A Word on Grains

They say the to “assume” anything makes an “ASS out of U and ME,” so I will be very clear here.  

What is a grain?  

A grain, according to dictionary.com, is

“a small, hard seed, especially the seed of a foodplant such 

as wheat, corn, rye, oats, rice, or millet (or) 

the gathered seed of food plants, especially of cereal plants.”
 
Wheat is a grain.  Wheat is a grain that is very (naturally) high in gluten, which you hear so much about.  “Whole wheat” is wheat that has been ground into flour, but not denatured.  White flour is made – usually – from whole wheat, but the bran and germ (the healthier parts of the grain) have been removed.  Both whole wheat products and white flour products have gluten.  
 
Other grains – besides white flour and whole wheat – that contain gluten include 
spelt, kamut, barley, and rye.  
 
wheatIf you have celiac disease, which may manifest also as ulcerative colitis or chron’s disease, you should completely abstain from gluten – all sources of – as though your life depends on it.  
 
If you do not have celiac disease, you should still try to limit your consumption of gluten, as it does have health consequences in large amounts.  In particular, gall bladder problems, thyroid problems, and arthritis I believe are linked to gluten sensitivity or over-consumption.  
 
White grains are really just simple sugars.
Whole grains are still sugars, but also with some other things like fiber, oils, and vitamins.   
 
When grains are digested, your body uses the carbohydrates as energy.  Carbohydrates – or “carbs” – are sugars.  If they are not used for energy, your body stores them…as fat.  For most of us, we don’t really need to store any more fat!  
 
Plus, too much sugar => diabetes.  In the “old days,” people would have pancakes and biscuits in the morning because they were out working in the fields all day long.  You don’t need to “carb-load” if you’re going to sit behind a desk all day!  
 
Whole grains (whole wheat, corn, brown rice, whole oats, millet, etc.) are digested slower because they contain the bran of the grain, which is the fiber.  Fiber – in general – is good for you.  But the carb part of it, it’s still going to be digested as sugar.  And as far as whole wheat products go, it still has carbs and gluten!  
 
If you are
  • Trying to lose weight
  • Diabetic

it’s best to avoid all grains – and sugars – in general.  At least temporarily.  

We like to say “KNOW” not “NO”
 
In other words, KNOW how food is going to affect you and your body, but you don’t necessarily always have to turn down (or say “NO”) to …. a piece of chocolate cake or a delicious hamburger on a bun.  Just KNOW how it is going to affect your overall health direction.  Are you sure this is what you want?  If not, just like we did in the 80s, just say “NO!”
 
 
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