Smart Shopping: Secrets to Finding Healthy Whole Grains

  • Good health is seeded in whole grains. Whole grains are power-packed with protein, vitamins, and essential fats because a whole grain is a seed that is meant to germinate and grow into an entire plant. A seed needs all of these nutrients in order to start the growing process prior to the roots being able to draw nutrients from the soil. Animals have benefited from eating seeds for as long as humans have walked the earth. Although a human cannot be fully sustained on whole grains alone, whole grains do go a long way towards being a complete source of nutrients. As humans and grains have evolved together, much of the benefits that humans had from eating grains has been lost due to modern food processing techniques.

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    With the growth of population comes a need for cheaper food that can store longer. Based on the need for longer self-lives, the modernization of food manufacturing has stripped the whole grain down to the bare-naked empty carbohydrate that is primarily consumed today. A naked grain stores longer because it has no nutrients that can spoil. The top grains consumed and victim to this fate are: Wheat, Oats, and Rice.


    Wheat can feed an army. But in the old days, flour could not travel far without spoiling. In those days, flour was made by grinding the wheat with stone, hence the name "stoneground". The friction from stone grinding produces a low heat that preserves the vitamins within the nutrient-packed germ of the wheat seed. However, this nutrient filled flour spoiled quickly and could not travel with armies. Eventually, refined flour was invented. This nutrient poor, sterile flour stored for long periods of time; traveled well and cheapened the food supply. Refined flour allowed for greater population growth but did nothing for the health of the people. The beginnings of health problems from poor nutrition began with the advent of refined flour. Thus, those who seek the holy grail of grains look for "stoneground" wheat products that are available even in this modern world.


    Oats can start the day on a nutritionally balanced foot if the right kind of oats is eaten. Unfortunately, most modern day individuals eat a nutritionally inferior rolled oat. Again, the type of modern day processing that has become the norm in today's world has stripped another valuable grain of all its nutrient glory.  Rolled oats are also known as an instant, quick, or "old fashion" oat product. This type of oatmeal is very easy for the body to digest and spikes the blood sugar very rapidly. Because of this blood sugar spike, rolled oats have a higher glycemic index than the healthier steel-cut or even better whole grain oat groat. Nothing is more "old fashion" or healthier than eating a whole seed, in this case the oat groat. Soak it overnight in order to eat it raw in the morning. Eating a raw seed is what nature intended humans to eat in order to stay healthy.


    Rice can feed the world. Even the poorest people in the world rely on rice for a balanced meal, brown rice that is. With just the outer hull removed from the rice seed, brown rice still contains the nutrient-packed germ with all its vitamins and nutrients ready to benefit the consumer. By turning that brown rice into white rice, up to 90% of the vitamins are removed. The processing is taken a step further by polishing the white rice in order to increase its self-life. The polished, white rice grain is just an empty shell with no nutrients. In fact, polished white rice is so nutrient poor that in the U.S. by law the rice has to be enriched with inferior artificial vitamins. White rice may fill a belly. But without the benefits of nutrients, white rice certainly cannot sustain human life for very long, at least not in good health.


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    Good health is seeded in whole grains, but only the grains that have not been ruined by modern processing techniques. When shopping for whole grain food, look for the small but important words like "stoneground", "steel-cut", and "brown". Grains were not meant to be eaten as a white, polished package of empty calories that can be stored for years. Grains are meant to be eaten fresh and fully intact as a power-packed seed. Knowing these secrets about whole grains can help you restore your health by finding healthy whole grains.


Published On: October 04, 2010