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 The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine  
    February 2005    Page 11       > About LCL Magazine     > Cover Page      > Inside Cover    Feature Pages:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11  12  13  14     

Feature Articles
 LCL Looks at the Industry
 Delightfully Romantic
 Health Benefits of Olive Oil
 A Taste of the Orient
 Man's View of Valentine's Day
 Cooking with Herbs
 Worried about Osteoporosis?
 Industry Interview
 Dreamfields Recipes!
 Romantic Meals
 Expert Panel: Whole Grains
 The Future of Low Carb
 Fiber: Not Just for Breakfast
 Fixing a Low Carb Disaster





                 Whole Grains: Our Expert Panel Speaks Out

                                         "It takes a deep commitment to change
                              and an even deeper commitment to grow."
                                                                          Ralph Ellison

This month, we've asked our Expert Panel members to answer this question: "What are your thoughts on incorporating whole grains into a low (or lower) carb lifestyle?" It's important to remember that not all members of our Expert Panel will agree with one another. And that we (Low Carb Luxury) may not necessarily always agree with our panel members. But each of them bring some valuable insight to the table. And each has tried to share their viewpoints and reasons behind them.

From Richard Feinman, Ph.D.
Professor of Biochemistry
State University of New York Downstate Medical Center

If you are on a low (or lower) carb diet, then you believe that the carbohydrate content of what you eat is the most important factor. The presence of micronutrients and fibers and other ?healthy? stuff is secondary especially if you are one of the many people who are over-nourished rather than malnourished. So all grains must be viewed with suspicion. In the phase of your diet where you add back carbs, whole-grains may be preferable to more processed grains but remember that the major increase in food consumption during the obesity epidemic was in wheat.

My personal (not expert) opinion is that promotion of whole-grains is a hold-over from the ?natural? ideas of the sixties. I think overweight and obesity is a serious medical and personal problem for many people and a romantic lifestyle is a luxury.

A real expert opinion on this would have experimental evidence but there may be big individual differences. On this, I like the French translation of the word experiment: experience. Trust your own experience: if you gain weight when you eat whole-grains and your goal is to lose weight, then stop.

It might be good to remember that it was as far back as Brillat-Savarin, the great French gastronome, that it was recognized that we feed grain to livestock in order to get them to develop all that animal fat. Also, lots of whole-grain is recommended by the just-published government guidelines on nutrition, so how good could they be?

From Fred Pescatore, M.D.
The Centers For Integrative and Complementary Medicine
Author of The Hamptons Diet

Whole grains are an integral part of a lower carbohydrate lifestyle. it is necessary for people to understand how to incorporate whole grains into an appropriate diet program. Without that, the low carber has no hopes of living a happy life in this high carb world.

The Hamptons Diet incorporates whole grains right from the very beginning so the body learns how to metabolize these foods in a healthy way. A low carb diet without thoughts of how a person can handle the healthy carbohydrates is not a lifestyle program, but a fad diet.

From Dan Maiullo
DynaPure Nutrition

Everything in moderation. As far as low carb is concerned, it is really about choosing which carbs to eat. If you restrict yourself to 10 grams per day, well then there's not much to choose from. But if you eat 50 to 100 grams per day, which is more realistic for most of the population, then you may give up a candy bar for a piece of fruit. Or maybe you will eat more vegetables and cut out potatoes and rice. You can substitute whole grain bread for white bread, or whole wheat pasta for regular pasta. But if you have already eliminated bread and pasta from your diet, whole grain products aren't really appropriate.

The current whole grain buzz is really just PR for the grain interests to recapture much of the market share that they have lost. Remember that these guys still have alot of political pull, and that (added to bureaucratic ignorance) is why the government is now recommending whole grains. Most whole grain products contain just as much non-fiber carbs as their more processed counterparts, though they may contain more fiber. Also, many of the health benefits realized by people who eliminate wheat from their diet is as much due to gluten sensitivity as it is to carb reduction. Whole grain wheat products still contain wheat gluten.

If you choose to use whole grain products, just know that they are not really much healthier than products made with bleached white flour.

From Jonny Bowden, MA, CN, CNS
Author of "Living the Low Carb Life"
e-Diets and i-Village Weight Loss Coach

If grains are going to be eaten at all, they should be whole grains. That's a no-brainer. The bigger, harder question is whether they need to be eaten at all. The answer is a decided maybe. Certainly people can do very well on a no-grain diet. Grains are high on the list of triggers for food sensitivity, often undiagnosed. Certain gluten is a problem for lots of people (the big gluten containing grains are barley, rye, oats and especially wheat). And many of my colleagues are even more concerned about the toxins and pesticides that come with the wheat and grains than they are about the grains themselves. Finally, many grains — even some whole ones — have a high glycemic load which is definitely a problem for a lot of people.

On the other hand, people like Dr. Richard Bernstein are big fans of oatmeal, even on a carb restricted diet. I tend to agree with him, though it's not going to be true for everyone.

In short, I think whole grains belong at the very top of a good food "pyramid", certainly not at the bottom. Some people will do fine on them and others should probably restrict them. How much you need to restrict them — or even if you need to eliminate them — depends on the individual person.

From Gil Wilshire, M.D., FACOG
Reproductive Endocrinologist
President and Chief Scientific Officer,
Carbohydrate Awareness Council.

Whole grains are currently enjoying a renewed splash of popularity (sound familiar?). This is certainly a good thing with respect to public health: anything that reduces the consumption of refined grains is a good thing. A healthy diet — be it low carb for weight loss, or isocaloric for weight maintenance — should contain foodstuffs that are as close to their natural "undamaged" state as possible. Clearly humans have evolved consuming these types of nutrients and we are certainly best adapted to digest and process these items.

The jury is still out whether some (or maybe most) people really do benefit from grain consumption, per se. Fiber, essential oils, and minerals are all found in better quantities in other foods. The only reasons I can see to eat grains is that they are relatively cheap sources of calories and their consumption fosters a lot of commerce.

My personal bias is that the optimal diet for most people is one that is composed primarily of diverse roughage and non-starchy vegetables, meats and protein sources from a wide variety of sources, and a large quantity of oils from seeds, nuts, and fish. I'd rather my "prey" eat the grains... I'll consume the flour as an occasional treat. Let the cattle continue to get fat and juicy on the corn feed. I'd rather be the lean hunter type.

From Joy Pape, RN BSN CDE WOCN
Certified Diabetes Nurse Educator

As with everything, this too needs to be personalized. The more experience I get, I realize that there's a whole lot more to nutritional counseling and diabetes education than just what's "good for you." People do well for a while but many times old habits creep in, likes and dislikes really come into play. Some people can stop eating grains without a problem, but some people can't do without them.

So, back to my mantra, "Numbers don't lie." Early on, I teach that carbohydrates do cause blood glucose to rise more than protein and fat. I teach that whole grains are considered carbs, and not all carbs are bad but they do have more of an impact on blood glucose. If someone who has diabetes. wants to incorporate whole grains into their lifestyle, we look at ways to do this without going overboard.

What's overboard? That's different for each person. How do they know? By monitoring their blood glucose right before and one to two hours after to see how a certain food or meal affected their blood glucose. For example, if a person can't think of eggs without toast, then how about one piece of thin sliced whole grain toast rather than two slices of white bread? Things like that. Things people will live with for a lifetime.

From Pete Maletto
Chief Science Officer
DynaPure Nutrition

Whole grains tend to have excellent macronutrient values, as well as being higher in fiber and protein from lack of processing.

Depending on your critical carbohydrate level, whole grains are one of the few traditional carbohydrates you might want to allow as part of your low carb lifestyle. That's because the glycemic index of most whole grains are relatively low, meaning they have a moderate impact on blood glucose levels, especially when proteins and good fats are included as well.

The inclusion of whole grains in appreciable quantities is likely to prevent ketosis, however, this can be quite favorable for some individuals who cannot physically tolerate operating on ketones alone.

If a person feels lethargic at very low carbohydrate levels (under 20 to 30 grams per day), it may be beneficial to slowly add whole grains and vegetables into the diet (up to 60 grams per day) until that person feels physically normal again.

Some whole grain carbohydrates are especially advantageous to those who tend to workout a great deal because of their greater need for glucose in the muscle cells. Inclusion of whole grains are best during the day (when energy is most required) and should not to be included in one's final meal of the evening.

It's important to remember that each individual has different needs. It's up to us to find what protein, fat, and carbohydrate levels we feel physically best on.

Copyright © February 2005  Low Carb Luxury
Title photo Copyright © 2005  Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury



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