Grains; good or bad?

As a healthy-minded individual, you’re conscious of whole grains, believing they’re good for you. They’re high in B-Vitamins, fiber and some protein. They’re satisfying, comforting, and an easy-to-make, inexpensive choice. Plus you adore your morning oats or DIY granola.

You’ve added them to your diet over the years, but you’re still on a quest for vibrant health and weight control.

Well, information is power. And in my world, there are often many facets to each nutrition discovery. Let me begin with a story.

Last month, during my virtual cleanse, Cleanse with Benefits, I invited Dr. Frank Lipman as a guest speaker. It’s always fascinating talking with him, but on this call he shared that many of his clients are giving up grains. OH! And not just gluten free grains, like millet and quinoa, but they’re giving up grains, all together.

It would be an understatement to say the prospect of NO grains caught the attention of several clients and cleanse participants. Because if Dr. Lipman’s patients are losing weight and feeling better, lighter and leaner, I was asked if they, too, should be giving up all grains?

The evidence looks compelling. And not only does Dr. Lipman support this dietary theory, but Dr. David Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain as well as many nutrition experts are finding that grains can be difficult to digest and lead to bloating, foggy brain, sugar issues, elevated cortisol levels, digestive issues, weight gain, and more, even the gluten free grains.

Like most dietary theories, the answer lies in what works well for you, as an individual
. If you love your bread and pasta now and then, and nothing rings your chimes like a good risotto, here’s a step by step plan to ease you into ultimate health.

1) If you eat processed grains of any kind, like bread, wraps, or pasta, switch to organic choices that are preferably gluten free.
Non-organic breads and wraps contain chemical additives and can be overly processed using unhealthy fats and sugars. Gluten is inflammatory in many people and years of hybridizing has created a new type of wheat that can be irritating and difficult to digest.

2) If you eat organic or gluten free processed foods, switch to gluten free whole grain choices like quinoa, millet or brown rice.
Whole grains are a better choice than any processed food, like pasta or a wrap, because they are in their whole, unadulterated state. Your body has less work to do to break down and assimilate those nutrients.
I recommend enjoying gluten free grains, (brown rice, quinoa, millet, teff, gluten free oats) and skipping gluten (wheat, farro) for at least 2 weeks to see how you feel.

3) If you eat gluten free grains frequently, and still have digestive issues, skin issues, or an inability to lose those last 15 pounds, try removing grains all together.
Focus on healthy proteins and adding more vegetables into your diet. Try zucchini pasta, and enjoy starchy vegetables like yams and roasted beets to help you wean off of grains. Add green smoothies, high fiber shakes, and lots of fresh garden greens and veggies.

Remember, no matter what you read online, or what your best friend eats, it may very well NOT be what’s best for you.
This is your body and your life, and your chance to Discover Your Nutritional Style.

So share with me, I’m really curious about what role grains play in your diet? Are you a fan, or not so much?

~Holli XO