The Truth About Wholegrains

By Rod Cedaro and Pieta Cedaro:

Are grains really as detrimental to health as some suggest? Contributing editor Rod Cedaro and nutritionist Pieta Cedaro argue that when consumed correctly, wholegrains play a vital role in a healthy and balanced diet.

According to some celebrity chefs, we should be cutting wholegrains from our diet as they are the principal cause of obesity and myriad other maladies. In fact, the ‘Paleo Way’ is being championed as a cure for everything from heart disease to autism.

In our opinion, and it would appear that of others with formal qualifications – you know, the type you acquire at universities as opposed to the Internet – the Paleo Way may be little more than an effective way to leverage celebrity status and sell books.

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In the last five years or so, we’ve seen a rift open between those who believe grains are fundamental to good health and those who advocate strictly limiting or indeed eliminating them from diets.
Those in the paleo camp cite the fact that coeliac disease has shown a marked increase over the last half century, which has given rise to a gluten fearing sub-culture where millions worldwide have become their own little N = 1 experiments in ‘nutritional science’.

So who’s right? Should we be eating grains or not?

Contrary to what the paleo enthusiasts would have you believe, grains are actually an ancient food that humans have consumed for millions of years. In addition to wheat (which we probably over-consume in modern day society), there’s the familiar rice, oats, corn, barley, buckwheat and rye. And then the lesser-known grains like triticale, quinoa, teff, amaranth, sorghum, millet, spelt and kamut. Learning to cultivate these grains helped modern man give up his nomadic lifestyle and create modern civilisation.

Grains, particularly in their wholegrain form, provide various nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytonutrients.

One problem with the current debate is that the notion of ‘grains’ appears to be used interchangeably with ‘carbs’. Carbohydrates are a macronutrient found in a range of foods such as bread, pasta, potatoes, milk and milk substitutes, along with many dairy products, beans, soft drinks and of course wholegrains.

Unfortunately, in modern society much of the diet is based on processed foods. Many wholegrains are processed and stripped of much of their nutrient value and packaged along with salt, sugar and fat, making them tasty, easy to over-consume and nutrient poor.

But what’s the story with wholegrains? continue reading at Triathlon Mag