I haven’t talked about whole grains.
The reason I haven’t talked about whole grains is that I have made the decision to go wheat free. The reason I made the decision to go wheat free is that I have found that I have an intolerance for wheat. I have found that it leads to inflammation to my intestinal tract. There is a big movement to go gluten free because celiac disease involves a sensitivity to gluten. Gluten is a protein in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. Celiac disease is thought to be an autoimmune disorder, destroying the villi in the small intestine that helps the body absorb nutrients.
There is another movement to eat whole grains as whole grains are one of the healthiest ingredients that you can eat. Whole grain means the grain retains three of its original elements; the outer shell (is called bran) which contains fibre and B vitamins, the germ contains phytochemical and B vitamins, the endosperm contains carbohydrates and protein. The difference between whole and refined is, that in the refining process the bran and the germ is stripped away and what is left in the end product, is only the endosperm. If the product you are buying does not say 100% whole grain or whole wheat, then it has been made with enriched or refined flour. So, by purchasing whole grain it means you are getting more fibre and micronutrients, which protect against disease, as opposed to refined and enriched, which does nothing.
Whole grains are absorbed more slowly in your digestive system than enriched or refined flour. The difference being, that your insulin and glucose levels raise less allowing you to feel fuller longer by slowing your digestion. In order to ensure this slower absorption, the suggestion is to eat a little fat with it, such as olive oil or alternatively you can eat your bread with nuts such as walnuts, almonds, or peanut spreads. Multigrain does not tell you if the grain is whole or refined and if it doesn't say 100% whole grain there may be a combination of different flours contained within such as; enriched, bleached, unbleached, semolina, durum, or rice flour. This is more a whole grain blend, which actually means it doesn't have much whole grain at all.
But do not confuse whole grain with fibre because 8 grams of whole grain may contain less than 1gram of fibre. So, the belief is if you eat food with fibre, (whole grain carbohydrates), in the morning it helps control afternoon cravings. I find the opposite. I find that if I eat in the morning, whole grain or not, the carbohydrates make me want to eat more during the rest of my day.
What has been really amazing about giving up wheat is the realization about how many products actually contain wheat. I had no idea that wheat is in canned, instant and powdered soups and mixes, salad dressings, ice cream and frozen yogurt, canned soups, and frozen dinners, sausages, soy and teriyaki sauce, seasoning mixes, as well as candy. So as soon as you start to pay attention to it, life actually becomes easier because I have reduced my exposure to tempting foods.
I tried other flours for a period of time; coconut, almond, and flaxseed. After working really hard to make then edible I gave up, and decided just to be not only wheat free but flour free as well. I have also cut out corn starch as it is very high in carbohydrates. At first I didn't realize that I actually use corn starch a lot to thicken sauces. I had to develop other ways such as adding an egg or reducing the sauce instead. A lot of people talk about quinoa too, but I have taken it off my list as well, as it contains excessive carbohydrates.
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