Whole grains & refined grains are two completely different animals
a discussion by Carrie Marry, Integrative Health Coach
In my opinion, grains have become the most misunderstood portion of whole foods. The U.S. Food Pyramid is partially to blame by the way it lumps rice, crackers, bagels, packaged cereals, wheat, bread, pasta, oats, and rice all in the same category “grains.” Then we are encouraged to eat these foods in abundance for a “healthy” diet!
So, what is the deal with all of the digestive problems and gluten intolerance in our population, and why are grains now considered the “bad guys”?
Whole grains and refined grains are two completely different animals.
Whole grains and seeds contain protein, fiber, B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamin E, to name just a few of the nutrients they contain.
A refined grain has been processed. The nutrients have been destroyed then “fortified” with vitamins and minerals that are of inferior quality than the very vitamins that were present to begin with!
One obvious reason for America’s gluten intolerance that has become epidemic (or so clever marketing strategies would have us believe) is that we eat too many grains. We are also eating grains that are the result of our country’s modern day agriculture practices. The genetic makeup of the protein in grains has been altered, particularly wheat, corn and soy which make up the most consumed crops in our country. These proteins are difficult for us to digest.
“We were never meant to eat processed wheat with super-concentrated gluten several times a day, 365 days a year. And research clearly shows that overexposure to food proteins can cause immune reactions.” Susan Blum, M.D.
The popularity of the gluten-free diet has given rise to an industry of gluten-free convenience foods that contain questionable additives, added sugar and nutrient-empty ingredients. You might find yourself eating a lot of starchy replacement flours like tapioca starch, potato starch, and rice flour. Besides possibly gaining weight and putting yourself at risk for several diseases, you may become nutrient deficient.
“These powdered starches are among the few foods that increase blood sugar higher than even whole wheat. It means these foods trigger weight gain in the abdomen (“gluten-free belly”), increased blood sugars, insulin resistance and diabetes, cataracts, and arthritis. They are not healthy replacements for wheat.” Dr. William Davis
I encourage you to consume less processed foods, gluten free or otherwise and begin to incorporate delicious whole grains and seeds into your diet. The high fiber content of grains lend themselves to improved digestion and weight-loss and they are loaded with health giving vitamins and minerals. Remember, gluten-free does not mean grain-free.
“Grain Based dishes are hearty and centering; they steady our nervous system and keep our blood sugar stable. The fiber in them has been shown to keep our digestive system and arteries in good working order. Grains are our daily bread, fruit of the earth, gift of the gods. Let’s be grateful for them.” Annemarie Colbin from The Natural Gourmet
New to the Shelves
Every October close to 200 new products come pouring into The Eureka Market! Here are our top-ten favorites based on customer & staff feedback:
- Frontier Dry Soup Mixes: Add a few specified ingredients to round out a perfect pot of soup! No salt added to these quick and easy fall favorites. They are a dream in the crockpot.
- A terrific trio of products from Reese for your Asian-inspired stir-fry: water chestnuts, bamboo shoots & baby corn. Easy-peasy.
- Sierra Nevada Crème Kefir– This tangy spread or dip is known as Labne and it is a staple of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. It’s better than you think!
- Silk Dairy-Free Yogurts – Available in three flavors
- Wild Planet Sustainable Seafood has hit the shelf with a range of offerings that provide you with healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Quest Bars – With less than 1 gram of sugar per bar, these protein-rich bars are a winner with whey protein.
- Califia Cold Brew Mocha Coffee – Dairy-free and eight delicious servings per bottle.
- Skinny Pop – With two flavors of popped popcorn, they boast only 39 calories per cup!
- Trace Minerals Electrolyte Power Paks – These little packets contain 72 electrolytes, a slam-dunk of Vitamin C, and a trace mineral complex.
All Eureka Market Education Guides are intended for educational purposes only. The guides are NOT intended to substitute for professional medical consultation and as such, do not diagnose, prescribe or offer personal medical advice. Always consult with your health care professional before taking supplements with prescription medications.