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Big Bad Carbs


Big Bad Carbs

Val MacDonald

An article was posted on-line that said that we should not eat grains, ever. It's an interesting article, and you can read it here.

The author of the article determined that because grains get converted to glucose in the body, the same way that candy does; and because excess glucose in the body is toxic, and leads to fat storage and type 2 diabetes, that all grains should be avoided.

She stated in the article that for much-needed fibre; instead of eating grains, we should concentrate on eating fruits and vegetables.

Although it is true that all carbohydrates get converted to glucose in the body, all carbs are NOT created equal, and whole grains such as steel cut oats, millet, barley, brown rice, sprouted wheat, spelt and rye breads and pastas, and quinoa (although technically quinoa is a seed) are all healthy choices that can included in your diet.  Grains provide much-needed minerals and B vitamins, which help us to manage our stress

I think that a lot of the no grains/paleo diet philosophies that are trending right now, and a lot of diets in general, are created to address people's inability to know where to draw the line, when it comes to how much to eat of anything.

For example, when looking at how excess glucose/insulin causes fat storage and diabetes and when connecting this to the consumption of carbohydrates,  there was a diet created that simply cut out all carbohydrates.  Do you remember what it was?  Yes, of course, the Atkins diet.   This was a diet that was extremely popular until it we discovered that by cutting out all carbohydrates, the body ends up eating its own muscle for fuel.  Crazy, right?

So, the trend is now, instead of eating whole grains in moderation, because no one can be trusted to do that, let's just say all grains are bad and eliminate them from our diet completely.

Well, if this isn't throwing the baby out with the bath water, I don't know what is.  Let's take a deep breath, and come back to a place of common sense.

I happen to think we are intelligent enough to eat whole grains (not refined or processed, such as white flour-made bread or pastries) in moderation.  I love my steel cut oats in the morning (and sometimes in the evening), and for anyone who is asking "how do you make steel cut oats?", you can visit my YouTube video of me cooking them here.  If you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity, by all means eliminate wheat, spelt, barley and rye.  Otherwise, enjoy your grains in moderation.,

What does "in moderation" look like? To get us started, we can use the divided plate for a guideline, for a serving size of grains.  On the plate, the quarter division where it says "starch" is where you would put the serving of grain (brown rice, quinoa, pasta, bread). Another way to measure a serving size of grains is 1/4 cup or a palm-sized amount. I recommend two to three servings of grains a day.  

Find ways to enjoy your grains.  And all the rest of your carbs.