Whole Grains Greetings, Last week, if you remember, we discussed the merits of bought breakfast cereals. Today letís have a look at whole grains. Are unrefined grains, like rice, corn and wheat, eaten in their whole state beneficial and optimum foods? If we strictly apply the test of an optimum food, which is palatable and nourishing in its raw state, then grains fail. Raw grains except when they are in their young, milky stage or sprouted, are virtually indigestible and high in phytic acid, which tends to bind calcium, iron and zinc and make them unavailable to our body. Grains are also unbalanced in potassium and sodium. In general, grains are deficient in the alkaline minerals, too rich in nitrogen and phosphoric acid, and tend to acidify the system. The starches in grains are hard to digest (about 10 x more difficult than potato starch) and are prone to fermentation. Man cannot live on grains for any length of time and maintain the best of health. If grains are eaten, they must be accompanied by green leafy vegetables to supply needed alkaline element. Grains are a relatively new food in the human dietary - hardly 10.000 years old - and refined grain products have really been around for 200 years in their present form. Man prospered very well before the advent of grain foods, so they cannot be defended as an essential part of the diet. In fairness, it must be noted that grains, because of their storage capabilities and other considerations, have formed a major part of the worldís diet for many populations. Grains, in their whole form, are not being degraded as an unsuitable food for man - but they are not optimum foods. White rice is generally polished whole rice. This polishing strips away many of the B vitamins and some of the proteins - about the same thing that happens to refined wheat. White rice is a nutritionally unbalanced food and should never be eaten. Refined corn also causes a B vitamin depletion in the body, the same as refined wheat flour. Pasta such as macaroni, spaghetti, noodles etc.. are usually made from semolina which is a refined white flour made from wheat. It, too, is like eating white bread What about bread? Bread has been on the table for hundreds of years. It is a familiar food, so much so that we often confuse itís familiarity with itís necessity. Most bread eaten today bears no resemblance to the bread of the past. You are eating a slice of fortified chemicals in a plastic, pastry form. Even if you can get "good" bread or make your own, bread is not a recommended food. For one thing, people tend to eat it with all sorts of foods. Bread is a very starchy food, and if it is eaten at all, it should only be consumed with leafy green vegetables and little else. One flavouring product, labelled Imitation Strawberry, listed the following ingredients: [Vanillin and other aldehydes, ethyl butyrate and other esters, oil lemon and other essential oils, Butyeric and other organic acids, benzodihydropyrone, ionone and other ketones, alcohol, propylene glycol, water, artificial colour and 0.1% benzoate of soda. ] This chemical concoction is only the flavouring; there is also additional artificial colouring added to the "food" A point to ponder: Most of these chemicals are made from coal and crude oil. Remember those news spots on T.V. showing all those sea birds, fish and penguins, which died from ingesting crude oil from tanker spills? And on that gruesome note we will part from you this week, Stay well and take care, The crazy Nut Team.