3

votes

Show me the evidence against consuming whole-grains?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 11, 2013 at 5:02 PM

I want to see valid, reliable and powerful research in relevance to the idea that whole-grain consumption is bad for you.

I have empirical evidence; however, I am simply "gluten-sensitive".

What I have researched is that there is a lack of evidence besides Mark's Daily Apple and the testimonies from people on this site. Could it be true that in simply avoiding fast food, hydrogenated oils and sugar in that we all resolved our health problems (for those who were NOT celiacs or did not have gluten-intolerances)?

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on January 14, 2014
at 04:33 AM

I don't think this is literally true. Most bread -- both supermarket bread and more "artisan" bread from decent bakeries -- has little fat, period. There may be undesirable fats listed on the ingredients, but the total amount is small. And I've hardly ever seen bread with soy in it, unless you're talking about minuscule amounts of lecithin.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 10:49 PM

I've been perusing this on and off all day:

http://www.andjrnl.org/article/S2212-2672(12)00743-5/fulltext

You might also gain by looking at Ned Kock's statistical analysis of the China study. Wheat flour consumption appears to have a negative effect on health, though there's complexity in how this works. Loss of protective animal fats in the diet may be associated with higher wheat flour eating.

http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/2012/01/china-study-ii-wheats-total-effect-on.html?m=1

1e732e5ac9820eeb35a70276cf6c05f7

(0)

on January 13, 2014
at 08:59 PM

I am the author of this article :) You should take a closer look as I do not think I am biased against whole grains. For example I argue that unlike wheat, oat is protective. Also I updated my article to make it clearer why I did not take data from the follow-up study. You can read more details here.

1e732e5ac9820eeb35a70276cf6c05f7

(0)

on January 13, 2014
at 08:58 PM

I am the author of this article :) You should take a closer look as I do not think I am biased against whole grains. For example I argue that unlike wheat, oat is protective. Also I updated my article to make it clearer why I did not take data from the follow-up study. You can read more details here.

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e

(70)

on January 13, 2014
at 01:59 PM

Mcdonalds is a science experiment. Who would bother with a witch hunt against that, its obvious its not food. Look at the ingredients of mcdonalds fries. Its not primarily potato btw. Just like bread at the supermarket isn't wheat flour, and milk. You don't need to witch hunt that you just need to point to the label, and say, does that sound like food to you?

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e

(70)

on January 13, 2014
at 01:57 PM

30% of people carry the gene for gluten intolerance. You can't tell if you have it without a test. It (celiac) is then linked with things like higher RA and serious autoimmune disease risks. That's pretty compelling I would think.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 12:05 PM

Yes it could be true! It's the processed foods that are the problem. Paleos spend too much time on witch hunts against the ingredients of Big Macs and Little Debbies when it is the finished products that are the problem.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 11:52 AM

Continuing, the Table 4 DART study results are cherry picked to show a slight negative effect in Year 2, yet the whole study shows virtually no effect (positive or negative) from whole grain bread eating. Considering that this is an unrepresentative population with CV event history, it is at best proof that whole grain eating is null effect compared to other much more important factors.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 11:48 AM

Thanks for the linked paper. It's a collation of study results, somewhat cherry picked by someone who has a bias against whole grains. Despite that I don't see clear evidence of the unhealthiness of whole grains. The lead study show that whole grain consumers are very healthy people, but the writer claims "correlation is not causation". This is hardly evidence against whole grains though, only evidence that if there is a negative effect it is trivial compared to health-positive actions such as being active and not smoking.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 11, 2013
at 10:49 PM

Yeah, man. just do what makes really makes you feel best. If you have tried even the "cleanest" grains and you truly don't feel well on them, then don't eat them, or address the cause. Grain intolerance may just be a symptom of an underlying problem. I don't know just do what feels right to you.

B120d28d9620626012de121b6075ce51

(134)

on April 11, 2013
at 10:21 PM

So we need some actual research sprouted whole actual grains vs. no grains at all to see any real difference here. I feel like I'm crazy for telling people to avoid grains because I do not have any actual research to show the proof, rather my own empirical evidence. I think I'll avoid them until I get some significant evidence just to be on the safe side.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 11, 2013
at 09:16 PM

@ greymouser- I'm kicking myself for having not paid closer attention to your posts in the past. I will from now here on out though. OH and I plus oned you even though I had made that critique.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on April 11, 2013
at 06:16 PM

Darya Pino (author of Summer Tomato blog) wrote a post about intact whole grains versus processed flours, etc. (even the "whole grain" ones). I don't have the link handy, but was interesting and made a lot of sense.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on April 11, 2013
at 06:01 PM

A very fair point. I immediately jumped to the worst offenders. I am (truly) gluten sensitive (ergo my strong biases), but I do consume rice and wild rices on occasion. I probably would try buckwheat and teff produced items more often, but they are always used in concert with wheat, in my experience. I've only had sorghum in a GF beer I tried one time. Very much so not worth it - gross! It was like Dimetap and malt mixed together.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 11, 2013
at 06:00 PM

again. What kind of wheat products were you testing? Is wheat all whole grains?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 11, 2013
at 05:53 PM

Great answer but also, I think you should add that there are plenty of whole grains that do not contain gluten- amaranth, buckwheat, oats, brown and wild rices, sorghum, teff, quinoa, etc. So even if you're celiac or "gluten sensitive" (or whatever) real whole grains are still an option.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 11, 2013
at 05:53 PM

Great answer but also, I think you should add that there are plenty of whole grains that do not contain gluten- amaranth, buckwheat, oats, brown and wild rices, sorghum, teff, quinoa, etc.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 11, 2013
at 05:48 PM

Yeah I don't even bother trying to explain to other people as I think they'd downplay- if they did grasp the difference between the two- the metabolic differences between them. Also, yeah I haven't eaten flour since I was 12 years old but eat whole grains in moderation.

2e6e673ce3eb647407d260d4d57a731b

(1021)

on April 11, 2013
at 05:43 PM

one thing that i did read in Stephen Guyenet's blog is that wheat gluten may be contributing to high birth mortality rate (or whatever it is) as gluten apparently hinders proper growth of women's pelvises and birth canals.

2e6e673ce3eb647407d260d4d57a731b

(1021)

on April 11, 2013
at 05:43 PM

one thing that i did read in Stephen Guyenet's blog is that wheat gluten may be contributing to high birth mortality rate (or whatever it is) as gluten apparently hinders proper growth of women's pelvises and birth canals. that alone is good enough for me.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on April 11, 2013
at 05:35 PM

I've tried to explain this (whole-grain products v. whole-grains) to my extended family, but they couldn't see the forest for the trees.

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9 Answers

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5
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on April 11, 2013
at 05:26 PM

I asked this question a while back here http://paleohacks.com/questions/182816/are-there-any-studies-demonstrating-deleterious-affects-of-whole-grains#axzz2QAinmU9w

There is nothing statistically significant showing any deleterious affects.

And even then, most people consider things like "whole grain/wheat" bread and "whole grain cereal" to be whole grains, when in reality they are processed grain flours with other added ingredients (like salt, sugar, and vegetable oils most often). On top of that, they often consume these pseudo-"whole grain" foods with other low quality foods as well, like low quality milk, processed lunch meats, condiments, etc.

Whole grains are flourless products like whole rolled oats (not instant oats with sugar and carmel color added), sprouted flourless whole grain bread (not processed "whole grain bread" made of flour and HFCS, salt, and vegetable oil), and brown rice (not "whole grain" cereals with goofy animal mascots).

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on April 11, 2013
at 05:35 PM

I've tried to explain this (whole-grain products v. whole-grains) to my extended family, but they couldn't see the forest for the trees.

B120d28d9620626012de121b6075ce51

(134)

on April 11, 2013
at 10:21 PM

So we need some actual research sprouted whole actual grains vs. no grains at all to see any real difference here. I feel like I'm crazy for telling people to avoid grains because I do not have any actual research to show the proof, rather my own empirical evidence. I think I'll avoid them until I get some significant evidence just to be on the safe side.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on April 11, 2013
at 06:16 PM

Darya Pino (author of Summer Tomato blog) wrote a post about intact whole grains versus processed flours, etc. (even the "whole grain" ones). I don't have the link handy, but was interesting and made a lot of sense.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 11, 2013
at 10:49 PM

Yeah, man. just do what makes really makes you feel best. If you have tried even the "cleanest" grains and you truly don't feel well on them, then don't eat them, or address the cause. Grain intolerance may just be a symptom of an underlying problem. I don't know just do what feels right to you.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 11, 2013
at 05:48 PM

Yeah I don't even bother trying to explain to other people as I think they'd downplay- if they did grasp the difference between the two- the metabolic differences between them. Also, yeah I haven't eaten flour since I was 12 years old but eat whole grains in moderation.

2
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on April 11, 2013
at 05:50 PM

If you actually have gluten sensitive enteropathy, then exactly what other evidence do you need? You're not just diagnosed with GSE out of the blue -- there's probably more than one actual, real, now-documented-because-your-doctor-wrote-it-down type symptom that you have.

If you just "feel better" when you dont "eat gluten", even that is "evidence", albeit "less potent" than mass-scale "scientific studies". If you "can't tell" I "hate" diminutive "quotes" around the words "gluten sensitive". ;-) I really think the phrase is overused and misused. GSE encompasses the entirety of diseases that are linked to gluten (and similar proteins), but doesn't cause overt celiac disease sypmtoms.

What you're asking for -- a list of references proving that gluten is bad for people that gluten isn't bad for -- is impossible to give. However, it's a tautaulogical problem - everyone that has GSE has a problem with gluten - it exists, and is real, just like acne is real, even though solid evidence of one underlying cause has not been found.

For actual studies and references, I would start with any or each of the 116 references in the References section of the Gluten-sensitive enteropathy associated conditions Wikipedia page.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on April 11, 2013
at 06:01 PM

A very fair point. I immediately jumped to the worst offenders. I am (truly) gluten sensitive (ergo my strong biases), but I do consume rice and wild rices on occasion. I probably would try buckwheat and teff produced items more often, but they are always used in concert with wheat, in my experience. I've only had sorghum in a GF beer I tried one time. Very much so not worth it - gross! It was like Dimetap and malt mixed together.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 11, 2013
at 05:53 PM

Great answer but also, I think you should add that there are plenty of whole grains that do not contain gluten- amaranth, buckwheat, oats, brown and wild rices, sorghum, teff, quinoa, etc. So even if you're celiac or "gluten sensitive" (or whatever) real whole grains are still an option.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 11, 2013
at 09:16 PM

@ greymouser- I'm kicking myself for having not paid closer attention to your posts in the past. I will from now here on out though. OH and I plus oned you even though I had made that critique.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 11, 2013
at 05:53 PM

Great answer but also, I think you should add that there are plenty of whole grains that do not contain gluten- amaranth, buckwheat, oats, brown and wild rices, sorghum, teff, quinoa, etc.

0
Medium avatar

on January 13, 2014
at 03:08 PM

There was a book released this past year (2013) by a [neuroscientist] names Dr. David Perlmutter called “Grain Brain” and the entire book is referenced from scientific journals on nutrition in the human body.

The book covers all the issues that carbs in general OF ANY KIND cause in the body from weight gain and hormone problems to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and even dementia. It explains how and why these things happen, the entire science behind it and then examples are given from patients that Dr. Perlmutter has treated and cured of everything from ADHA, Cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.

If you want to know exactly what's going on in your body when you eat carbs I suggest your read this book. I have not seen a more in depth piece of work from anyone of this credibility even done before in my life.

Here is Dr. Perlmutter's webpage: http://www.drperlmutter.com/

PLEASE HELP TO SPREAD THIS KNOWLEDGE TO PEOPLE WHO NEED IT!

0
8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e

(70)

on January 13, 2014
at 01:55 PM

Most modern bread, BTW, is more soy than wheat, vegetable oil rather than dairy. So if your considering bread etc, you should consider not just the wheat content, but the soy, and omega-6 vegetable content - seriously, try and find one at the supermarket without them. Unless your planning to make your own bread, wheat can rarely be considered in isolation.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on January 14, 2014
at 04:33 AM

I don't think this is literally true. Most bread -- both supermarket bread and more "artisan" bread from decent bakeries -- has little fat, period. There may be undesirable fats listed on the ingredients, but the total amount is small. And I've hardly ever seen bread with soy in it, unless you're talking about minuscule amounts of lecithin.

0
8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e

(70)

on January 13, 2014
at 01:33 PM

Who would fund a long term study into that?

0
1e732e5ac9820eeb35a70276cf6c05f7

on January 13, 2014
at 10:18 AM

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 11:48 AM

Thanks for the linked paper. It's a collation of study results, somewhat cherry picked by someone who has a bias against whole grains. Despite that I don't see clear evidence of the unhealthiness of whole grains. The lead study show that whole grain consumers are very healthy people, but the writer claims "correlation is not causation". This is hardly evidence against whole grains though, only evidence that if there is a negative effect it is trivial compared to health-positive actions such as being active and not smoking.

1e732e5ac9820eeb35a70276cf6c05f7

(0)

on January 13, 2014
at 08:58 PM

I am the author of this article :) You should take a closer look as I do not think I am biased against whole grains. For example I argue that unlike wheat, oat is protective. Also I updated my article to make it clearer why I did not take data from the follow-up study. You can read more details here.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 11:52 AM

Continuing, the Table 4 DART study results are cherry picked to show a slight negative effect in Year 2, yet the whole study shows virtually no effect (positive or negative) from whole grain bread eating. Considering that this is an unrepresentative population with CV event history, it is at best proof that whole grain eating is null effect compared to other much more important factors.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 10:49 PM

I've been perusing this on and off all day:

http://www.andjrnl.org/article/S2212-2672(12)00743-5/fulltext

You might also gain by looking at Ned Kock's statistical analysis of the China study. Wheat flour consumption appears to have a negative effect on health, though there's complexity in how this works. Loss of protective animal fats in the diet may be associated with higher wheat flour eating.

http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/2012/01/china-study-ii-wheats-total-effect-on.html?m=1

0
E773ca32b29508bae2055579a26afa98

on April 11, 2013
at 05:58 PM

It took a lot of years before "valid, reliable and powerful research" came out on the harm cigarettes caused. I'm glad I did my own test on wheat instead of waiting around for a gubberment study. My conclusion revealed that wheat is full on nasty.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 11, 2013
at 06:00 PM

again. What kind of wheat products were you testing? Is wheat all whole grains?

0
1a6ad0d62f779ca50babe92d70ea6a0c

(137)

on April 11, 2013
at 05:34 PM

For me personally, they cause me stomach discomfort, fatigue (severe fatigue), and weight gain.

When I don't consume them I don't have all of the above. Far more energy, controlled weight, and absolutely no stomach discomfort.

That really is all the evidence I need.

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