Are Grains Really Optimal Foods For Humans?

Grains, the largest food group in many nutriti...

We are all supposed to eat lots of grains right?

Wellll that may not be entirely true.  Of course I have some stashed around my home in case of emergency.  There are some benefits of grains that I can’t argue with.

1.  They store great for long periods of time.  They are very shelf stable.  They are inexpensive and easy to transport.

2.  They provide good amounts of calories usually.  Things like rice, pastas, breads, etc.

That’s really all i have there.  So what about the negatives?

1.  Grains are basically grasses and seeds.  They cannot be eaten in their normal form.  We need to prepare them in order to make them edible.  Of course certain cultures prepare them better than others.  Someone soaking rice or corn for 48 hours in an acidic medium makes it into something very good.  Ancient “bread” was a huge process that made this food more or less healthy and was a staple of the diet.  But we don’t do that here.  Most processed grains today are quick-cooked.  This leads me to #2.

2.  Most of the population has a hard time digesting grains.  Especially if they are improperly prepared.  Gluten is the hardest to digest.  Especially the gluten we have in America.  It has been far hybridized and screwed with so that it is very hard for most people to break down.  It messes with our digestion.

3. Grains are simply not nutritionally optimal.  Picture some cereal grasses out in the wild.  Now picture some fresh fruits and vegetables, and high quality animal foods.  Where is the nutrition?

So, I feel that grains are ok for storage foods.  They should be more or less avoided as staples to the diet.  Some cultures and genetics do better with grains than others.  The least offending grains would include rice, quinoa (seed), etc.  The worst offender seems to be hybridized gluten and quick-roasted products.  If you are wanting some more carbohydrate in the diet, add things like potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, maybe some organic corn or winter squash, things like that.

Now excuse me while I go eat my sushi.

-Joe

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