Are Your Grains Really Whole?

All grains are not created equal: there are a lot differences between them, and some do not have all the same health benefits.

A WHOLE grain is made of 3 parts: the bran, germ, and endosperm.

BRAN is the hard outer later with fiber, minerals, and antioxidants.
GERM is the part of the grain that has the carbs, fat, proteins, vitamins, and mineral, antioxidants.
ENDOSPERM is the largest part of the grain and is where the protein and starch is found. Starch is where most of the carbs come from.
REFINED GRAINS are grains in which the BRAN and GERM have been removed.  All that is left is the ENDOSPERM so basically it is all carbs.

Whole grains include brown rice, whole wheat, oats, corn, barley, sorghum, rye, and millet, buckwheat, bulgar, farro, teff, kaniwah, freekah,  Israeli couscous (pearl couscous), and wheat berries.


WHOLE GRAINS are high in essential nutrients like fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, and selenium.

REFINED GRAINS have NO vitamins, minerals, and provide little nutritional value.

A lot of food products are made from grains: bread, pasta, breakfast cereal, muesli, oatmeal, tortillas, and junk food like cookies, cakes, pies, chips, crackers, and more.

Some whole grains are healthier than others. Grains that provide higher amounts of protein should be eaten more than grains that are lower in fiber and protein. Rice and corn even in their whole form may not provide as many health benefits as grains like quinoa, teff, and farro.

Commercial food processing has added a ton of sugar and preservatives while stripping all essential nutrients resulting in refined grains with no vitamins or minerals.

The food industry’s answer to this is to add synthetic nutrients (iron, folate, and b vitamins) back during processing.

Most of the “whole grains” that are sold in the store today are not TRULY whole grain.

If the front of a package says “100 Whole Grain” be sure to flip it over and look for the words “enriched.” If you see this word you know that it is NOT truly a whole grain.

If you’re going to eat a grain you should be eating a TRUE whole grain.

This is also true of eating out. A lot of eateries boast “whole grain” but I have done research and found that they are actually “enriched” with synthetic nutrients.

Could it be the dose and not the poison that is affecting us and causing these problems?

When you think of the typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner foods, they all contain grains. Often they are refined or falsely named whole grains.

Gluten sensitivity and autoimmune diseases like Celiac, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis may be affected by grain intake. Celiac patients cannot have any gluten and may also be sensitive to other gluten free grains like quinoa and oats. Some individuals have found success with taking grains out of their diet to reduce flare ups or digestive issues related to these conditions. If you are suffering it may be beneficial to look at the type of foods in your diet and see what is causing your ailments.

If you are eating a lot of refined grains this can contribute to a high level of sugar in your blood. Too many of these foods can lead to inflammation and disease. It is important to look at the amount and types of grains you are consuming. Are you eating enough high quality protein foods? Is there enough healthy fat in your diet?

Do find yourself addicted to sugar? You could be suffering from candida. It could be the type of grains you are eating. If this is the case you may need take the grains out of your diet in order to heal your gut.

The consumption of grains has been a hot topic in the nutrition world over the past few years since the introduction of the “paleo” and “whole 30 diets.”

A lot of people report feeling better once they ditch the grains in their diet.

So what is the answer?

When working with clients I like to look at their whole diet.

How often day are you eating grains and what type of grains are you eating?

Are you eating enough protein?

Are you eating enough healthy fat?

Are you eating enough nutrient rich vegetables?

Is the diet filled with a lot of processed foods? As we know these foods have a lot of sugars which can lead to inflammation and weight gain or disease.

How much protein fat, and vegetables are you eating?

Protein is an important component of your diet. If you’re eating an imbalance of protein and grains you may not be satisfied and will continue to overeat.

Just like red meat, grain products should not be the base of your diet but a small complement to the meal. For some people they should not be eaten every day.

This is something to take into account when you are eating out a lot. I’ve noticed that many restaurants will give you a ton of rice or pasta and very little protein and vegetables. You can always ask for less starch and more of the other stuff.

Fat once demonized for weight gain, today we know we need it in our diets to maintain health. Healthy sources of fat should be added to each meal as well. Some healthy sources of fat include avocados, and raw nuts and seeds.

These are guidelines to follow, however everyone’s body is different and what works for one may not work for all.

My theory is that it is not necessarily the grain, but the processing that causes problems. There are some grains that are NOT truly whole grains.

I propose that it may not be the grains but actually the synthetic vitamins that are added to these grain products that are messing with people’s metabolism and digestion.

I see no use for breakfast cereals as most of them are high in sugar, low in fiber and protein and have many synthetic vitamins added to them.

The only exception to that is regular steel cut oats (not instant) which is high in fiber and essential vitamins found in grains. When eating oatmeal you want to make sure you pair this with a healthy protein and fat to get a complete meal. One example is a handful of chia seeds, yogurt, and blue berries.

Personally, I do not eat a lot of grains or grain based products. My philosophy is to have a largely plant based diet high in colorful vegetables. If I do eat grains I will have a small serving of a high protein grain like quinoa or farro.

The only bread that I would recommend eating is the sprouted grain brand Ezekiel. It is found in the freezer section and also comes in the form of tortillas and English muffins.

You should look at the grain products in your diet. Are you consuming a high amount of ENRICHED grains? This could lead to a nutrient deficiency.

Do you have digestive issues? You may be suffering from leaky gut or another source of inflammation. It may be beneficial to do an elimination diet to see if it is grains that are upsetting you.

Any questions on evaluating your diet or the food products you are using?  Contact Me!

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