?). According to what we 'should' eat, they were supposed to be better for me, giving my daily dose of fiber, B vitamins and complex carbohydrates. They did make things 'complex' just not in the way of carbs. You see, it has taken quite a bit of unlearning through experience and research to realize they are not what they claim to be. Let's take a closer look at whole grains and why they might not be as wholesome as you think.

The old USDA food pyramid with it's heavy reliance on grains- (hmm... I wonder why?)

I am not anti-grain or carbohydrate (or government) just as much as I am not anti-protein or fat, but such a heavy reliance on these foods (as shown here in the food pyramid) is only setting us up for poor results. From my personal studies and experience, it's over consumption of poor quality whole grains that can be traced back to many different degenerative diseases like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, auto immune disorders and more. With such
a push from food subsidies it's easy for companies to pump them out for us to easily consume, which is where the problem lies. Typically if something is mass produced it turns from a food to a phood (adapted from Craig Keaton). Phood is not recognizable by the body. Phood creates an environment in the host that is not conducive for the utmost vitality. Phood is why we are heading in the wrong direction and have unheard of levels of obesity and disease.

Most 'whole grains' fall into this category. Take your common marketed heart healthy cereal. They take a grain like wheat, corn or rye that is grown in soil lacking essential nutrients, strip it of it's life giving properties, puff it or flatten it and spray it with synthetic vitamins. All the while telling you it's loaded with your daily serving on fiber and vitamins. Does that sound okay?

Whole Grains I Avoid
-Any largely mass produced product in a package, box or bag.
-Any grains that have words I cannot pronounce under 'ingredients'.


 Phoods that ARE NOT benefiting you but are marketed as whole grains.
-granola bars
-mass produced breads
-virtually any cereal (with exception of an extremely limited few)
-crackers and chips

These 'whole grains' have been shown to rob the body of essential minerals and nutrients, steal precious enzymes needed for repair growth and digestion, increase the chance for body fat accumulation, create auto immune issues... shall I go on?

This naturally rules out a ton of products. Most whole grain breads for example, are loaded with dough softeners, preservatives or additives to give it the soft texture we all love. Many even add sugars like high fructose corn syrup playing on your biological desire for sweets. These foods taste good, but they are detrimental in too many ways. If your grain product has more than flour, salt, yeast, spices or water it's most likely mass produced and closer to the phood category.

Whole Grains I Use
-Sprouted flours that have been traditionally prepared detailing the outlines above (salt, yeast, spices, water and flour)
-Grains in the WHOLE state. Steel cut oats, rices that haven't been enriched or treated or homemade breads (Places like Whole Foods carry decent options in their bakery).

*As a side note, I have noticed when I decrease grain consumption I also decrease body fat. I still consume grains on occasion but do so very specifically. If you are looking to drop fat it my be something to test.

Clearly we need a new definition for whole grains or should I say a marketing system that is not deceptive. Whole grains in and of themselves are not bad, assuming they are of higher quality and are traditionally prepared. 

But don't take it from me, test for yourself.


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