Whole Grain Is Not Very Healthy

Many prevalent health beliefs are completely wrong. In some cases, these erroneous ideas are kept alive by special interest groups.

Form ancient shamanism to the current day, medicine is clouded in a swirl of disinformation. Despite medical breakthroughs, when it comes to the working of the human body, the unknowns vastly exceed the knowns.  Most medical research runs into this in short order.

The public is a bit more skeptical now than 20 years ago, thank to the internet. It isn’t that every Tom Dick and Harry can simply hop on the internet and verify the truth. Instead it is the widespread knowledge that any position on any topic can be proven or disproven on the internet.   Eating meat good? Or bad? Whole wheat good? Or Bad? Pick your answer, and verify on the internet. No problem.

We plan a whole series on medical myths. We suspect you will be as appalled as we were at the flakey science and huge vested interest behind some of these.

Medical Myths Coming Soon:

  • Red meat causes cancer. (NO)
  • Aerobic exercise is good for you. (NO)
  • Vegetarianism is healthier. (NO)
  • And many more (YES)

Whole Grain is Good For You. Not true. This is widely believed mainly because it is widely promoted by the food industry. Grain is cheap, but if converted to cereal and put in a box it is expensive, and therefore very profitable. However, whole grain is NOT good for you—at least most of you. The ‘true’ statement is “Whole Grain Is Better For You” …. “than refined grain”. And, not by much. And refined grain is quite bad for you.

Grain bad? This isn’t what the cereal industry wants you to hear, so they have managed to create a Whole Grain bandwagon and have jumped on it with trumpets blazing.  What exactly is whole grain? Grain is starch (digestable) packaged inside a husk (not digestible). Whole grain means you get both. They don’t remove the indigestible husk. Or do they? It should, but the package labeling requirements only require 51% of the product to be whole grain. If 51% is whole grain, and 49% is (cheaper) refined grain, that can call it Whole Grain.

OK, so we are getting less than we thought, so what. At least whole grains are healthy? Well, it’s healthier than refined grain—slightly. Several well funded studies have shown that there is 10% less colon cancer if you consume whole grain. This means 10% less than those that consumed refined grain.  But, this isn’t the question we want answered. The real question is grain versus NO grain. Try finding that one out on the internet. You’ll be flooded with hits proving whole grain is better than refined grain. The cereal industry is not about to fund research examining grain versus no grain. And for good reason. Here is an interesting result from the China Study. Not the book China Study, which is the vegan bible, but rather the data from the real China Study. This is a chart of mortality versus wheat consumption.

myths-food-all-cause-wheat1

And here is a chart for mortality other cereals.

myth-food-all-cause-vs-other-cereal

This pretty much says it all. More cereal, more mortality. If we look at cancer, we will find similar trends, though not as steep.

myth-food-cancerMort-vs-wheat

However, if we look specifically at colon cancer, more wheat turns out to be protective.

myth-food-coloMort-vs-wheat

Consumption of other cereals show essentially the same trend.

We now have an interesting clue as to why colorectal cancer was investigated. Cereal consumption seems to reduce it.

So we have these facts.

  • Increased grain consumption is associated with a significant increase in all cause mortality.
  • Increased grain consumption is associated with a slight increase in mortality due to cancer.
  • But amongst cancers, mortality from colorectal cancer is reduced.

Should we accuse the cereal industry of cherry picking here? We have: death from all causes—grain bad. Death from all cancer—grain bad. But hey researchers, could you dig through your data and see if you can’t find a cancer that grain doesn’t seem to cause. And the researchers did.

It seems at this point, we have offered you a choice between eating grain and getting less colon cancer, but overall more of everything else, or vice versa. A dietary dilemma to be sure, but if you had to choose, you would obviously be way ahead to choose NO GRAIN. But there is no such dilemma. You can have your cake and eat it too. If you eat colored vegetables instead of grain, you will get all the fiber, far more micronutrients, and cancer-fighting phytochemicals. Colored vegetable reduce cancer.

We conclude from all this that grain of all sorts is bad for you. But why? The very simple reason is that grain=sugar. All grain is converted to glucose, a form of sugar, while still in your intestines. And what does glucose do? If the body gets more glucose than it can handle, adult onset diabetes results. Excess glucose will do this for perhaps a majority of the population. Excess glucose causes excessive level of insulin as well. Both of these are cancer promoters.

So the bottom line: Starch and cereals are glucose. Excess glucose causes cancer. Minimize the grain consumption. Grain is not good for you.

  3 comments for “Whole Grain Is Not Very Healthy

  1. Helene
    April 30, 2015 at 1:55 am

    Thankyou! Only recently started to give attention to Whole Grain – true, probably was under the influence of general advertising, also crispy look of the bread and that lovely smell of it, when fresh from the oven (in the shop). No more even looking at it!
    There is also no need bread to accompany main meal of the day, because plenty of vegetables on the plate together with meat etc. That’s done.

    What about porridge, or millet for breakfast?
    I also have small slice of bread (not whole grain) with marmalade early in the morning with cup od tea. Very moderate amount. Hope it’s not forbidden…

    My ancient Aunt (92) has soft boiled egg and espresso coffee for breakfast, that’s all. She also doesn’t consume any bread at all, because, she said, it doesn’t digest well. How wise she is, it seems.

    • April 30, 2015 at 8:53 am

      Helene,
      I can’t add anything to your wise Aunt’s remarks; the closer you approximate her bread guideline, “it doesn’t digest well,” the better off you will be.
      Dr. Mike

      • Helene
        April 30, 2015 at 2:05 pm

        Thankyou. She is incredible! She also has fish broth made out of fresh river fish (she said that river fish is very flavoured and good for making broth), then she has the fish as well (with veg & little potato). This is her lunch.

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