14 October 2010

Whole Grains - a Myth?

While I have no allergies to wheat or wheat products, I do find myself reducing the consumption of Whole Wheat and Whole Grain products as they do not seem to be all that everyone wants us to believe. Some grains are necessary I feel, just not what all the hype is about.

From the American Diabetes Association to the American Heart Association, they all speak about eating healthy whole wheat and whole grain foods. We have this drummed into us and put before us in print and everywhere we may look. I know this is part of the carbohydrate push by the ADA. Now if foods were just what they were advertised to be.

The Food and Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture should enforce some of the laws already on the books. We have so much false advertising and false and misleading print on our food products that many people are beginning to accept this as the truth.

Whole grains is a mantra by most doctors, dietitians, and nutritionists. They would push this in our face 24/7 if they could. Before you purchase any product saying it is whole wheat or whole grain, read the ingredients and the label. Chances are there is just enough to keep them from getting in trouble with USDA or FDA and the balance is not whole wheat or whole grain anything.

The regulations have been relaxed to the point that there is a very small amount of wheat or whole grains in the product. Most of the product is highly refined flour and not whole grain or wheat.

I know that most people will not or do not have the time to prepare foods or bake from scratch. This is the only way to ensure that the product is wheat or whole grain. Not that I an advocate in returning to the days when we ground our wheat or grains at the local mill, but with food manufacturers today, do not count on getting them.

Also notice that the food today has been processed to the point that they have to add some vitamins and mineral back to the product. We do lose some of what the food is when it is cooked, baked, or processed by us even if it is fresh from the garden.

I like what Prof Jennie Brand-Miller has to say about whole grains as they are thought of today. She makes some very valid points that we all need to think about. So the next time you are purchasing “whole grain” foods, use extra care to read the label and ingredient list. You may just put it back on the shelf and look for something else. You may find that whole grain is indeed a myth.

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