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Grain Free Diet


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#1 Sharon Marie

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 09:05 AM

I would like to know more about the idea of a grain free diet. Are grains really necessary for our bodies?
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#2 RiceGuy

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 11:29 AM

Grains don't have unique nutrients such that we can't live without them. There are plenty of other sources for the nutrients grains provide. If you find that grains bother you, then don't eat them. If you are concerned about protein or fiber, many legumes are actually far better sources.

But technically, some things which are commonly referred to as grains really aren't. Buckwheat is one of them, as it is actually a seed.

Also, though I do eat grains, I've successfully made breads and other baked things without them, so I know a grain-free diet doesn't mean you can't have bread or other baked goods.
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A spherical meteorite 10 km in diameter traveling at 20 km/s has the kinetic energy equal to the calories in 550,000,000,000,000,000 Twinkies.

#3 jackay

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 11:58 AM

RiceGuy,
I've been eating millet and quinoa. Are they both seeds? I was eating a lot of rice to replace wheat and oats and found out I am mildly sensitive to rice, too. I've started eating millet and quinoa. I prefer the millet.
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#4 Sharon Marie

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 06:28 AM

I am thinking I have become intolerant to all grains. All the nutrition sites say that grain is an important part of our dietary intake. Thank you for your input.
I need all the advice I can get on this topic.
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#5 missy'smom

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 07:32 AM

Maybe this site would be an interesting resource. http://www.marksdail...-free&x=27&y=10
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Me: GLUTEN-FREE 7/06, multiple food allergies, T2 DIABETES DX 8/08, LADA-Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, Who knew food allergies could trigger an autoimmune attack on the pancreas?! 1/11 Re-DX T1 DM, pos. DQ2 Celiac gene test 9/11
Son: ADHD '06,
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ALLERGY: "positive" blood and skin tests to wheat, which triggers his eczema '08
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other food allergies

#6 Reba32

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 07:49 AM

I am thinking I have become intolerant to all grains. All the nutrition sites say that grain is an important part of our dietary intake. Thank you for your input.
I need all the advice I can get on this topic.



"They" say that because they're paid to and because they can't think of what else to eat.

The fact is that the grains we eat these days are so devoid of all nutrients that food manufacturers have to PUT BACK all the stuff they've taken out of it in order to over process it to get it to our tables. So very little of it is actually natural, or nutritious.
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#7 woodnewt

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 12:32 PM

I would like to know more about the idea of a grain free diet. Are grains really necessary for our bodies?

If you do searches on the net you will find quite a bit of info on the history of grains and living grain free. Best thing is really to read, read, read and study up on it and decide for yourself. :)

Apparently grains were only introduced into the human diet in such large quantities about 10,000 years ago upon the start of agriculture. So it's a new food to the human body. It's also something civilization relies on heavily, as it is an easy and cheap way to feed the masses in bulk. Grains (grasses) grow fast, are high calorie foods, and store very well and for a very long time. So even if grain weren't really as healthy as common knowledge says they are, admitting otherwise would be like opening a pandora's box - without our reliance on grain there would be no cheap, easy to grow food to feed the masses.
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#8 RiceGuy

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 11:59 AM

RiceGuy,
I've been eating millet and quinoa. Are they both seeds? I was eating a lot of rice to replace wheat and oats and found out I am mildly sensitive to rice, too. I've started eating millet and quinoa. I prefer the millet.

From what I've read, the true grasses are the ones in the Poaceae family. According to Wikipedia, millet is a true grain, and quinoa is not.

Amaranth
Buckwheat
Millet
Quinoa
Sorghum
Teff

To date, I've yet to read anything which defines grains as being unique in terms of nutritional value. Nor have I read anything about them containing some specific compound that would make a person need to avoid them, but not the seeds commonly used as grains.
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A spherical meteorite 10 km in diameter traveling at 20 km/s has the kinetic energy equal to the calories in 550,000,000,000,000,000 Twinkies.

#9 GF Traveling Dude

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 07:30 PM

No, not healthy. The reason it is not healthy is that you have to take in a certain minimal amount of carbs for your body to function properly, and you won't meet that minimum eating veggies, fruits, and nuts, unless you eat those things literally all day long. Your body has evolved to live, to some degree, off carbs. Now, if your stomach has unevolved to not process so many carbs due to an event like celiac or IBS, I sympathize. There are various other options you can try. One is to avoid all processed foods, or at minimum, processed grains. Basically all bread you buy in the store is processed. 99% of the rice you find in the store is processed. Instead of a bag of uncle ben's, buy a bag of brown lundberg rice, cook it and see how you do with it. Better yet, try germinated rice, which is difficult to find but goes down much easier in an impaired stomach than even raw cooked rice.
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#10 RiceGuy

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 10:47 AM

No, not healthy. The reason it is not healthy is that you have to take in a certain minimal amount of carbs for your body to function properly, and you won't meet that minimum eating veggies, fruits, and nuts, unless you eat those things literally all day long. Your body has evolved to live, to some degree, off carbs. Now, if your stomach has unevolved to not process so many carbs due to an event like celiac or IBS, I sympathize. There are various other options you can try. One is to avoid all processed foods, or at minimum, processed grains. Basically all bread you buy in the store is processed. 99% of the rice you find in the store is processed. Instead of a bag of uncle ben's, buy a bag of brown lundberg rice, cook it and see how you do with it. Better yet, try germinated rice, which is difficult to find but goes down much easier in an impaired stomach than even raw cooked rice.

I'm sorry, but grains are not the only good sources of carbohydrates. For instance, potato, taro, cassava, yam, numerous squashes, various fruits, and even legumes are all good sources of carbs. Take a look at the carbs in various beans, and you will see they rank right up there with the various gluten-free grains in terms of carb content (plus mare protein and fiber). And of course the starchy roots and squashes I mentioned have even more carbs than legumes.
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A spherical meteorite 10 km in diameter traveling at 20 km/s has the kinetic energy equal to the calories in 550,000,000,000,000,000 Twinkies.

#11 GF Traveling Dude

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 12:31 PM

I'm sorry, but grains are not the only good sources of carbohydrates. For instance, potato, taro, cassava, yam, numerous squashes, various fruits, and even legumes are all good sources of carbs. Take a look at the carbs in various beans, and you will see they rank right up there with the various gluten-free grains in terms of carb content (plus mare protein and fiber). And of course the starchy roots and squashes I mentioned have even more carbs than legumes.



You'd have to eat 6-8 potatoes or yams per day to match your old carb intake. If you eat 8 yams per day you'd be in the bathroom all day long. 6-8 old potatoes does not strike me as healthy. Eat a helping of beans with every meal and you'll spend all the interim time in the bathoom. Cassava might work but good luck finding it at your local Piggly Wiggly. A lot of these alternative foods just are not very practical. I have tried all this before; it really is not practical. That said, I am not totally against it. In various ways I did feel better when I was grain free, but I would not advise it to anyone. I think there are other options that people tend to look past.
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#12 jackay

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 03:15 PM

It does seem that what I am eating to replace grains is giving me tummy aches, which I wasn't having before. I may have to try just eating one food for a couple days and then try adding a food at a time to see what I can tolerate.
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#13 T.H.

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 06:54 PM

I'd look at it this way: if you are reacting to grains, then you're not getting your carbs anyway, because your gut is going to be so messed up, yes? So in that case (if that's the reason behind the shift), I'd say going grain free would be a healthy choice.

And it IS possible to go off grains completely, to the best of my knowledge. I say this as a person who, after going gluten free, suddenly developed life-threatening reactions to everything in the grass family. My nutritionist, under my doctor's supervision, has never once expressed concern over my carb load. But I do have to take care and make sure I eat certain foods every day.

There are three foods I can think of that we call 'grains' when we are looking at them from a culinary perspective, but they are not actual grains from the grass family. Buckwheat, quinoa, and amaranth. All three can be eaten as a whole grain or used as flours to make baked goods. Buckwheat has the highest carb load - about 2 cups cooked buckwheat will give an average sized adult woman her entire carb load for the day. Quinoa and amaranth have about a fourth of that amount of carbs per cooked cup of 'grain.'

However, quinoa and amaranth are also full proteins by themselves, so healthy in other ways.

That said, a couple allergy bits of gratuitous info, in case it helps? (Again, this is only useful if you're reacting to the stuff, eh?)

--If you notice you are reacting to all grains, you may want to take a look at bamboo shoots and sugarcane; these are both in the grass family along with the grains. And if you are eating anything gluten free that is pre-made, they almost always have extra sugarcane that is less processed, so more likely to produce a reaction.

--Also, if you are trying to eliminate corn and you haven't researched that one yet? I'd definitely recommend a research blitzkrieg. It took me forever to figure out why I kept getting sick. Turns out that most foods that need a starch to keep from clumping use cornstarch to do it. Like Morton's salt, for example. And most baking powders. The corn was harder to eliminate than the gluten! 0.0

Good luck to you!

I would like to know more about the idea of a grain free diet. Are grains really necessary for our bodies?


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T.H.

Gluten free since August 10, 2009.
21 years with undiagnosed Celiac Disease

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25 years with undiagnosed mast cell activation disorder (MCAD) 

 

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Father, brother: celiac positive


#14 RiceGuy

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 09:24 AM

You'd have to eat 6-8 potatoes or yams per day to match your old carb intake. If you eat 8 yams per day you'd be in the bathroom all day long. 6-8 old potatoes does not strike me as healthy. Eat a helping of beans with every meal and you'll spend all the interim time in the bathoom. Cassava might work but good luck finding it at your local Piggly Wiggly. A lot of these alternative foods just are not very practical. I have tried all this before; it really is not practical. That said, I am not totally against it. In various ways I did feel better when I was grain free, but I would not advise it to anyone. I think there are other options that people tend to look past.

I'm not sure how you arrived at those numbers. Also, how have you determined what the carb intake of the OP (or anyone else for that matter) would be while eating grains, so as to say how many potatoes it would take to be an equivalent amount of carbs? Even when I ate gluten, I still ate far more veggies than anyone else I personally know. Still do. So my carb intake would be different from someone who eats pasta and sandwiches every day for example. Also, whole grain foods like brown rice or even whole wheat bread have fewer carbs (not counting the fiber) than white rice and white bread. I grew up with whole grain breads, cereals, etc. Not everyone eats the same.

I'm also not sure where you got the idea that beans make a person go to the bathroom a lot. If that were true, what about people throughout the middle east and far east, who traditionally eat beans as a staple? Besides, I eat beans and other legumes every day, and I haven't experienced any such effect.

Let's take a look at the actual nutrition data for a few different foods. For comparison purposes, all items listed are raw.
1/4 cup dry
Whole Grain     Calories   Fat     Total Carbs   Fiber  Protein
Amaranth	186        3.2	   32.3          3.2    7
Buckwheat 	157 	   1.4 	   30.4          4.2    5.6
Millet 	        187        2.1     36.4          4.2    5.5
Quinoa 	        162        2.5     29.3          2.5    5.6
Rice, brown     171        1.35    35.72         1.6    3.67
Sorghum 	178 	   1.45    35.75         3      5.5
Teff	        161        0.5     33 	         6      6
-----------------------------------------------------------------
1/4 cup dry
Legume          Calories   Fat     Total Carbs   Fiber  Protein
Fava Beans      128        0.57    21.86         9.4    9.79
Garbanzo Beans  182        3.02    30.32         8.7    9.65
Kidney Beans    155        0.49    28.19         7      10.36
Pink Beans      180        0.59    33.7          6.7    11
Pinto Beans     167        0.59    30.18         7.5    10.34
Red Lentils     166        1.04    28.39         5.2    11.98
Split Peas      168        0.57    29.73         12.6   12.09
-----------------------------------------------------------------
                Calories   Fat     Total Carbs   Fiber  Protein
Potato (medium) 164        0.19    37.21         4.7    4.3
Sweet Potato    112        0.07    26.16         3.9    2.04
Carrots (4)     100        0.59    23.38         6.8    2.27
Beets (4)       141        0.56    31.36         9.2    5.28
Peas (1 cup)    117        0.58    20.95         7.4    7.86
Yam (1 cup)     177        0.26    41.82         6.2    2.29
Looks like just one potato has more carbs than any of the above grains or beans. The other veggies aren't so bad either. And the carbs in beans are right up there with that of the grains anyway. So this says there would be no lack of carbs in a sensible and healthy diet without grains. Furthermore, the human body needs other nutrients besides carbs, and grains just don't offer enough of them to place them at the center of a healthy diet. Indeed, the more variety we have in our diet, the more easily we'd be able to get the range of nutrients we need. Lots of veggies are recognized for their health benefits. Broccoli, spinach, collard greens, asparagus, turnips, green beans, celery, bok choy, zucchini...the list seems endless. With so much to choose from, there just isn't such a large whole to fill with grains.

Not that grains can't be part of a healthy diet, and as I stated earlier, I do eat them. But like most foods, grains aren't so necessary with all the choices we have. For example, I hate asparagus, but I don't lack a nutrient just because I don't eat it. On the other hand, if one was to limit his/her choices to a very small number of foods, then each item becomes all-the-more essential. Too little variety, and you won't have a healthy diet no matter what the ratio of those few things.
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A spherical meteorite 10 km in diameter traveling at 20 km/s has the kinetic energy equal to the calories in 550,000,000,000,000,000 Twinkies.

#15 GF Traveling Dude

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 09:44 AM

The chart numbers are misleading in the sense of servings. For example, typically people do not limit their grain intake to one cup at a time. You'd likely eat two or perhaps three cups at once. Two cups of brown rice as a side dish is not an eye popping amount. A serving like that is equal to two baked potatoes in terms of carb count.

Moreover, while government recommendations are not the be all and end all, they provide some guidance. Specifically, they recommend 300 carbs per day. That's 8.1 potatoes.

I have tried the grain free diet. The adjustment was not tough, and it did help my stomach. But over the course of a year my adrenals wore out. It was not clear why but I understand a lower carb diet can cause that. I don't recommend and state proceed with caution.


I'm not sure how you arrived at those numbers. Also, how have you determined what the carb intake of the OP (or anyone else for that matter) would be while eating grains, so as to say how many potatoes it would take to be an equivalent amount of carbs? Even when I ate gluten, I still ate far more veggies than anyone else I personally know. Still do. So my carb intake would be different from someone who eats pasta and sandwiches every day for example. Also, whole grain foods like brown rice or even whole wheat bread have fewer carbs (not counting the fiber) than white rice and white bread. I grew up with whole grain breads, cereals, etc. Not everyone eats the same.

I'm also not sure where you got the idea that beans make a person go to the bathroom a lot. If that were true, what about people throughout the middle east and far east, who traditionally eat beans as a staple? Besides, I eat beans and other legumes every day, and I haven't experienced any such effect.

Let's take a look at the actual nutrition data for a few different foods. For comparison purposes, all items listed are raw.

1/4 cup dry
Whole Grain     Calories   Fat     Total Carbs   Fiber  Protein
Amaranth	186        3.2	   32.3          3.2    7
Buckwheat 	157 	   1.4 	   30.4          4.2    5.6
Millet 	        187        2.1     36.4          4.2    5.5
Quinoa 	        162        2.5     29.3          2.5    5.6
Rice, brown     171        1.35    35.72         1.6    3.67
Sorghum 	178 	   1.45    35.75         3      5.5
Teff	        161        0.5     33 	         6      6
-----------------------------------------------------------------
1/4 cup dry
Legume          Calories   Fat     Total Carbs   Fiber  Protein
Fava Beans      128        0.57    21.86         9.4    9.79
Garbanzo Beans  182        3.02    30.32         8.7    9.65
Kidney Beans    155        0.49    28.19         7      10.36
Pink Beans      180        0.59    33.7          6.7    11
Pinto Beans     167        0.59    30.18         7.5    10.34
Red Lentils     166        1.04    28.39         5.2    11.98
Split Peas      168        0.57    29.73         12.6   12.09
-----------------------------------------------------------------
                Calories   Fat     Total Carbs   Fiber  Protein
Potato (medium) 164        0.19    37.21         4.7    4.3
Sweet Potato    112        0.07    26.16         3.9    2.04
Carrots (4)     100        0.59    23.38         6.8    2.27
Beets (4)       141        0.56    31.36         9.2    5.28
Peas (1 cup)    117        0.58    20.95         7.4    7.86
Yam (1 cup)     177        0.26    41.82         6.2    2.29
Looks like just one potato has more carbs than any of the above grains or beans. The other veggies aren't so bad either. And the carbs in beans are right up there with that of the grains anyway. So this says there would be no lack of carbs in a sensible and healthy diet without grains. Furthermore, the human body needs other nutrients besides carbs, and grains just don't offer enough of them to place them at the center of a healthy diet. Indeed, the more variety we have in our diet, the more easily we'd be able to get the range of nutrients we need. Lots of veggies are recognized for their health benefits. Broccoli, spinach, collard greens, asparagus, turnips, green beans, celery, bok choy, zucchini...the list seems endless. With so much to choose from, there just isn't such a large whole to fill with grains.

Not that grains can't be part of a healthy diet, and as I stated earlier, I do eat them. But like most foods, grains aren't so necessary with all the choices we have. For example, I hate asparagus, but I don't lack a nutrient just because I don't eat it. On the other hand, if one was to limit his/her choices to a very small number of foods, then each item becomes all-the-more essential. Too little variety, and you won't have a healthy diet no matter what the ratio of those few things.


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