FEATURE: Get On The Grain Train

Making broad, sweeping dietary and lifestyle changes as I have mentioned in previous articles, if implemented, will have great benefits to your personal health and society as a whole. While I’ve written about the tremendous benefits of a diet consisting largely of plant-based nutrition, there’s another piece to the healthy diet puzzle that you should not neglect – grains.

Grains, especially in their whole state, are an excellent source of time-released carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, beneficial phytochemicals and, yes, even protein. On paper they are a perfect food. That is, when they are in their whole, unrefined state.Unlike “white” refined grains, whole grains contain the outer fiber layer and the nutrient-rich germ, as well as the starchy endosperm, which is all that is left in the refined grain. As a result, whole grains tend to be more filling and usually have a slower blood sugar release.

Diets that contain at least three or more ounce equivalents of whole grains per day may help with weight control and can reduce the risk of several chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease and some kinds of cancer. Of course, if you’re a frequent consumer of what I call “refined wheat confectionary foods” like crackers, pastries, pretzels etc.; then whole grains tend not to be found in these items. Instead they have all the stuff you DON’T need – added fats, oils, sugars, and unnecessary “sweet-fat calories.”

Unfortunately, there is no universally accepted definition of what constitutes a whole-grain product. Plus, food packaging is intentionally deceptive and food labels can be hard to understand sometimes. For example, descriptions like “wheat bread,” “stone-ground,” and “seven-grain bread” do not guarantee that the product contains whole grains. If you’re thinking the color of a product may be an indicator, think again as some of these foods may be darker simply because molasses or coloring has been added. What I usually tell my patients to do look at the ingredients on the food label. If the first words are “whole grain” or “sprouted grain,” it is a predominantly whole-grain product and you are good to go. However, if the bread is enriched with vitamins or minerals, it is generally not a whole grain product or has only a small amount of whole grains in it and should be avoided.

While there is no universally accepted definition of whole-grain products, it’s interesting to note that the U.S. Dietary Guidelines use the American Association of Cereal Chemists’ definition which is: “Foods made from the entire grain seed, usually called the kernel, which consists of the bran, germ, and endosperm. If the kernel has been cracked, crushed, or flaked, it must retain nearly the same relative proportions of bran, germ, and endosperm as the original grain in order to be called whole grain.” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), on the other hand, only require foods that bear the whole grain health claim to: (1) contain 51 percent or more whole-grain ingredients by weight per reference amount and (2) be low in fat.

If you look at the statistics, in the last 30 to 40 years Americans have been consuming more grain products BUT only 15 percent have been whole grains while 85 percent have been refined grains !  This definitely explains why Americans are fatter and sicker as refined grains are the source of excess calories, weight gain, and chronic disease. They’re also one of the reasons why carbohydrates have been given a bad name. Carbohydrates in general are not bad for you. What’s bad is the over-consumption of refined grains. That’s a big distinction. Those uninformed “experts” encouraging people to avoid all carbohydrates are doing a major disservice to the public’s health as “carbo-phobics” are failing to consume an integral component their bodies need for energy.

I would be totally remiss if I didn’t address one unfortunate aspect of eating more grains and that is “grain intolerance” or sensitivity. Even if everyone in the United States switched over to eating a diet consisting 100 percent of whole or sprouted grains, there would be a significant group of people who just wouldn’t feel well. The cause of their “sickness” could stem from an intolerance to grains especially those of the refined wheat products nature, but also possibly other glutinous grains like oats, barley, rye and even corn.

In almost three decades of clinical practice, for those who don’t feel well after making the changing their diet, I usually advise them to go grain-free (except for brown rice and other non-glutinous grains) to see if there is noted improvement in their symptoms. Another thing I suggest is that they try my Basic Elimination Diet (BED)as it can be a great indicator if food intolerance may be at the root of the problem.

Here’s how the BED works is:

  1. You write down the foods you normally eat for four to seven days.
  2. Eat off the BED food list for at least two weeks (preferably four weeks). If there is a food on the list that you normally eat four or more times per week, eliminate it also.
  3. Make sure all of your food is whole food and half or more of your food intake should be any of the vegetables on the BED list.
  4. After the two to four week period, reintroduce the previous most commonly eaten foods one at a time for two days. Take note of any symptoms. If there are no problems, go to the next previous most commonly eaten food.
  5. Re-introduce the “reactive” foods back into your diet after one month on a non-daily basis (every three to four days). If tolerated, keep it in the diet on a rotational basis. If reactive, eliminate it for six months, and then try again.
  6. If you still feel after one month that you have food-intolerance symptoms, you may need to get food intolerance/allergy testing done; eat off a blood-type food list; do a comprehensive stool analysis; take pre- or probiotic supplementation; improve digestion; and/or see a physician competent in dealing with food intolerance.

While there are some experts who maintain there are adverse health consequences to eating grains, I feel strongly that whole grains have to and can be a part of a healthy human diet. We need these cereal grains as both an energy and protein source. As educated health consumers and intelligent health practitioners, if we are aware of the potential for grain intolerance (especially from glutinous grains), the adverse effects of grain intolerance can definitely be kept to a minimum. And as long as your grains are being consumed as part of a whole unprocessed, predominantly plant foods diet with a wide variety of protective phytochemicals from vegetables, fruit, beans, nuts and seeds, (as suggested with the Basic Elimination Diet) you will do fine and be further along on the path for optimal health.

As a certified physician’s assistant specializing in nutrition, prevention and integrative medicine, KIRK HAMILTON maintains that if there’s one cure all for chronic disease it’s what you eat. With his emphasis on consuming more unprocessed, micronutrient dense plant-food along with simple cross-training and mind/body principles, Kirk has been instrumental in guiding his patients and clients toward the path of optimal health since 1983. He has also been a valued educator to health professionals. As the founder of Clinical Pearls Publications, Kirk provided summaries of nutritional research to practicing physicians and researchers around the globe until he sold the company to Tishcon Corp. in 2004. Since 2009 Kirk has hosted his own radio program/podcast titled Staying Healthy Today. He has interviewed hundreds of the top experts in the medical field including Joel Fuhrman, Dr. David Jenkins and Dr. Neal Barnard. Drawing on his 28 year career, in August 2011 Kirk self-published the book titled “Staying Healthy in the Fast Lane – 9 Simple Steps to Optimal Health.” His book serves as a guide for individuals, professionals and policy makers on how to create a new health paradigm that is focused on staying well and prevention instead of treatment.

Follow Kirk!
www.prescription2000.com

The greatest medicine of all is to teach people how not to need it.

Read about how to lose weight and prevent chronic diseases by purchasing Kirk’s book, “Staying Healthy in the Fast Lane – 9 Simple Steps to Optimal Health.” Order your copy here. Enter code “RX40” and receive an automatic 40% off your book purchase.

DHerbs Soultions:

 

2015-09-21T10:44:08+00:00

Related Questions

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    Q: I just purchased the WEIGHT RELEASE CLEANSE AND REGIMEN and today is my first day. I'm unable to get through on our inquiry line. The diet isn't completely clear to me. Although it says miso soup is ok, I'm unclear on other things. For instance, is tofu ok? What about hummus? What do sprouted grains consist of? Would Eziekial sprouted grain breads and tortillas be ok? The miso soup is the exception to the dietary rule! NO tofu, NO Ezekiel grain breads (no processed grains at all). Sprouted grains are grains (or seeds) soaked in water overnight and consumed. They are not cooked! Hummus is okay (as it's not cooked). Recommended article: "WHAT IS RAW FOODS" Visit our articles section!

    A:

    The miso soup is the exception to the dietary rule! NO tofu, NO Ezekiel grain breads (no processed grains at all). Sprouted grains are grains (or seeds) soaked in water overnight and consumed. They are not cooked! Hummus is okay (as it's not cooked). Recommended article: "WHAT IS RAW FOODS" Visit our articles section!

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    Q: What types of grains are allowed with the raw foods diet during the FULL BODY DETOX? Are whole grain breads and cereal bars ok? Please clarify. Also, should I stop taking my birth control pill while on the detox? I hear it will cancel out anyway?

    A:

    IN REFERENCE TO GRAINS, ONLY SPROUTED GRAINS. NO CEREAL AND CREAL BARS! OF COURSE STOP TAKING YOUR BIRTH CONTROL PILL BECAUSE THE FULL BODY DETOX TARGETS ALL TOXINS AND POISONS AND MAN-MADE/PHARMACEUTICAL BIRTH CONTROL PILLS ARE TOXIC AND POISONOUS. IT WILL MOST CERTAINLY CANCEL OUT.

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    Q: I've made a lifestyle change about 8 months ago. I excluded all dairy, wheat, grains, gluten, legumes, sugar, oils (except olive oil). I still eat minimum amount of meat (chicken, fish) maybe 2 -3 times/wk. I'm slowly trying to eliminate meat totally as I only use to make my meals more filling. My plan is to do Ozone Therapy midway through the detox program, which also rid the body of toxins.

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    Ozone therapy is beneficial!

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    I suggest the FULL BODY DETOX!

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    Q: Are vegan burgers with whole grain brown rice a good food combination?

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    There are too many grains in that combination. Consider a veggie side, i.e. salad. We reccomend a vegan, raw foods diet, full of fresh fruits and vegetables in order for you to receive the nutrients you need and detoxify your system.

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    Q: I am very excited about receiving our kits. If you can please answer a few of these questions. My wife and I have received the full body cleanse and the anti viral kit. She is in the middle of a serious papolomoaa genital warts breakout. She also has genital herpes. As I have passed on to her both. Can she use the antiviral roll-on on the warts now? I am very skinny and the raw food diet will not be enough for me to work. Are whole unrefined grains ok? We make our own bread using non-wheat flours, is this ok? Where should I get my proteins if I am allergic to soy products?

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    Yes, she can use the anti-viral roll-on now!

    You can eat as you please. if raw foods won't work, try a vegan diet. do what you feel will work, even if that includes eating unrefined grains. Improvise to the best of your ability.

    Non-soy Protein sources include all SEAWEEDS, fenugreek seed, hemp seed, nuts, bee pollen, and Dherbs Vegan Protein (capsules, powder).

    Read our article PROTEIN PROPOGANDA.

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    Q: Is Quinoa considered a refined grain?

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    Technically, no it isn't!

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    Q: What Are Some Natural Sweet Treats (Junk Foods) I can Consume? Under free will you can consume what you like, but healthier products are best. You will find plenty of "healthier" snack, treat, and junk foods at good health food stores such as Whole Foods Market, PCC Natural Food Stores, Erewhon, Trader Joes, Natural Grocers, New Frontiers, etc. Just make sure to abstain from salt, sugar, and other harmful chemicals in the products you buy. We list many companies of alternative foods and products (and their website addresses) in our ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL.

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    Recommended: ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL

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    Q: I am a 55 year old female. I have an overactive bladder. I am trying to control it myself, without medication. I have not tried herbs. I eat fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins (not beef or pork). I added back more meat proteins 1 1/2 years ago because I was becoming so tired and lacking energy. (I read The Schwartzbein Diet, which helped convince me to add more protein.) I don't eat much sugar, salt (only 500 mg./day) or hardly any processed foods. I drink water and licorice tea, because it makes me feel good. I believe in the power of positive thinking. Can you help me with this?

    A:

    The steps you are taking in your diet are a great start. Try going raw, and eliminating grains and meat altogether. You can get enough protein and healthy fats with avocado, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, almonds, brazil nuts, coconut. You can also add Vegan Protein Powder to smoothies.

    I also recommend you give our Full Body Cleanse a try to further detoxify your entire body. After detoxing, the ideal formula for you is our Kidneys Bladder-Adrenal formula.

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    Q: I have a client that had her thyroid removed, the doctors have her on 3 grains of the natural...well natural for a pig. Thyroid. She couldn't sleep so they put her on ativan. Which is making her crazy (between you and I) She is still not sleeping and feeling agitated and this drug is causing her anxiety. I feel it has built up in her system and she has to dose down off of it. Do you have anything that would help her sleep? I have already suggested your thyroid blend. However, I didn't know if it could really help her as they removed her thyroid. So perhaps she does need the grains, as her body can no longer produce it on her own. I would really like to get her on natural as possible stuff so we can see what is physical and what we can work on energetically. Right now she feels like an energetic mess. Any suggestions?

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    Q: I was reading your food combination chart and I was wondering if you recommend the eating of organic whole grains, like spelt, millet, quinoa, etc? What about cereal like Ezekiel 4:9?

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    You can eat organic whole grains, but not during any of our cleanses. The grains you listed are pretty nutritious, especially the Ezekiel bread which I myself eat from time to time.

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    Q: I just purchased the Pancreas Kit for children, for my 4 year old who was diagnosed with type one diabetes. I have been feeding her a raw diet of just vegetables. The diet includes no dairy, no grains, and fruit for a week. I also started the Pancreas kit last week too. I was wondering if there is any reason why her blood sugar levels would go up? All she is eating is veggies, and her sugar levels are at 300 most of the time. Even if she doesn't eat anything, it still goes up to 300. I also know it says you cannot tell us not to give, or not to give her insulin, or not. I am still currently giving it to her. Does the pancreas kit work just as well if the are receiving insulin or not? Or does it hinder the process?. I would really appreciate other advise you would offer. Thanks so much!

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    Drugs and herbs don't mix! They cancel each other out. The blood sugar will go up and down due to the body attempting to regulate, and normalize the blood sugar levels. Perfectly normal! It's called "healing crisis. Whatever you guys choose to do, simply keep monitoring the person. Ask the person how he/she feels (very important).

    Article:
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    Q: I get these cramps in my stomach after I eat wheat, regular, or multi-grain breads. Why is that?

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    Evidently, the reason for the cramps in your stomach after consuming wheat bread, is because you are not supposed to be eating it. Cause and effect in motion here! It may be Celiac's disease. Perform the Full Body Detox, and then try eating the wheat bread and see what happens.

    Product Links:
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    Q: It's been 2 weeks now since, I started eating exclusively raw. I'm even baking whole wheat bread in the sun. This was a great substitute for the cooked rice I used to eat. I'm also eating quite a large amount of grapes (red and white), as my body seems to ask for it. But recently, I noticed that my heart is beating quite strongly, and I find difficulty to bear the hot weather as a consequence. Also, I noticed a white pimple on the tip of my tongue, and this was a confirmation that there was maybe too much stimulating energy in the heart (according to oriental diagnosis of the tongue). When I eat sun baked bread, I automatically feel heat in the body. So I'm wondering if this is a good food to continue with or not. Isn't it more "neutral" (in terms of energy) to include a small portion of cooked brown rice along with the raw regimen? Just want remind you of my health issue: HPV and bacteria in the urinary tract.

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    Product Link:
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    Anti-Viral Cleanse and Regimen

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    Q: Hi, I'm a 36 year old African/American woman with 4 children whose been trying to lose weight off and on for the past 16 years. I lose the weight but then I gain it right back after I go off of my diet. I know that I need a good body/colon cleanse, but what I need to learn how to do is to eat the right food's to keep my body healthy. I've been conditioned to eat the foods that I do eat, I need to know how do I go about "de-programming" myself from the bad food's and program myself to want and crave the healthy one's? I'm open to any suggestion's you have, even using crystals and meditation. Thank you.

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    Time is limited here in "Ask the Herbalist" so I humbly request you consider a full length health consultation. However, I can tell you that you'd greatly benefit from a FULL BODY DETOX Cleanse.

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    Q: I have come across several sites that list quinoa as being in the fruit family but this is very confusing to me since it appears to be a grain. My husband uses it as rice and cereal substitute and I am just wondering if it is mucus forming.

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    TECHNICALLY QUINOA IS A FRUIT BECAUSE YOU ARE CONSUMING THE SEEDS, BUT IT IS CONSIDERED A GRAIN. IT IS ALKALINE AND NOT MUCUS FORMING.

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    Q: Please tell me which products will help my 11 yr old son eliminate or aid in his healing of this horrible disease (Allergic Fungal Sinusitis). He was taking allergy shots once a week for a year. He is allergic to everything...grass, trees; dustmites, soy, wheat, dairy, eggs. He now drinks rice milk and I order food online at ener_g foods such as breads, cookies etc that are made without all the things he is allergic to. I want to boost his immune system to help fight this disease. He is on a strict diet and I would love you input on how to help him.

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    Clearly he's toxic! Clean his body out and the problem will go away. Try CHILDREN DETOX (liquid extracts) . Let him drink warm water and lemon juice (from fresh squeezed lemon) every day. Let him drink herbal tea of Mullein leaf and/or Eucalyptus. When he is bathing, drop in 6-8 drops of essential oil of Eucalyptus per bath and add 1 box of sea salt to every bath. Let him soak for 45 minutes or so. He can heal from this problem!

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    Q: I recently purchased your Parasite and Worm Kit and wanted to know what grains were good to eat during or after the cleanse. I eat Bulgur, brown rice, black rice, couscous, gold and brown flax seed and ground provisions i.e. yams, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, turnips and etc. Are these ok to eat during the Parasite and Worm Kit or after? Is apple cider or balsamic vinegar ok for consumption? My Queen and I look forward to removing all the parasites form our temple and projecting the increased vibration. Continue to shine the light.

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    Stay RAW while removing the parasites! If you stay mostly RAW, then on a few days you can engage yourself in some of the foods you mention below (maybe once a week)! But RAW is best! Apple Cider Vinegar is the BEST vinegar to use!

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    Q: I read the food chart for the FULL BODY DETOX. Is it ok to eat the cream of wheat while detoxing? I'm confused because on the food chart it mentioned alot of different foods, but it tell you the best thing to do is a all raw food diet such as salads and fruit, smoothies... I also plan to do the ANTI-VIRAL CLEANSE AND REGIMEN right after the FULL BODY DETOX and that requires a all raw food diet as well. So that means 2 months of strictly raw foods right? :( Its tough but I am determined too get rid of this hsv1 & hsv 2

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    Q: Hi, me again. (Just letting u know I really appreciate this site and the work Dherbs.com and the others are doing. hotep) I've heard over and over that there are worms and parasites visible to the human eye in all forms of meat and I wanted to know the process with which I could see these parasites. Also I asked before about starch in carbs and was wondering is it best to eliminate carbs completely, or just reduce, and also if eating whole wheat/whole grain.

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    You don't have to eliminate anything completely, except for meat, dairy, and artificial salt and sugar. Just cut back on your carbs. Refined grains, such as breads, cereals, pastas, should be eliminated.

    We are have numerous informational articles available under ARTICLES on our site. Thank you for your interest in Dherbs.