Ask anyone why they eat whole grains, and they'll tell you it's for the fiber.
"This cereal has lot of bran, which I need to stay regular."
"I eat whole grain bread because it lowers my blood pressure and cholesterol."
One can't help but be impressed by the bread and cereal companies. They've taken the cheapest, junkiest food and convinced us that it's required for a healthy diet. We not only listen to their message, but we spread it around for them. The two responses above sound like a commercial, because that's likely where we obtained the information. Don't believe me?
A 1993 survey of 17,000 women found that 86 percent of those interviewed got nutritional information from magazines, a principal source being food advertisements. -- Rothstein, Public Health and the Risk Factor
We don't need bran to stay regular. That's what we've been told by companies that sell bran! In fact, bran used to be a waste byproduct of the milling process. It was until tainted and extremely misleading research surfaced suggesting that North Americans were unhealthier than other cultures because of a lack of fiber in the diet that Kelloggs and other cereal giants jumped on the research and started making billions on the bran they used to throw in the garbage. Have you ever wondered why bread is offered for free before a meal?
It's because grains are CHEAP!
"Hopefully these Neanderthals fill up on bread so they don't notice that this 8-ounce sirloin is actually 6.5 ounces."
They tell us we need high-fiber whole grains to prevent cancer and heart disease with in-your-face marketing, quoting research from experiments they've funded. They utilize their financial position to lobby the government and partner with disease prevention organizations that need the money. Meanwhile, there's no association between fiber intake and cancer, as illustrated on numerous occasions. Most notably, in a 1999 study on 89,000 U.S. Nurses:
Our data do not support the existence of an important protective effect of dietary fiber against colorectal cancer or adenoma. -- New England Journal of Medicine
It's the same story with heart disease. The only evidence producing positive correlation attributed the lower risk to a "slight" decrease in total cholesterol. Many of you reading this may not be aware, but total cholesterol is a horrible predictor of heart disease. In fact, whole grains are extremely high in triglyceride raising carbohydrates, which increases our risk of heart disease far more than any indigestible fiber may lower it.
Unfortunately, North Americans have received the message loud and clear that sugar is bad, yet fail to recognize that the bread they're putting zero-sugar jam on will raise their blood sugar faster than pure table sugar. As I outlined in a recent YouTube video, whole grains are classified as polysaccharides, which translates to "many sugars."
Don't Be a Victim of Whole Grain Weight Gain!
Bran, barley, wheat, oats, rice, quinoa, amaranth, kamut, spelt, millet, rye, buckwheat, sorghum, and maize will become sugar and spike insulin no matter how you slice it. Other than increasing fat storage and triglycerides, their consumption can promote inflammation, poor absorption, and intestinal damage. Interestingly, The Dart Study from 1989 looked at long-term fiber intake, ultimately concluding that:
The group eating twice as much fiber ended up with a 23 percent greater risk of heart attack and a 27 percent increased risk of dying.
Whether "more" fiber should be the goal is still up for debate. Proper transit time and elimination speed is important, but when it's too quick we run the risk of decreased absorption. Our food needs adequate time to break down and ferment as it passes through to provide our body and gastrointestinal system with the nutrients and fuel we need to survive and thrive.
Regardless, if you're seeking a high-fiber diet, you can achieve it without high-sugar, pro-inflammatory, nutrient-robbing, intestinal-scraping whole grains. Many are surprised to learn that if we forget about what's harmful about eating whole grains, for a moment, and concentrate strictly on the direct comparison of fiber content in the available options, fruit and vegetables are the clear winner. For example:
-- Half an avocado provides 6+ grams of fiber -- more than a bowl of oatmeal (4g)
-- A serving of kale (1 cup) has more fiber than three slices of whole-wheat bread
-- One artichoke supplies 10+ grams of fiber -- more than three bowls of Cheerios
Knowing this, one has to wonder why whole grains are touted for being high in fiber.
Like I said at the start, we believe what we here on TV, and I guess "high fiber" was the only benefit the marketing gurus could come up with. I mean, I doubt you'd buy a loaf of bread or box of cereal that was "extremely high in sugar and raises your risk of obesity, diabetes, dementia, and heart disease."
Or would you?
In his book, Eat Meat And Stop Jogging, Mike demonstrates that the flawed advice to limit red meat, restrict calories, increase fiber, run long distances, avoid saturated fat and reduce cholesterol is increasing our waistline, decreasing our lifespan, and leading to an unnecessary struggle.