7 Common Myths About Grain Products

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by Natalya Fazylova, Wellness Contributor

Nutritionists say that excluding grain products from the diet is not only useless but even dangerous. On the other hand, people who want to lose weight are still trying to stay away from them. But we have collected seven myths about grain products, which you should know.

1. Cereals contribute to weight gain.

A study performed by Tufts University showed that whole grain consumption helps to reduce fat in the area of the abdomen. Other studies proved that replacing ordinary cereals in the diet with unrefined ones leads to weight loss.

And if your main goal is weight loss, you won’t be able to do this by giving up gluten. In fact, some gluten-free foods contain even more calories than foods with gluten. This is due to the fact that they contain more sugar, fats, and sodium, which are added to them to compensate for changes in taste and texture. In addition, gluten-free food can provoke overeating, so that you won’t lose weight, but may even gain a few extra pounds.

2. Whole grains also lead to weight gain.

In addition to the above, some whole grains have important good properties. Quinoa is a grain cereal that is indispensable for people who follow a high-protein diet. African teff is a cereal, which contains 20-40% resistant starches prolonging the feeling of satiety after a meal. Millet is also a grain cereal which improves spleen and pancreas function.

3. Everyone should give up gluten.

Gluten is contraindicated only for people with gluten intolerance. If you refuse gluten products without medical indications, this may harm your body.

When you exclude wheat, barley, rye, and other grains from the diet, you reduce the intake of large amounts of important nutrients and vitamins which are contained in these foods. Among them are iron, folic acid, zinc, and vitamin D. Experts note that when a person with celiac disease goes on a gluten-free diet, her/his doctor controls the number of vitamins and nutrients through supplements. If you follow a gluten-free diet but you don’t have celiac disease, you may experience vitamin deficiency.

4. People with celiac disease cannot eat cereals.

Millet, rice, and quinoa are all gluten-free grains that are good for people with celiac disease. First of all, people with this disease should avoid wheat and all its derivatives, such as semolina, malt, bulgur, and couscous.

5. Whole grains are not much healthier than refined options.

Whole grains are rich in protein, B vitamins, iron, calcium, and fiber. Grain refining removes 25-90% of nutrients, depending on the type of technology and the duration of the process. A refined grain is absorbed faster by the walls of the stomach. This usually leads to weight gain.

6. Cereals cause inflammation.

It’s known that sugar provokes inflammation, and it’s also known that inflammation is the main trigger for a wide range of diseases. Since whole grains eventually turn into one form of sugar (glucose) in the body, people mistakenly think that cereal consumption contributes to inflammatory processes. But several studies show that consumption of whole grains can reduce inflammation, rather than trigger it.

7. Whole grains increase blood pressure.

High blood pressure is often called hypertension. This condition may not have obvious signs but it can trigger heart diseases or stroke. Since many refined cereal products contain salt or sugar, you should exclude them from your daily menu. But raw grains certainly don’t lead to increased blood pressure, and their regular consumption can significantly normalize it.

Thank you to our friends at Wellness.com for contributing this piece.

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