Are Grains Healthy? Important Myths Debunked

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By Kelly Newman

grainWhat once used to be an ordinary food item has now become the talk of the town. Yes, I am talking about the fantastic grains whose nutritional goodness is now a point of disagreement. Years ago before the Paleo and Ketogenic diets came to light grains were a staple ingredient. However, campaigns such as clean eating have given the grains a bad rap and turned them into a dreaded food. In this article, I’ll try to reveal some facts about how favorable grains are! But first, let’s discuss the basics!

What Are Grains?

Grains or Cereals are the edible seeds of certain grasses. These can be further categorized, common types of grains are:

  • Wheat
  • Millets
  • Corn
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa

Nutrients Contained In Grains

Grains are famous for their carbohydrate content. Although carbs are a vital source of energy, yet the term connected with grains gives a somewhat negative impact. If we go a little into details we find out that there are two types of grains:

  • Whole grains/ the unprocessed ones
  • Processed grains

Are Grains Unhealthy? Understanding Refined and Whole Grains

The seed in its original form consists of:

  • Bran– It is a source of Fiber, minerals, vitamin B, and antioxidants
  • Endosperm– It contains starchy carbohydrates and proteins
  • Germ– This is the most nutritious part that includes not just carbs but fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

During processing of the grains, the bran and germ of the kernel are cut off. This means most of the nutrition is eliminated hence refined grains are unhealthy whereas whole grains are beneficial for health.

Grains Contain Phytates, So They Are Harmful!

Another common belief is that grains contain phytates which combine with minerals in the body and prevent them from getting absorbed. For this reason, maybe grains should be avoided? Well, that isn’t true either!

Like nuts and seeds, whole grains also contain phytic acid. However, it only poses a danger if such foods are consumed continuously in large amounts along with a poor diet. So they are perfectly healthy, and you can eat them as much as you’d like.

Carbs Will Make Me Fat!

I have seen a lot of people avoid carbs as they believe it will make them fat and will cause blood sugar to increase. Again I’d like to point out that these characteristics vary with the type of carb you consume. As whole grains contain complex carbohydrates, the digestion takes time, and thus they do not cause the blood sugar to spike.

Low Carb Diets Are Better For Weight Loss!

healthywordsFat was the macronutrient that always considered as the enemy, but the belief began to change. A lot of people now prefer low carb diets as they think they are healthier and efficient. Well, there is a twist; low carbohydrate diets can have beneficial results in the more extended run. A low carb diet can help shed pounds as quickly as some natural cleanse for weight loss.

In a nutshell, carbs aren’t the real enemy; it is the processing that makes them unhealthy. Remember that eating a balanced diet is imperative for good health so don’t give up on them entirely.

– Kelly Newman is a Fitness Trainer and blogger. She loves to write about everything related to fitness and diet and wants to help people adopt a healthier lifestyle. She works with the team behind healthlisted.com and does extensive research to provide people actionable health and nutrition information.

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