I started the blog challenge with short grain brown rice. Then I thought you all might want to know why you should eat whole grains.

“Carbs” have received a lot of bad press over the last few years. They say “tay a way from carbs. Carbs are the cause of obesity”. I think that we are throwing out the baby with the bath water.First lets define “whole grain”. A whole grain is the entire kernel made up of the bran, endosperm and inner most portion, the germ. The “bran” is the outer cover and it is high is fiber and the B vitamins. The “endosperm” is the middle portion of the kernel. It has starch, protein and some vitamin and mineral. The “germ” is the inner most part of the kernel. It is the seed for a new plant. Here you will find B vitamins, protein, minerals and healthy oils.

I am talking about eating “whole grains” or the kernel. You can cook it or sprout it and eat it raw.

Eating processed “whole grains” such as “whole wheat bread” doesn’t count. It is processed. It comes from a factory and is in a bag with a lot of ingredients that you can’t pronounce. Consuming “whole wheat” bread is probably better than eating “squishy white bread” but not by much. Other “better than white” breads are sprouted breads and spelt bread.

There are several issues that concern me. Americans eat way to much wheat. Most of the world’s wheat comes from two hybrid strains. We do not know if the body can even digest and assimilate the hybrid wheat as it does with heirloom wheats. I suspect that all the wheat allergies may be coming from all the hybrid wheat that is in our food.

Remember that variety is the spice of life for a reason. Different grains have different nutrition. If you have variety you can cover all the nutritional holes that you miss if you have a mono-grain diet.

Other issues that concern me include all the ingredients in store bought food to keep them from spoiling verses what you would put in the food if you were cooking from scratch. When I visit Japan, I noticed that food that I buy in the supermarket only last a few days. Bread will last 2-3 days after purchase. Conversely in USA I can keep bread and bagels a long time before they mold. The preservatives in food are not good for us. Also food without preservatives taste so much better.

What are the pluses of eating whole grains? They reduce your risk of dying from heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer (digestive system and hormone related) and obesity.

Whole grains will lower your cholesterol, bad cholesterol, triglycerides and insulin levels. It will reduce your chances of getting heart disease, stroke and diabetes. You can eat brown rice on a diabetic diet. Whole grain will give you steady energy but will not spike your blood sugar.

Brown rice and other whole grains can reduce your risk of colon cancer. If you eat 1 cup of short grain brown rice every day, you will have regular bowel movements. Brown rice is the great normalizer. Even people with a history of constipation/diarrhea will become regular.

Here is a list of whole grains that you can enjoy:
Amaranth
Barley
Brown rice (short grain, medium grain, long grain, sweet brown rice)
Buckwheat
Corn/popcorn
Millet
Quinoa
Rye
Oats
Teff
Titricale
Wild Rice
Wheat: bulgur, kamut, and spelt

If you have trouble with wheat you may be able to tolerate heirloom wheat or spelt which is an ancient form of wheat.

You are better off eating the whole grain itself plain, in pilaf, porridge, soups, casseroles etc than eating bread and pasta. That is because breads and pasta are processed foods.

Experiment with a variety of grains every few days. If you divide your wholes grains between breakfast and dinner, most days, then you can really enjoy the bread or pasta a couple of times a week.