After dealing with the paleo diet and dairy last week I was about to get started on another Paleo no-no, whole grains, when an email from precisionnutrition.com arrived in my inbox. Brian St. Pierre, it turns out, has settled the Great Grain Debate before I could even get started so rather than re-inventing the wheel here are the 7 main points I took from the article.
- Don’t Confuse Whole Grains with Refined Grains. Whole grains are often confused with refined grains. Refined grains have had their bran and germ stripped away and are often packaged with too much salt and fat. That makes them delicious and easy to overeat.
- Whole Grains Don’t Cause Inflammation. There are no studies that show whole grains cause inflammation or intestinal damage. The lectin, phytic acid and the protease inhibitors left after cooking whole grains may all have possible health benefits.
- You Don’t Need to Avoid Gluten. Unless you have a confirmed gluten intolerance you don’t need to avoid gluten.
- Whole Grains Don’t Make You Fat. Whole grains will not make you fat as it’s hard to over eat them.
- Whole Grains are Healthy. Although you don’t need to eat grains, whole grains are a healthy way (unless you have a confirmed issue) to add variety to your carbohydrate intake. Then…
- Thoroughly Cook Whole Grains. Make sure whole grains are thoroughly cooked.
- Maybe Watch Out for Wheat. Wheat is the whole grain with fewest benefits and the most problems so if you’re having issues this is the whole grain to check out first.
And if you want more detail just read Settling the Great Grain Debate. Can wheat and other grains fit into a healthy — and sane — diet? by Brian St. Pierre