Grains and Starches

Whole Grains Are Not the Wholly Grail

I certainly agree that whole grains are better than refined processed grains for people who want to eat them. But, not too much! And I mean that literally.

I grew up on a hobby farm and raised steers in 4H. I fed them whole grains such as  corn, oats, soybeans and wheat to fatten them up for market. It worked very well too. Sadly, that is what we have been doing to the American population for decades with the idea that people need to have a lot of grains in their diet.

Where did this idea that we needed lots of grains in our diet come from?

As Denise Minger explains in her book, Death By Food Pyramid, the USDA had a strong influence on the American diet with their original food pyramid. In 1975, the USDA advised that we should get 9-11 servings of grains daily.

However, that is not what the team of researchers who were assigned the job of designing the first food pyramid recommended. They said we should have fruits and vegetables as the base of our food pyramid and that grains should be no more than 2-3 servings daily. That was never published.The USDA decided that fruits and vegetables would be too expensive for our population and replaced them with larger servings of grain. So, this idea of getting lots of grains in our diet was not based in science but rather politics!

The downstream results of this highly grain based diet has been a skyrocketing rate of overweight, obesity and diabetes mellitus in the American population. The CDC has predicted (January 2015) that 40% of the adult population will ultimately develop diabetes mellitus. Most of increased cases will be type 2 diabetes mellitus. The healthcare costs to take care of these additional diabetic patients will be astronomical! Sadly, I believe much of this could have been prevented with a healthier diet for our population. We should have been subsidizing farmers to grow fruits and vegetables not corn that gets turned into high fructose corn syrup and the like.