Bread is the staff of life. Or at least it could be, if we ate homemade whole grain bread baked with love.
Unfortunately, what passes for grain in the typical American diet is pretty shocking- pasty white bread, instant oatmeal and white rice is about the extent of it for most folks.
Whole grains are very nutritious. After all, they are the seeds that a plant spends all season preparing so the plant can reproduce itself. Plants save their best goodies to pack into this tiny little bundle of nutrients. Whole grains are rich in nutrients, including fiber, valuable oils and energizing starch, not to mention a plethora of vitamins and minerals. I think it’s very interesting that emerging science is showing us that whole grains are very rich in the kinds of antioxidants that have made superfruits so famous.
Americans probably eat too much wheat. For reasons that are not entirely clear, wheat seems to cause a disproportionate amount of food allergy problems; in fact, it is one of the eight foods that cause 90% of food allergy reactions.
As far as I am concerned, the evidence is overwhelming that refined grains are the main reason Americans have developed so much chronic disease over the last 30 years. You can’t take dozens of nutrients out of a whole food and expect it to nourish you for a lifetime.
Also, the consensus is rapidly coalescing around problems with grain products made with flour. The finer a grain is ground, the faster it digests, and the more stress this puts on the body’s blood sugar management system. I highly recommend that you eat any and all grains in as unprocessed a form as possible, as often as possible. (In other words, cook the whole, or only slightly ground, grain kernel, such as cooked whole rice.) Whole or cut oats are a good choice, or try a bowl of spiced amaranth, or a quinoa cereal. Not that a delicious slice of whole grain bread is a problem from time to time – especially when compared to white bread – just lean toward more whole forms, more often.