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Why do grains get such a bad rep?

Seems like every post I see today says something about grains being the big culprit of acne, the reason why everyone's skin is shitty.

So I thought I'd post a couple points:

1) If you're a carb type, is there really anything wrong with eating COMPLEX carbs like quinoa, brown rice, whole oats, etc. if properly prepared? In my opinion, no. Whole grains do have a lot of carbohydrates, yes, but they also are rich in B-vitamins and minerals to keep the body energized and able to metabolize all these carbs. Refined carbs on the other hand, are out of the question.

2) Obviously certain grains can fuck with our skin, for example wheat, barley, and other gluten grains without a doubt give me big nodules / bad break outs and I avoid these, but I don't seem to have any problem with quinoa, brown rice, and the like. In the case that grains are giving you acne, you should look at what grains you're consuming the most (bread, pasta are the most common high carbs / grain sources in the West and usually made from wheat so high in gluten), and try to figure out if it's really the fact that you're consuming high complex-carbs or the fact that you have an allergy to wheat or a problem with gluten that is making your skin break out.

3) A balanced diet in whole foods gives you all the vitamins you need, so there's no need to take a multivitamin. When you cut out grains, you're cutting out one of the best B-vitamin sources.

4) Another thing is if you live a sedentary lifestyle, obviously you should probably not center your diet around grains but in small amounts they still have beneficial effects.

5) I'm not advocating a high carbohydrate diet or a high grain one. I just think it's a bit silly to advocate cutting them out completely unless you're a true protein type (which I seem not to be personally, when I was eating a heavy diet of meat I got some major cysts), and that you should figure out if carbs or gluten is the true culprit of skin problems.

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Grains essentially act like sugar in your body. They are what I would call "suboptimal foods" for most people.

For most of human evolution, humans survived without grains. Hunter-gatherers had no way to eat grains.

Because grains are a rather new food, our bodys haven't adapted as well to grains as we have to animal products, fruits and vegetables.

The only time I would ever recommend grains are when:

  1. The person has been professionally tested as a Carbo Type AND
  2. The person is engaged in intense physical activity on a regular basis

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I totally agree, Rubber Sheep. It gets on my nerves, too, when people think that all grains are equal and that they're all bad.

Grains essentially act like sugar in your body.

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Grains essentially act like sugar in your body.

Yeah, all carbs are broken down into sugar... so then vegetables and fruits are bad too?

Sorry, I should clarify. Grains act like a large amount of sugar in your body. Fruits and vegetables (and nuts and seeds) not only have less sugar on average, they also contain more vitamins and minerals.

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Seems like every post I see today says something about grains being the big culprit of acne, the reason why everyone's skin is shitty.

So I thought I'd post a couple points:

1) If you're a carb type, is there really anything wrong with eating COMPLEX carbs like quinoa, brown rice, whole oats, etc. if properly prepared? In my opinion, no. Whole grains do have a lot of carbohydrates, yes, but they also are rich in B-vitamins and minerals to keep the body energized and able to metabolize all these carbs. Refined carbs on the other hand, are out of the question.

When they say that we never adapted to eating grains it means that we unlike birds can't eat raw grains because we don't have stomach grinder as they have

But in a way we adapted ourselves to grains by soaking and cooking them

When they're cooked they are starches and we are do adapted to starches since we have the enzime ptyalin necessary for their metabolization. Starches are eventually broken down into glucose and from that point they're effect is identical to the effect of fruits which we're natural eaters of

The glycemic index helps to predict the effect of grains on your metabolism and when a whole grain has the same GI of a fruit then basically eating it will have the same effect of eating fruits

Carbohydrates are not the culprit in my opinion and they're still the better fuel for our body and no matter of ketone bodies or fatty acids seem to work good on the paper, in real life cutting carbs as a fuel source always result in cutting resistance, concentration, strength, muscular tone and recovery abilities

There's only a reason why humans have a grasping thumbs and can see the whole colors spectrum: picking and eating fruits. As long as we agree that we're naturally suited to eating fruits, then we must agree that we're suited to eating carbs and lot of them indeed

A different story are the sufferer of PCOS whose body seems to consider complex carbs as foreign bodies causing a autoimmune response of the intestinal villi

2) Obviously certain grains can fuck with our skin, for example wheat, barley, and other gluten grains without a doubt give me big nodules / bad break outs and I avoid these, but I don't seem to have any problem with quinoa, brown rice, and the like. In the case that grains are giving you acne, you should look at what grains you're consuming the most (bread, pasta are the most common high carbs / grain sources in the West and usually made from wheat so high in gluten), and try to figure out if it's really the fact that you're consuming high complex-carbs or the fact that you have an allergy to wheat or a problem with gluten that is making your skin break out.

If carbs trigger your acne it is because of blood glucose and insulin levels

Since proteins require lot of insulin to be processed and high protein diets raise insulin levels, ditching the carbs hoping to balance sugar levels is a bit naive. Carb timing, adequate protein intake, small meals, eating regularlyand a generally low glycemic index diet is a better way to keep your blood sugar stable and avoid sugar and insulin spikes than eating just meat and cutting all carbs

So there's no reason why non-gluten low glycemic complex carbs should worsen your acne because their carbs are not more likely to affect your blood sugars than fruits are and are not more likely to affect your insulin than proteins are

3) A balanced diet in whole foods gives you all the vitamins you need, so there's no need to take a multivitamin. When you cut out grains, you're cutting out one of the best B-vitamin sources.

I believe that our best sources of minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients are always veggies and nuts

Vegetables should be at the bottom of our food pyramid because you can eat tons of them without exceeding in calories and gaining fat because they're so low in calories but tons of vegetables can provide your body with all the vitamins and mineral so that animals foods and fruits micronutriens become just supplements to what the vegetables provide (as for micronutrients)

3) Another thing is if you live a sedentary lifestyle, obviously you should probably not center your diet around grains but in small amounts they still have beneficial effects.

.. but a sedentary lifestyle is not beneficial even in small amount. There's nothing a diet can do to counteract the effect of a sedentary lifestyle, a sedentary lifestyle is always unhealthy and potentially deadly

So everyone should get up, move more and consume more carbs by consequence

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Actually, for most of human history, there is a very familiar pattern of human consumption: The main component of diet, or "core" is usually composed of some complex carbohydrate (polysaccharide), usually a grain. (Grains are nothing new, by the way--there is a great diversity of grains in the history of human diet: millet, wheat, barley, rice, maize, oats, the list goes on... What has changed is the amount of them we consume in a Western diet) This is because complex carbohydrates provide more energy than simple sugars. The second component is a legume--legumes are peas, beans, lentils, typically high in protein and lower in carbohydrate than a "core" food. The third is sometimes referred to as "fringe," and can be pretty much anything besides a core or a legume... like meat, fruit, herbs, etc. The "fringe" is what gives our food its taste...

The core-legume-fringe theory is pretty universally regarded (with many variations and a few exceptions) as the normal pattern of human diet. In all actuality, complex carbohydrates are our main source of energy and are very important for us to function properly. A low carbohydrate diet can work, if you get enough fiber and energy to compensate for the "core" you're not eating, but I don't think it's the most "natural" way to live. Humans have cultivated grain for thousands of years, and even hunter-gatherer societies rely on a "core" in some shape or form.

Fruits contain simple sugars, like fructose, dextrose, and glucose (mono- and disaccharides), and this is good for our bodies because we don't have to use any enery breaking down complex carbohydrates into simple sugars... we can use them pretty much right away. However, complex carbohydrates will give you more sustained energy because the amount of glucose that it can provide your system is much greater. That's why athletes tend to eat more pasta... they are burning more energy, so they need a form of energy to sustain them for a longer period of time.

In other words, carbs ain't gonna kill ya. As long as they're the right carbs.

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hmmmmmm when I eat grain breads I breakout

So did you read my post or what? When I eat bread I break out too - for the reason that bread is high in gluten (unless stated gluten free). I'd say gluten could be a factor for you too if it's bread and not things like rice that brown break you out. Also, milling grains into flour makes the GI higher, I believe.

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The no-grain idea annoyed me at first too. Whole grains were a big part of my diet for years. But recently, I decided to try a very limited grain diet. Avoiding gluten and sugar used to be enough to keep acne at bay, but that had started to change. I know I have an overgrowth of klebsiella (bad bacteria), which feeds on STARCH. I read a bit about the specific carbohydrate diet and was interested in trying that, but I was going on vacation, plus I'm tired of complicated diets, so decided I would just eat as little grains as possible to keep it simple, not stress about eating a few if they're served, and just test it out.

So I have been severely limiting grains for several weeks now, and I've kept a food diary. Guess what, stomach pains that I used to get almost daily are gone - EXCEPT on the days I eat grains. Also, I had keratosis pilaris on the backs of my arms pretty bad. I just noticed yesterday...it's GONE, completely. My arms are smooth. My menstrual cramps were reduced even after a week of eating no grains. And, mind you, I have gotten SEVERE cramps without fail every month for years. And, I haven't gotten any acne either, and I have even eaten a bit of (gasp) sugar, which usually does give me acne. I've even been eating rather large amounts of dairy like raw cheese, cottage cheese, kefir, and raw milk with no problem.

I haven't even been entirely strict. I ate a few of my Grandma's cookies while I was on vacation, but for the most part, I eat meat, eggs, dairy, fruit, veggies, and nuts- and potatoes, actually. I'm quite shocked (and pleased) by the results actually. Months of bowel cleansing and six liver flushes never gave me results like this. It's only been two weeks so I'll let you know what happens.

Keep your mind open.

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I think its propagated by a number of nutrionalists like mercola who often cite reasons such as:

The fact they are nutrient sparse/calorie dense, contain allergens, antinutrients, often processed/refined etc...

But as you rightly point out its a misconception to consider allgrains bad for everyone'shealth, it all comes down to context, many of the nutrionalists that give such advice are likely assuming their readers are sedentry, overweight and undernurished in which case avoiding grains would be one of the best things they could do, but for the many people do not fit this catagory the advice becomes less valid. Certain individuals (athletes etc) benefit greatly from certain grains, prepared and consumed correctly, and while one could argue that fat based diets provide similar athletic capabilities (95% or more, disputed) there is no reason to avoid carbohydrates only an excess of carbohydrate. i frequntly consume quinoa and wild rice and i would find it very difficult to get enough callories from my diet without these foods.

If you dont eat too much of them (more than your capacity to use/store them), avoid the allergens, antinutrients, and refined grains and consume them with fat i really dont see what all the fuss is about, context is king... just dont go hitting the pasta.

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Too much simple carbs are bad.

Complex carbs are OK.

Balance with natural green fruit/vegetable plant foods to keep nutrient and energy intake adequate.

Include good protein in your diet.

I drink tons of orange juice every hour.

I hardly drink water.

My acne has improved a lot.

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I think its propagated by a number of nutrionalists like mercola who often cite reasons such as:

The fact they are nutrient sparse/calorie dense, contain allergens, antinutrients, often processed/refined etc...

It doesn't seem to me that whole grains are nutrient sparse

100g of Millet for example contain more

phytonutrients, bioflanovonids, glutathione, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, folic acid, manganese, copper, zinc, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, n-3 EFA and almost as much calcium and B vitamins than chicken breasts

Not bad for a nutrient sparse food ... :think:

And also nuts contains as many allergenes and even more phytates than whole grains, yes they're not condemned, have been the staple of humans and other primates since the dawn of time and are suggested as a great food by the same authors condemning whole grains ... :think:

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The term nutrient sparse/calorie dense is not simply a reflection of the nutrients in a food but a RATIO of calories to nutrients, millet (oh that most widely consumed grain :rolleyes: ) has a superior RATIO to say refinened wheat flour but it pales in comparrison to almost all fruits and vegetables.

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millet (oh that most widely consumed grain :rolleyes: ) has a superior RATIO to say refinened wheat flour but it pales in comparrison to almost all fruits and vegetables.

That's true, nothing compares to vegetables and fruits as for nutrient/calories ratio

but if those authors condemn whole grains because they pale in comparison to veggies and fruits they should also condemn poultry and beef for the same reason

Millet is not widely consumed even among the whole grans lovers ... unfortunately ... because it is damn cheap (3 pounds of cooked products is 0.80 cents) easy to digest, gluten-free, nutrients rich and very tasty

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So there's no reason why non-gluten low glycemic complex carbs should worsen your acne because their carbs are not more likely to affect your blood sugars than fruits are and are not more likely to affect your insulin than proteins are

Keep in mind that just because a carb is "complex" doesn't mean that it's low glycemic! ;) Other factors besides the "complexity" determine that.

Bryan

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This is because complex carbohydrates provide more energy than simple sugars....However, complex carbohydrates will give you more sustained energy because the amount of glucose that it can provide your system is much greater.

I don't recall ever hearing such a claim. How do you justify that scientifically?

Too much simple carbs are bad.

Complex carbs are OK.

Why? Other things being equal, the complexity shouldn't make any difference. Or is your point simply that those other things usually are NOT equal? ;)

Bryan

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Too much simple carbs are bad.

I drink tons of orange juice every hour.

Orange juice is a simple carb, and you are therefore contradicting yourself! I think the distinction needs to be made between refined and unrefined carbs rather than simple and complex. Too many refined carbs (sugar, juice, flour based products) are undoubtedly bad for you being comparatively devoid of nutrients and fibre.....

As for grains, some people can tolerate them, others can't. It is completely individual. What makes sense to me is that at the end of the day grains are domesticated grasses and as all those all those hayfever sufferers out there know, grass pollen is one of the worst for an allergic response. Also, because grains have only been in our diet relatively recently in terms of our evolutionary history, it could be that alot of people just are'nt adapted to them for this reason....

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Too much simple carbs are bad.

I drink tons of orange juice every hour.

Orange juice is a simple carb, and you are therefore contradicting yourself! I think the distinction needs to be made between refined and unrefined carbs rather than simple and complex. Too many refined carbs (sugar, juice, flour based products) are undoubtedly bad for you being comparatively devoid of nutrients and fibre.....

I agree!

Simple and complex carbs is not a good distinction

Some complex carbs affect blood sugars more than simple carbs (i.e. potatoes) and yet some people especially if they've been active can tolerate them pretty well. Refined grains are still complex carbs and natural low GI fruits are still simple carbs ... so ...

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So there's no reason why non-gluten low glycemic complex carbs should worsen your acne because their carbs are not more likely to affect your blood sugars than fruits are and are not more likely to affect your insulin than proteins are

Keep in mind that just because a carb is "complex" doesn't mean that it's low glycemic! ;)

Yes, but most whole grains are indeed low GI compared to their refined counterparts

Buckwheat has a glycemic index between 40 and 50

Barley has a glycemic index between 20 and 30

Brown rice has a glycemic index between 50 and 60 (60 is moderate not high)

Wheat has a glycemic index between 30 and 40

Rye has a glycemic index between 29 and 40

Quinoa has a glycemic index between 30 and 35

Makut has a glycemic index between 20 and 30

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I'm gonna make a post of an excerpt from a book I'm reading right now, "Healing with Whole Foods" which talks about all the nutritional values of rice bran / unrefined brown rice. Have it up here soon, it'll be a bit to copy out of the book.

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I eat 4 cups of organic steel cut oats daily, I also eat alot of pasta when it's available.

None of the above break me out but that's just me, for others it might. bexi is right, it

is all completely individual.

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This is because complex carbohydrates provide more energy than simple sugars....However, complex carbohydrates will give you more sustained energy because the amount of glucose that it can provide your system is much greater.

I don't recall ever hearing such a claim. How do you justify that scientifically?

Bryan

The first bit is true (to a small extent) in that the more complex a carb the more (slightly) carbohydrate it contains, well it contains the same but your body makes more from it:

mono: 0% Extra

di: 5% Extra

poly: 11% Extra

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Yes, but most whole grains are indeed low GI compared to their refined counterparts

No, not unless they happen to be a grain that has a lot of soluble fiber, or some other GI-lowering factor. Again, "complexity" has little or nothing to do with it.

Bryan

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Yes, but most whole grains are indeed low GI compared to their refined counterparts

No, not unless they happen to be a grain that has a lot of soluble fiber, or some other GI-lowering factor. Again, "complexity" has little or nothing to do with it.

Bryan

but ... have you read my list?

I basically listed all whole grains existing in this planet, and they were all low GI

I didn't say that whole grains must necessarily have the characteristics necessary to be low GI, I just stated that it is a fact that 95% of all whole grains are low GI

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but ... have you read my list?

Yes. I've also seen other lists with information that conflicted with the one you provided.

BTW, how come you haven't mentioned potatoes? THOSE are "complex" carbs, too! ;)

The first bit is true (to a small extent) in that the more complex a carb the more (slightly) carbohydrate it contains, well it contains the same but your body makes more from it:

mono: 0% Extra

di: 5% Extra

poly: 11% Extra

So how do you explain that, Nick?

Bryan

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