3

votes

What "essential nutrients" am I missing by cutting grains and dairy?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 14, 2013 at 10:00 AM

This is so that I can defend myself when people question my diet. Firstly, what nutrients are they likely to be asking about, and secondly, where am I getting them now? The ones that I've been asked about are calcium and B, but the questioner knows even less about nutrition than I do. My diet is "classic paleo". Lots of different meats (incl fish and shellfish, but no offal yet) and a huge quantity and variety vegetables. Some nuts. Some fruit. Not actively limiting carbs. I'm not worried that I'm missing anything (should I be?) but I'd like to be able to argue for paleo from a stronger knowledge base. Apologies if this question has been asked. I looked but couldn't find it, if so just close it down and point me in the right direction.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on January 18, 2013
at 07:12 PM

I also had cereal for like ten years in a row. What a mistake!!!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 18, 2013
at 06:03 PM

Were Eskimos designed to eat their meat diet? None of that stuff lives in Africa. Further, they are probably back-adapted Asiatic Neolithic rice-eaters that crossed the land bridge 10,000 years ago. Rapid dietary adaptation is part of being an omnivore.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 18, 2013
at 04:52 PM

One irony in all my cereal eating was that I thought that more was good. More fiber, more vitamins, and all for free. I thought they were health food.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 18, 2013
at 04:48 PM

I don't think everyone eats them the way I did....I worked for a packaging company and got CASES of FMW and Raisin Bran for free after we had crushed them in a test apparatus. At one point I had 6-7 cases in the garage. So I ate them ad libitum, and inadvertently performed a very bad N=1 experiment on myself. My weight ballooned to 215 lbs, A1C went to 8 and blood glucose went to 200 fasting. In retrospect I think the unsweetened raisin bran was worse due to the raisins.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on January 15, 2013
at 03:49 AM

Hi thhq, and let me ask you - WHY do you think we are consuming frosted mini wheats excessively? I have never found a person who would overeat broccoli or brussel sprouts. As for grains - same with white rice. If you eat it plain, this stuff is nasty, that's why you have to eat it with something. So my guess it is the sugar in frosted mini wheats that make you crave them.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 14, 2013
at 10:24 PM

By cutting out grains and dairy you avoid overeating them. We are not suffering an obesity epidemic due to a lack of nutrients. What sane person would argue with the health benefits of getting junk foods like ice cream and Pringles out of their diet?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 14, 2013
at 10:18 PM

I think it's the excessive consumption that kills you. If I had eaten minimal amounts of frosted mini wheats I would have been OK. It was the mass quantities that made me fat and diabetic.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on January 14, 2013
at 08:24 PM

You can definitely absorb calcium from milk and I don't think eating bones is super common among people starting paleo, though that would be a good source of calcium. As to Asian cultures; I don't believe dairy is essential to bone health, but that it can be beneficial. And it's correlation with osteoporosis in that region may have been due to it's widespread adoption coinciding with increased westernization of the diet and the potential problem coming along it (more sugar, linoleic acid, decreased nutrient density, etc.).

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on January 14, 2013
at 07:48 PM

I thought you cannot absorb calcium from milk in that form. Sardines and salmon with bones suppose to provide highly absorbable form of calcium. As well as bone broth. Like osteoporosis was unheard of in Asia where traditionally they had no milk. But now, since milk is more common they have more people with that problem.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 14, 2013
at 04:44 PM

@Grocket, ok, but there's entries for cooked as well. The same number of calories of dry and cooked bulgur... the same nutrition values %age wise, within 1-2%. As long as they are steamed to cook and not steeped (water extracts nutrients), the number should be exactly the same if not slightly higher as cooking increases bioavailability of nutrients.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on January 14, 2013
at 04:25 PM

@matt - I absolutely did. :-) I did assume a 1/3cup dry to 1cup cooked ... which I sadly know from my 7 year horrid affair as a vegetarian. :-\ (don't worry, it ended years ago!)

1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on January 14, 2013
at 04:20 PM

FYI: In his AHS2012 talk, Mat Lalonde mentioned that grain nutrition data is frequently for grains in the raw (inedible) state. Cooked grains have numbers that are much lower for many nutrients.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 14, 2013
at 04:04 PM

Greymouser, I don't think you controlled for cooking and the water that it absorbs. 100 grams dry is 4 times the amount as 100 grams cooked. Look at the same caloric value for each and the numbers are nearly identical (100 grams cooked vs 1 ounce dry for example.)

Medium avatar

(2923)

on January 14, 2013
at 03:43 PM

There's the reverse approach -- "What essential nutrients are not getting stripped out of your body by avoiding the anti-nutrients in grains?"

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on January 14, 2013
at 03:32 PM

Ehhhh, I 1/2 agree. The OP could go "1/2 sciencey" and talk about how grains are really not a good source of those vitamins and minerals when they are cooked. Example - dry bulgur - nutritiondata.self.com/facts/… - seems pretty darn good; however, actually make it bioavailable to humans and you get nutritiondata.self.com/facts/… (cue the sad trombones). While the minerals are still there somewhat, it's less of an amazing food. (Make sure to account for portions at the links.) (Edit: The links truncated? Go to the site and search for "bulgur", both dry and cooked.)

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on January 14, 2013
at 03:30 PM

Ehhhh, I 1/2 agree. The OP could go "1/2 sciencey" and talk about how grains are really not a good source of those vitamins and minerals when they are cooked. Example - dry bulgur - nutritiondata.self.com/facts/… - seems pretty darn good; however, actually make it bioavailable to humans and you get nutritiondata.self.com/facts/… (cue the sad trombones). While the minerals are still there somewhat, it's less of an amazing food. (Make sure to account for portions at the links.)

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on January 14, 2013
at 03:30 PM

Ehhhh, I 1/2 agree. The OP could go "1/2 sciencey" and talk about how grains are really *not* a good source of those vitamins and minerals when they are **cooked**. Example - dry bulgur - http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5685/2 - seems pretty darn good; however, actually make it bioavailable to humans and you get http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5686/2 (cue the sad trombones). While the minerals are still there somewhat, it's less of an amazing food.

8e323afb2e0ba3d104091f7e47815b40

(450)

on January 14, 2013
at 10:22 AM

and eggs of course. Eggs galore.

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12 Answers

4
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 14, 2013
at 12:53 PM

Blind side-by-side comparisons of paleo starches to non-paleo starches... you really can't tell the difference. I posted two nutrition profiles of bread versus a white potato a while back - you could guess which was which, but nutrition-wise, bread was no slouch. You could get all science-y and talk about anti-nutrients, but that might just come across as BS.

There's quite a bit of B-vitamins in grains, particularly thiamine. Most folk's daily breakdown are somewhat low in thiamine typically, unless they ate a good amount of pork. Magnesium is another that grain-free diets are generally lower in. Most paleo folks are also slightly low in calcium from abstinence from dairy.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on January 14, 2013
at 03:30 PM

Ehhhh, I 1/2 agree. The OP could go "1/2 sciencey" and talk about how grains are really not a good source of those vitamins and minerals when they are cooked. Example - dry bulgur - nutritiondata.self.com/facts/… - seems pretty darn good; however, actually make it bioavailable to humans and you get nutritiondata.self.com/facts/… (cue the sad trombones). While the minerals are still there somewhat, it's less of an amazing food. (Make sure to account for portions at the links.)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 14, 2013
at 04:04 PM

Greymouser, I don't think you controlled for cooking and the water that it absorbs. 100 grams dry is 4 times the amount as 100 grams cooked. Look at the same caloric value for each and the numbers are nearly identical (100 grams cooked vs 1 ounce dry for example.)

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on January 14, 2013
at 03:30 PM

Ehhhh, I 1/2 agree. The OP could go "1/2 sciencey" and talk about how grains are really *not* a good source of those vitamins and minerals when they are **cooked**. Example - dry bulgur - http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5685/2 - seems pretty darn good; however, actually make it bioavailable to humans and you get http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5686/2 (cue the sad trombones). While the minerals are still there somewhat, it's less of an amazing food.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on January 14, 2013
at 03:32 PM

Ehhhh, I 1/2 agree. The OP could go "1/2 sciencey" and talk about how grains are really not a good source of those vitamins and minerals when they are cooked. Example - dry bulgur - nutritiondata.self.com/facts/… - seems pretty darn good; however, actually make it bioavailable to humans and you get nutritiondata.self.com/facts/… (cue the sad trombones). While the minerals are still there somewhat, it's less of an amazing food. (Make sure to account for portions at the links.) (Edit: The links truncated? Go to the site and search for "bulgur", both dry and cooked.)

1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on January 14, 2013
at 04:20 PM

FYI: In his AHS2012 talk, Mat Lalonde mentioned that grain nutrition data is frequently for grains in the raw (inedible) state. Cooked grains have numbers that are much lower for many nutrients.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 14, 2013
at 04:44 PM

@Grocket, ok, but there's entries for cooked as well. The same number of calories of dry and cooked bulgur... the same nutrition values %age wise, within 1-2%. As long as they are steamed to cook and not steeped (water extracts nutrients), the number should be exactly the same if not slightly higher as cooking increases bioavailability of nutrients.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on January 14, 2013
at 04:25 PM

@matt - I absolutely did. :-) I did assume a 1/3cup dry to 1cup cooked ... which I sadly know from my 7 year horrid affair as a vegetarian. :-\ (don't worry, it ended years ago!)

2
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on January 14, 2013
at 07:50 PM

I have nothing against fermented or sprouted grains/legumes. Or sweet potatoes. Natto is good for you. It is the highly processed stuff with additives and preservatives what kills you.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 14, 2013
at 10:18 PM

I think it's the excessive consumption that kills you. If I had eaten minimal amounts of frosted mini wheats I would have been OK. It was the mass quantities that made me fat and diabetic.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on January 15, 2013
at 03:49 AM

Hi thhq, and let me ask you - WHY do you think we are consuming frosted mini wheats excessively? I have never found a person who would overeat broccoli or brussel sprouts. As for grains - same with white rice. If you eat it plain, this stuff is nasty, that's why you have to eat it with something. So my guess it is the sugar in frosted mini wheats that make you crave them.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 18, 2013
at 04:48 PM

I don't think everyone eats them the way I did....I worked for a packaging company and got CASES of FMW and Raisin Bran for free after we had crushed them in a test apparatus. At one point I had 6-7 cases in the garage. So I ate them ad libitum, and inadvertently performed a very bad N=1 experiment on myself. My weight ballooned to 215 lbs, A1C went to 8 and blood glucose went to 200 fasting. In retrospect I think the unsweetened raisin bran was worse due to the raisins.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 18, 2013
at 04:52 PM

One irony in all my cereal eating was that I thought that more was good. More fiber, more vitamins, and all for free. I thought they were health food.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on January 18, 2013
at 07:12 PM

I also had cereal for like ten years in a row. What a mistake!!!

2
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on January 14, 2013
at 04:15 PM

Calcium is the main nutrient I'd be worried about when cutting out dairy:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/168209/do-you-really-consume-enough-calcium/168218#168218

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on January 14, 2013
at 08:24 PM

You can definitely absorb calcium from milk and I don't think eating bones is super common among people starting paleo, though that would be a good source of calcium. As to Asian cultures; I don't believe dairy is essential to bone health, but that it can be beneficial. And it's correlation with osteoporosis in that region may have been due to it's widespread adoption coinciding with increased westernization of the diet and the potential problem coming along it (more sugar, linoleic acid, decreased nutrient density, etc.).

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on January 14, 2013
at 07:48 PM

I thought you cannot absorb calcium from milk in that form. Sardines and salmon with bones suppose to provide highly absorbable form of calcium. As well as bone broth. Like osteoporosis was unheard of in Asia where traditionally they had no milk. But now, since milk is more common they have more people with that problem.

2
9c4ac9d902498a3158dbeee8aed6bbe4

(211)

on January 14, 2013
at 10:23 AM

Plug your diet into http://cronometer.com Email your friend a screen capture of the results.

1
D853a73d2747df1b19e2825f79dfed14

(38)

on January 18, 2013
at 04:36 PM

Check out PaleoTrack They make it easy to see how're you're doing with your nutrition by showing you a very detailed breakdown of your nutrition as you log your food. I've found it really helpful in finding the weak points in my nutrition.

1
86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on January 14, 2013
at 04:36 PM

!!DON'T TRY TO DEFEND YOURSELF!! You will learn this quickly...if people want to shoot down how you eat, just nod and smile.

But ya, Magnesium and Calcium seem to nutrients to watch out for.

1
383127951e2e17f23b584cd3842bb796

(835)

on January 14, 2013
at 04:12 PM

don't cut out dairy

1
Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 14, 2013
at 10:25 AM

I think it may be useful to use a tool like http://cronometer.com and put in some meals with and without grains and diary and have a look. Swap out pasta for sweet potato or even rice noodles, etc.

But the point of removing grains/legumes/diary is more specifically about reducing toxins and anti-nutrients (natural or synthetic compounds that interfere with the absorption of nutrients) and replacing them with possibly less toxic higher nutritionally dense ingredients.

0
9d2a03c4e66173ad9ad9d259f084bc21

on January 18, 2013
at 03:34 PM

Evolution. One million years of eating mostly meat, fat and veggies created our digestive tract. Grains and dairy were not part of that process. Would you put diesel fuel in your gas powered car? No, because it wasn't designed for it.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 18, 2013
at 06:03 PM

Were Eskimos designed to eat their meat diet? None of that stuff lives in Africa. Further, they are probably back-adapted Asiatic Neolithic rice-eaters that crossed the land bridge 10,000 years ago. Rapid dietary adaptation is part of being an omnivore.

0
3b031bce7c181c10452ee202e2b54dc6

on January 14, 2013
at 10:05 PM

Well, Mark Sisson has some great short reads on a lot of this stuff.

If you need something to read and gain some knowledge in your off time Id go over to Marksdailyapple.com and read some articles.

0
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on January 14, 2013
at 04:02 PM

I don't think most people know what nutrients are in grains anyways. I think most of them are thinking, "Fibre? Where is the fibre?" Of course, you're getting it from veggies. The world is crazy about bran/fibre. I would ask them to be more specific than "Nutrients", which has the double benefit of making them do research and making them shut up.

However, if you really want specifics, then research the nutritional profile of a couple of grains, do the cronometer, and then compare them.

0
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 14, 2013
at 02:33 PM

No worries.....

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