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Why Whole Grains are Not the Enemy!

It always surprises me, what bad flak whole grains get… discouraging folks to ingest gluten like it’s radioactive crap.. especially if you happen to NOT be gluten intolerant.

I mean, do folks actually know what amazing nutrition they are cutting from their diet, if they omit whole grains?

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Just because it is a hot trend to avoid whole grains such as whole wheat in order to avoid a reaction from gluten, lectins, amylopectin-A and other components of wheat it does not mean that EVERYONE should avoid them, unless specifically investigated and found to be allergic. You see, whole grains are unrefined grains that contain a whole friggin load of great stuff – they are made up of the cereal germ, endosperm, and bran, which are the essential parts of the entire grain. They are good sources of fiber, and are rich in selenium, magnesium, and potassium. The bran is the fiber-rich outer shell, which contains minerals and B vitamins.  Stuff like wheat breads, rolls, pasta and cereals, or whole grain oat cereals such as oatmeal, popcorn, wild rice, tortilla, corn, kasha (roasted buckwheat) and tabouleh (bulghur wheat) when eaten in moderation and as part of a balanced diet, are totally 100% good nutrition for the rest of the population who are not gluten intolerant.

Here are some reasons why whole grains are good for you:

1. They are good for the heart

Whole grains are characterized as being high in resistant carbohydrates as compared with refined grains, meaning they typically are high in fiber, nutrients, and bound antioxidants. Whole grain intake consistently has been associated with improved cardiovascular disease outcomes, but also with healthy lifestyles, in large observational studies. Grains high in insoluble fiber (wheat) moderately lower glucose and blood pressure but also have a prebiotic effect. health. A meta-analysis on over 400,000 participants found that the highest consumption of whole grains reduced the risk of heart issues by about 25%. The authors indicated that whole grain foods contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytoestrogens, phenolic compounds, and have a favorable effect on measures of cholesterol, blood glucose, inflammation and arterial function.

2. Lower Diabetes Risk

The more whole grains consumed, the lower the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The reduction for 3 servings per day was in the order of 1/3 lower risk. Whole grain breads, cereals, wheat bran and brown rice had favorable impact on the risk for diabetes but white rice did not.

3. Reduce Risk of Cancer

Whole grains are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and hundreds of natural plant compounds, called phytochemicals, which protect cells from the types of damage that may lead to cancer. In addition research points to specific substances in whole grains that have been linked to lower cancer risk, including antioxidants, phenols, lignans (which is a kind of phytoestrogen) and saponins.

According to one study, colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer, accounting for about 9.7% of all cases of cancer – giving whole grains an important role to play in good health. Researchers from Imperial College, London and the University of Leeds reviewed 25 studies involving almost two million people (including 14,500 cases of colorectal cancer) to arrive at their conclusions. Based on the data, they projected that consuming three servings a day of whole grains was linked with a nearly 20% reduced risk in colorectal cancer. The study also concluded that risk of this cancer dropped 10% for every 10 grams of fiber in subjects’ diets.

The results of epidemiological studies to date suggest that eating whole grains may be associated with a small decrease in the risk of breast cancer. The uncertainty in this conclusion comes from the differing results of the studies examining this association. The majority of the studies, as well as the most carefully conducted studies, indicated a small decrease in breast cancer risk associated with eating whole grains.

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