On going nutrition questions and controversy surrounding this American staple grain have prompted me to summarize research surrounding bread, flour and pasta. Here is the following supported statements regarding wheat and grains by TriSystem and the National Association of Sports Nutrition.
Do you need to eat wheat?
No. You don’t need to eat any one particular food — be it grains, apples, kale, or fish.
But you need carbs. The amount of carbs you need depends on your activity level.
If you exercise fairly frequently, then you’ll likely do best with a moderate carb intake. Not getting enough could mess with your metabolism, stress hormones, and muscle-building hormones.
If you’re sedentary, have blood sugar issues, and/or need to lose a bunch of weight, then you’ll likely do best with a lower carb intake.
You could replace whole grains with a variety of other high-quality carbs, like potatoes, sweet potatoes, fruit, legumes, squash, yuca, and yams. You’d be able to get all the carbs you need, in addition to plenty of fiber and a wide array of beneficial phytonutrients.
Trying to eliminate grains entirely is going to be difficult in even the best of circumstances.
In a life that involves family holidays, birthday parties, work functions — any instance where others are preparing the food — completely cutting out grains if you’re not suffering from celiac or a sensitivity becomes way, way more trouble than it’s worth.
The position that all grains are unhealthy and should be categorically avoided is too extreme.
So is the notion that grains are inherent “superfoods” that everyone should consume in massive quantities.
Neither end of the spectrum is right.
Most people can be fit and healthy with a mixed carb intake that includes some whole grains (a few refined carbs can be OK, too).
Weigh the benefits against the risks.
Might wheat carry some low-level of risk for some people? Possibly.
Is it likely that the benefits of whole-grain wheat still outweigh this risk? Yes. The same is true for most whole grains — and whole foods — in general. The key to nutrition and life is balance and that balance is the foundation of TriSystem. In most cases, eliminating a whole food from your diet is a bad thing because of the nutrients it provides but, toomuch of a good thing can be a bad thing.
Highly processed grains like white flour and corn syrup are easily overeaten. Better choices are sprouted grain breads like Ezekiel, whole grain products like spinach wheat pasta and even sourdough can really minimize the overindulgence in grains.
Summarized from research at: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/grain-wheat-debate
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