Whole Grains Are Not Intact Grains

When you eat whole grains, you may not be eating what you think you are.  The term “whole grains” is essentially meaningless because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created a definition friendly to food companies that misleads the consumer.

According to the FDA, “whole grain” means

Cereal grains that consist of the intact, ground, cracked or flaked caryopsis, whose principal anatomical components – the starchy endosperm, germ and bran – are present in the same relative proportions as they exist in the intact caryopsis – should be considered a whole grain food.

Also, according to the FDA, “Cereal grains may include amaranth, barley, buckwheat, bulgur, corn (including popcorn), millet, quinoa, rice, rye, oats, sorghum, teff, triticale, wheat, and wild rice.”

To be considered whole grains, they do not need to be intact.  Food labels can’t be trusted.  Companies can use white flour and add back in the percentages of bran and germ, the nutritious parts removed from white flour, that are found in intact grains.

Whole grain or plain, white flour products have a higher glycemic load than intact grains, and, therefore, raise blood glucose values more.  If blood glucose levels remain high over a period of time, diabetes and other Western diseases may result.

Personally, I don’t trust food labels.  If I can’t buy the grain intact in a bulk bin, like brown rice, or in the produce aisle like an ear of corn, I can’t be sure if the grains are intact.

Even so, all the research I’ve done on grains has led me to conclude that grains are unhealthy because they contain antinutrients, harboring small amounts of toxins, which cause autoimmune diseases, like arthritis.  Read “Cereal Grains: Humanity’s Double-Edged Sword” for more information.  I rarely eat grains any longer.