Study Finds Refined Grains Detrimental to Health

by | Sep 11, 2020 | Nutrition

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Unfortunately, because of confusing and sometimes misleading food labels, people who think they are selecting the most wholesome products for themselves and their families may be mistaken.

Whole grains are healthier than highly refined grains, that’s common knowledge. What isn’t common knowledge is that refined grains can actually make you unhealthy.

Refining removes the bran and germ, which strips away one quarter of the protein and nearly 20 key nutrients. What’s left is a poor substitute for what nature provides, even if the refiner adds vitamins and minerals after the fact. But there’s more.

Not only does refined grain lack the robust nutritional value of whole grain, there is a lesser-known but more serious health implication. A recent study1 found that refined grains cause more blood sugar spikes and weight gain than whole grains. Those blood sugar spikes are a key indicator of trouble ahead, for such chronic diseases as diabetes, heart trouble and Alzheimer’s. Refining removes fiber, fat, and protein that provide protection against blood sugar spikes when the body converts the carbohydrates in grain into sugar.

Unfortunately, because of confusing and sometimes misleading food labels, people who think they are selecting the most wholesome products for themselves and their families may be mistaken.

The United States Department of Agriculture says that some foods that appear to be whole grains are not.2 Bread, cereal, tortillas and pasta that say “100 percent whole grain” are required to be whole grain, but “multi-grain,” “7 grains,” “cracked wheat,” “bran” and other such labels are not whole grains. In addition, a product may be labeled “whole grain,” with up to 49 percent refined content. The result? A study published in August concluded that “The frequency of consumer misunderstanding of grain product labels was high.”3

Fundamentals of Health Alliance

Fundamentals of Health Alliance

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The Fundamentals of Health Alliance works to publish useful and reliable information about nutrition and health. Their mission is to empower readers to be informed with honest, non-biased information about food, nutrition and the vital components of health.

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