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Are Any Grains Good For You?

One major concern I had about the recent revised Dietary Guidelines for Americans issued two months ago: The recommendation to eat three or more servings of whole grains every day (probably the main reason behind General Mills generated so much free publicity about bumping up the whole grain content of their breakfast cereals).

And according to a survey by the Grocery Manufacturers of America, about two-thirds of Americans are currently on the lookout for whole grain products. But some have stayed away from whole grains due to their bitter taste. This morning's USA Today devoted the majority of its health coverage to one alternative: Baked products made with "white wheat," a naturally occurring variety that contains the nutritional and fiber content of whole wheat without the bad taste.

Common in Great Britain, white wheat only represents, at best, 5 percent of America's total wheat crop. But its growing popularity won't unseat white bread that still made up the bulk of all bread sales in this country last year (45 percent).

Fact is folks, the true "value" of whole grain bread is just one of the many health myths I routinely debunk in my twice-weekly eHealthy News You Can Use newsletter. Although I agree with most nutrition experts that whole grains are better than refined grains, in my experience more than 75 percent of Americans have problems with insulin stabilization -- those who are overweight or diabetic or have high blood pressure or cholesterol -- such that avoiding whole grains would improve their health.

And, a third of the remaining people who don't fall into those categories will need to avoid grains anyway because they are protein nutritional types.

USA Today March 17, 2005

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