Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - No grains?




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Spiritix
12-01-2012, 08:13 PM
So, I've been hearing how eating grains is actually not that helpful in losing weight. Don't get me wrong, I know there's nutritional value, but so do many other foods that I don't eat as regularly as them wheats.
I'm wondering if cutting them out completely will help me a little bit. Right now I've been taking a break I guess you could say. Not losing, not gaining, not trying too hard. I've also heard that diet is the greatest factor in weight loss. I've been getting pretty good at not scarfing food like I used to, but I'm admittedly not eating any better. Do you think cutting out grain will help?


Desert Dweller
12-01-2012, 08:47 PM
I say keep the grains. Obviously white bread is not nutritious so get rid of it but keep the good grains. Complex carbs are a good fuel source for your body. Try and buy the bread with the highest amount of grains and seeds with smaller slices. Read the nutritional info on several different types and buy the one with the most protein, least carbs. Quinoa is a good substitute for rice or couscous and has a pretty high protein count given its still considered a grain.
If you are like me and you like bread and pasta and foresee yourself eating them in the future then don't give them up for weightloss, instead use this time to learn how to eat them in moderation for life. Then you won't need to fear going back to eating grains when you arrive at your weightloss goal. Go whole grain as much as you can and watch your portion sizes but grains are a good source of energy for your body.

LockItUp
12-01-2012, 08:53 PM
Different things work for different people. It MAY be a beneficial thing for you, you won't know until you try.

For me, I can do it short term, but anything past a week or 2 it just causes cravings and grouchiness because, well, I love grains! It's probably all psychological when I get the cravings for them past the week mark, but anyway it goes I get fixated. I don't find any issue with them as some people do, as far as it hindering my weight loss.

It might be worth a shot to cut out grains (you know that corn is a grain right? just checking.), just to see how you react. Heck, sometimes I cut stuff out just because I'm bored with whatever I'm doing at the moment. I usually add it back it. I don't have any foods that I NEVER eat, except ones I just don't like of course, lol.


EagleRiverDee
12-01-2012, 08:55 PM
I have switched to a "no grain" philosophy, both for scientific and for personal reasons. Scientific is that grains offer no benefit in nutrients or fiber that you cannot get from a balanced diet of meat, fruit and vegetables. Grains do, however, have things that are bad for you including gluten and GMO. Many, many people are finding that even if they aren't "gluten intolerant" they find that conditions like IBS, flatulence, acne, migraines, rosacea, bloating, obesity, etc. all clear up merely by eliminating grains from their diet. My personal reasons are that I already have proof in my own personal life that eliminating wheat and rice from my diet resulted in a nearly effortless 20 lb weight loss. Then I started eating them again, and plateau'd for a year. Now I am back to a no-grain diet and I'm effortlessly losing weight again.

I recommend a website called Marksdailyapple if you want to learn more. His version of paleo is called primal blueprint but he explains everything there on why it works. And if you really want some motivation to try it, read the success stories. There's bunches of them.

What I like best about it is there is nothing gimmicky to buy. No shakes, no bars, no pre-packaged meals. Just healthy whole foods. And if you're like me, you'll feel lighter and less bloated within just a week of doing this diet.

Spiritix
12-01-2012, 09:40 PM
Alright then, seems to be worth a shot, but I'm still open to more replies. I know I grew up on whole grain everything, but when I think about it, there are really a lot of grains I eat! I know there's somethings I'm not gonna be able to resist (pizza... oh God) but I think if I can at least narrow down the stuff I'm not too worried about, slowly, then I'll be able to handle most everything else, and be mostly grain-free.

Edit: Nice link, EagleRiverDee. :)

JohnP
12-01-2012, 09:41 PM
Grains are not essential. If you want to cut them - do it. If you're gluten intollerant - definately cut them.

Otherwise - calories matter.

mimsyborogoves
12-01-2012, 10:12 PM
Grains are something that I refuse to give up, but they haven't affected my health in the slightest, so for me it isn't a problem. However, it might help you to cut them out, so the best thing to do is just trial and error to see if you do better without them and/or can stand not eating them. I can't stand not eating them; I love bagels! ;)

nelie
12-01-2012, 10:30 PM
There are certain vitamins that you can only get from grains but if you cut them out, a multivitamin would cover you. I see no problem with grains myself.

EagleRiverDee
12-01-2012, 11:18 PM
There are certain vitamins that you can only get from grains

That's not true. There is no vitamin, no nutrient, present in grains that isn't present in other vegetables, fruit, or meat. A balanced diet that doesn't include grains will have everything a balanced diet that does include grains has. It's a personal decision on whether to include or exclude grains from the diet, but it's simply untrue that grains have anything you can't find in other food sources.

kaplods
12-02-2012, 02:34 AM
I feel best when I don't eat grains. Every time I convince myself that I "need" grains, I end up indulging in them and having problems. I was very skeptical when I read all the autoimmune books, paleo diet books, and low-carb diet books that argued that humans don't need grains, and never ate much if any of them until we invented agriculture.

It all sounded "fishy" to me, and so it took me decades after reading these arguments to give grain-free living a try. I probably wouldn't have if it weren't for the autoimmune literature linking grains with autoimmune disease. I was diagnosed with a potentially lethal autoimmune disease, and started reading everything I could on autoimmune disease. Surprisingly, a lot of autoimmune disease literature implicated carbs, grains, and a vitamin D deficiency to autoimmune disease.

The low-carb books had presented the argument that autoimmune disease and grains were linked, but I didn't give the argument much credence until I read it also in the autoimmune books. I assumed that the low-carb authors were overstating the link, because of their own prejudices. I didn't expect the autoimmune disease experts to also implicate grains (my prejudice there).

Out of fear and desperation, I decided to give the grain-free diet a chance, and my autoimmune disease went into almost complete remission. The difference is almost miraculous.

And when I eat high-carb foods, especially grains, and MOST especially gluten grains, the autoimmune symptoms return.

I'm not going to conclude that everyone needs to avoid grains, but from reading many, many stories like mine, I've concluded that high-carb grains and high-carb diets are not very good for many of us (Maybe most of us, maybe even all of us, but I only KNOW it's not good for me).

I can't believe how wonderful I feel off grains, and I also can't believe how addictive the darned things are, and how even knowing that they could kill me, doesn't make them any easier to avoid. I fight my cravings for wheat and sugar every day, and sometimes I lose the battle - and then I have to deal with the autoimmune consequences, the ones I can see (like the itchy, flaky, scaley, swollen, red rash on my face, hands and feet) and the ones I can't see (such as damage to my joints and lungs).

The scar tissue on my lungs from the autoimmune disease is starting to heal (the same scar tissue I was told would be permanent and in fact would probably get progressively worse if the autoimmune disease wasn't treated with periodic bouts of steroids, probably for the rest of my life).

I haven't been prescribed a course of prednisone in over a year, and I haven't had bronchitis in over a year as well (and for the ten years prior to my giving up wheat and grains - mostly I would get bronchitis and pneumonia several times a year and be sick 90 days or more per year from chronic respiratory problems.

I haven't used my asthma inhaler in about 18 months and I've only had two mild asthma attacks in all that time (One the day after a very off-plan day after eating a significant amount of sugar and wheat in the form of a piece of birthday cake, and the second a day after a mildy-off plan day during a visit to my family in central Illinois. My allergies are always worse there, so a combination of allergens and off-plan eating were the likely trigger).

When going no-grain (or for anyone actually) I would advise a multivitamin, because modern foods aren't as nutritious as ancestral ones. So unless you're eating organ meats and insects, and a ton of veggies, you may be missing out on some vital nutrients. A good multi-vitamin can fill in the gaps. However, in terms of grain consumption, some of the "nutrients" that are found so heavily in grains, are there because grain products are fortified with those nutrients and the reason they are, is to compensate for the natural "antinutrients" found in grains.

Arctic Mama
12-02-2012, 03:53 AM
I do wonderfully on no grains. And low carb. The less sugar/starch I have the better I look and feel. I'm not allergic to grains, but I am sensitive to them. I defy anyone to tell me eating a sandwich is really a healthier lunch than a salad and fish. And that one doesn't illicit any cravings is a big bonus.

I lost half my weight with just calorie counting. But for ease of use, adherence, and results, I'm now clean low carb and never going back. The difference is just too remarkable. The ability to eat more calories each day and continue losing at the same rate hasn't been too shabby, either ;)

Candeka
12-02-2012, 04:02 AM
Grains have never stopped my weight loss. I would be lost without them. I love my tuna sandwiches.

Samantha18
12-02-2012, 06:31 AM
I wanted to cut out grains but they give me a lot of energy and make my meals seem more filling and satisfying. I just try to cut them back, and I try to avoid the white processed stuff that just turns into sugar in the body. I've learned that I don't need both mashed potatoes and a roll with dinner. Or if I have cereal for breakfast then I'll try not to have a sandwich for lunch. I get most of my calcium and iron from Cheerios, and I'm with Candeka on the tuna sandwiches! They're the only way I get any fish in my diet. Also, since vegetables are a daily struggle, they're the only real source of fiber I get. So while it personally wouldn't work for me to cut them out, it works wonders for others, giving them lots of energy and other benefits because everyone's body is different. Rice is a staple food in many thin countries without weight problems, so I don't think grains are bad in moderation if they work for you.

Misti in Seattle
12-02-2012, 06:36 AM
Well LOL it looks as if you will have to weigh everything and then just decide for yourself as there certainly is a variety of opinion here. I chime in with those who say keep the grains. But I would also add to make sure they are organic and GMO free, since so many of the grain in US are GMO. Also, most of the grain "products" in the stores are loaded with chemicals, salt, sugar, etc., so I would add stick with whole, natural grains.

nelie
12-02-2012, 08:50 AM
That's not true. There is no vitamin, no nutrient, present in grains that isn't present in other vegetables, fruit, or meat. A balanced diet that doesn't include grains will have everything a balanced diet that does include grains has. It's a personal decision on whether to include or exclude grains from the diet, but it's simply untrue that grains have anything you can't find in other food sources.

I'll have to look up what I was thinking but I thought I wrote up something here previously. There have been at least one disease in the past linked to vitamin deficiencies where grains were cut out. Now it might be that the other sources are less available but taking a multivitamin is a good idea just to be safe.

JoJoJo2
12-02-2012, 09:27 AM
I lost weight without giving up grains, but now that I'm maintaining my weight loss, I've had to give up most grains. Eating a slice of bread will cause cravings. Not only that, it will cause my glucose level to spike. Wheat seems to be the problem for me - it is so refined now.

I may have to give up the one final grain - oats. I love my oatmeal in the morning. :)

We are all different. But if you are having problems with weight loss, giving up grains might be something to try. It certainly has helped me. :wave:

nelie
12-02-2012, 10:14 AM
I'll have to look up what I was thinking but I thought I wrote up something here previously. There have been at least one disease in the past linked to vitamin deficiencies where grains were cut out. Now it might be that the other sources are less available but taking a multivitamin is a good idea just to be safe.

And I found what I was possibly thinking about, pellagra, basically niacin deficiency. This isn't generally a worry for many healthy people who eat plenty of tryptophan because the body can make niacin from tryptophan. And tryptophan can be found in meat and legumes. There are plenty of incidences of people not being able to do the conversion though so taking a multivitamin is a good idea to cover your bases.

Arctic Mama
12-02-2012, 02:41 PM
And pellagra is seen in societies with high corn consumption - there is an inhibiting factor there directly related to the poor nutritional quality of corn and need for proper soaking methods. This is actually seen in many grains and one of the reasons I quit consumption - they not only displace more nutrient rich foods, most preparations of them leave them at least somewhat indigestible and can inhibit the assimilation of crucial nutrients.

nelie
12-02-2012, 03:10 PM
And pellagra is seen in societies with high corn consumption - there is an inhibiting factor there directly related to the poor nutritional quality of corn and need for proper soaking methods. This is actually seen in many grains and one of the reasons I quit consumption - they not only displace more nutrient rich foods, most preparations of them leave them at least somewhat indigestible and can inhibit the assimilation of crucial nutrients.

Well corn needs to be treated with lime to make niacin bioavailable. This wasn't an issue with mesoamericans but was a problem to societies that replaced their other grains with corn.

mimsyborogoves
12-02-2012, 04:14 PM
Gah y'all know so much stuff about nutrition that just overwhelms me, lol.

kaplods
12-02-2012, 04:55 PM
I'll have to look up what I was thinking but I thought I wrote up something here previously. There have been at least one disease in the past linked to vitamin deficiencies where grains were cut out. Now it might be that the other sources are less available but taking a multivitamin is a good idea just to be safe.

And I found what I was possibly thinking about, pellagra, basically niacin deficiency. This isn't generally a worry for many healthy people who eat plenty of tryptophan because the body can make niacin from tryptophan. And tryptophan can be found in meat and legumes. There are plenty of incidences of people not being able to do the conversion though so taking a multivitamin is a good idea to cover your bases.


And pellagra is seen in societies with high corn consumption - there is an inhibiting factor there directly related to the poor nutritional quality of corn and need for proper soaking methods. This is actually seen in many grains and one of the reasons I quit consumption - they not only displace more nutrient rich foods, most preparations of them leave them at least somewhat indigestible and can inhibit the assimilation of crucial nutrients.

In most cases, the "deficiencies" caused by low-grain diets, are also because of low-protein and/or low-vegetable intake as well. They're mostly associated with extremely low-variety diets (which is why they're seen mostly in poverty-stricken, drought-stricken, and other near-starvation conditions). They're also usually only seen in remote areas and other locations where medical resources are unavailable or poorly utilized (that is, it's seen in folks who either cannot or will not seek medical attention when troubling symptoms appear).

These deficiencies do not appear full-blown out of the blue. You don't wake up with pellagra. The symptoms appear gradually, and in the USA, the vast majority of people (even of the lowest income) would be seeing a doctor before symptoms because health-threatening.

Folate/folic acid -deficiency is a bigger concern, because it is a leading cause of birth defects, especially of the brain and spinal column. And the mother often experiences no symptoms whatsoever.

While breads and other grain products are often fortified with niacin, folate, and other B vitamins, they probably wouldn't need to be, if folks ate more non-starchy plant foods and organ meats. Many of the "deficiencies" caused by low-grain diets are actually a result of low-plant food diets. In the SAD (standard American Diet), grains are the main (and in some cases only) source of plant foods.

The SAD is extremely low in produce in general, and in low-calorie vegetables in particular. Just taking out grains, isn't the solution if you're not already eating (or replacing the grains with) a wide variety of low-carb, high-fiber vegetables. Eating the widest variety of foods possible is the best strategy for all diets, and a grain-free diet is no exception. Eliminating grains makes it even more important to eat more high-quality plant foods (but the fact remains that most people in the USA do not eat enough plant foods, especially of the low-carb, high-fiber variety).

Regardless of grain intake, a multivitamin isn't a bad idea for anyone, because there are so many potential gaps in the SAD diet, especially for people who aren't eating tremendous variety.

In the USA, the most common source of nutritional gaps is in the area of vegetation rather than protein or starch. It was extremely shocking to me to learn that a large segment of the population eats absolutely no true fruits and vegetables (unless you count ketchup, potatoes, and corn vegetables - and possibly the occasional slice of iceberg lettuce and pickle that comes on a fastfood hamburger).

sontaikle
12-02-2012, 10:43 PM
It was amazing to me how many grains and grain products I was eating before I lost weight. I never planned to cut them out (and I still haven't) but through calorie counting I found my way to a nearly grain-free diet.

The only time I have grains are for my lunch. I'll have a wrap or panini and that's it 90% of the time (unless I have a salad instead!).

It hasn't hindered my maintenance and I actually ate more grains while losing weight. It's certainly a lot easier to stick to my calorie goals when I limit grains, but I don't find it completely necessary.

EagleRiverDee
12-03-2012, 01:11 AM
I 100% agree that a good multivitamin is good insurance. And Kaplods had a good point that variety in the diet, particularly in vegetables, is important.

Spiritix
12-03-2012, 05:35 AM
Well, I tried my first day, and it wasn't so bad, except I realized there's not many things I can't eat in my house now! I'll have to get some soups or ask my mom to start cooking with grain alternatives, like almond and coconut flour.

nelie
12-03-2012, 09:33 AM
While breads and other grain products are often fortified with niacin, folate, and other B vitamins, they probably wouldn't need to be, if folks ate more non-starchy plant foods and organ meats. Many of the "deficiencies" caused by low-grain diets are actually a result of low-plant food diets. In the SAD (standard American Diet), grains are the main (and in some cases only) source of plant foods.


And I didn't mean to imply that fortified grains should be part of the diet. We wouldn't need to fortify as much if we did eat a large, varied diet with legumes and whole grains (vs stripped and fortified) and plenty of vegetables. I grew up with a very varied diet so I am always amazed at hearing about people with a diet with little variety.

Anyway, I actually don't eat a lot of grains myself but what I do eat is varied including quinoa, amaranth, barley, rye, kamut, millet, brown rice, wheat, oats, etc.

TripSwitch
12-03-2012, 03:11 PM
I cut grains pretty substantially this time around while trying to lose weight, but it really was just because it didn't fit well with my calorie budget... I chose to spend my limited calories on lean protein, veggies, some fruit, and some nuts... So there just wasn't much rooms for a lot of added grains... And for me there was no noticeable difference in how I felt with the reduced amount of gains in my diet...

Now that I've been maintaining I would like to add back some whole gains that I feel would add some more variety to my meals that I'm looking for now and fit well with my calorie and nutritional goals and my fitness goals as well...

kelijpa
12-03-2012, 10:43 PM
Kaplods, enjoyed your post as always, interesting that the acronymn for the standard american diet is SAD as it is pretty sad...we have been incorporating more fruits and veggies in our diet, but not going grain free, I'm with you on the variety being important, sometimes I really have to make myself break out of a rut, I like to slide back into eating the same thing for breakfast and lunch.

Very interesting thread, definitely learned alot! thanks everyone for posting :sunny: