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How to Diet

How to Diet

How to Diet: Americans Need to Switch to Whole Grains

And eat less grains in general

Our consumption of breads, bagels, cereal, pasta, rice, crackers, granola bars, pizza, burritos, wraps, pretzels, paninis, cookies, scones, muffins, and other grain foods is still going gangbusters. All told, we eat 109 pounds of flour per year. Thanks to the rise in corn flour, that’s not too far from the 116-pound peak of 2000 (right before the low-carb craze).

We need to switch to whole grains…and cut back on all grains.


Other relevant links:

Add Your Comments


  1. Stephen
    Posted September 19, 2013 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    My understanding of the optimal compliment of grains in the diet agrees with yours. But your article would be stronger if you explained WHY grain consumption reduction is desirable. Further, it would be more useful if it offered a target amount as well.

    • Nedah
      Posted September 19, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      I agree with both your points. More information, please!

  2. David
    Posted September 19, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Corn flour, is it the same as corn meal? And how does corn meal rank on ghlycemic index?

    • Connie
      Posted September 19, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      You need to also consider that 80% of corn is GMO corn. That’s makes it unhealthy too.

      • Jamas
        Posted September 19, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

        80% of corn is GMO ? Other than it’s unhealthy’ could you share your insight as to whats unhealthy about it and how different is it ?

  3. Philip
    Posted September 19, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    We need to switch to whole grains…and cut back on all grains.

    yes, yes and and FINISH THE THOUGHT without making me go yet another screen……….Thank you

  4. Arlene
    Posted September 19, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Correct your grammar, please. Americans need to eat FEWER grains, not “less” grains; and that is very true!

    • F
      Posted September 19, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      Actually, less is correct here. You would say, “This multi-grain bagel would taste better with fewer grains.” Meaning types of grain. The point of the article is consuming less grain, as a single category of food, as in less dairy.

      • Loula
        Posted September 22, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        Then you would need to use “grain” and not “grains”.

  5. Eugene
    Posted September 19, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Yes – greatly reduce consumption of sugars (sucrose,fructose…, particularly as added in processed foods and drinks – but why reduce grain consumption, (containing starch but also many other nutrients -protein, vitamins, fiber…)? Even refined flour contains significant protein (10-12%) and is enriched with critical vitamins, minerals). The much recommended Mediterranean Diet – as practiced in Mediterranean countries – is based on bread and pasta made from refined flour. Vegetables and fruits are great sources of vitamins and minerals but because of their high fiber and water content (85-90%)they are not good sources of energy or protein. Their bulky nature makes them an ideal weight- loss diet component.
    E. Donefer (retired McGill U. – Agriculture and Nutrition)

  6. David
    Posted September 19, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I agree with what Eugene says, though, I do avoid refined flour. What no one has mentioned is level of exercise. Every day I power walk 5-6 miles wearing a 20 lb waist belt. I easily burn off the carbs I get from my high fiber grains. Someone who gets little or no exercise probably should limit their grain intake. Bonnie Liebman’s article is interesting but incomplete when she doesn’t look at overall lifestyle behaviors.

  7. Mary
    Posted September 19, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Interesting. How about explaining WHY people need to eat more Whole Grains and fewer grains. How do whole grains help your body rather than bleached low nutrient, white flour? I read an article that white flour contributes to macular degeneration. I think that’s pretty scary and will get peoples’ attention. It got mine.

    According to
    “Foods that contain refined starches and are high in sugar can be damaging to vision. A study by TUFTS UNIVERSITY showed that high-glycemic foods cause a dramatic rise in blood sugar, which over time, may damage the retina and capillaries in the eye by promoting oxidative stress and inflammation. Soda and sugary drinks, candy, baked goods, some cereals, white rice, foods made with white flour, such as white bread and pasta, should be avoided.”

    Thank you.

  8. Linda
    Posted September 19, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    How does one know which are not GMO? Can you find a grain anywhere that is not GMO?

  9. Cathy
    Posted September 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    It would help if people re-learned how to prepare grains optimally for health and digestion, by soaking, sprouting and using sourdoughs… see traditional grain preparations for more

  10. Ruth
    Posted September 19, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Large percentage of Americans eat more grains then we actual need. I work in the field of Nutrition and part of my job is working with individuals recording their food intake. Most of my clients eat way to many bread products and not enough vegetables or fruit. Of course their choices are refined products because they are cheaper and quick and easy to consume. We should be eating 5 to 6 servings of grains a day and half of them should be whole. The serving sizes are smaller then what most people realize. I get alot of people that eat up to 12 grains or more a day and not whole either. That is a lot of carbs and processed foods.

    • Loula
      Posted September 22, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Fruit and vegetables are, on the whole, more expensive than grain, except when it comes to the “exotics” and newly “hot”, such as quinoa.

  11. Lois
    Posted September 19, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Why eliminate grains indeed!! There are many wonderful whole grains loaded with nutrients the body needs that many people never try. For example, bulgur, quinoa, wheat berries, barley, wild rice, and many more. Enjoy whole grains, they are delicious, and GOOD FOR YOU!!

  12. Nancy
    Posted September 19, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Bottom line, even if you eat a diet of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean meats and low-fat dairy, PORTION CONTROL IS KEY!

  13. Robert
    Posted September 19, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Please sees Dr. John McDougall’s the Starch Diet. He makes a powerful case that we should be eating More whole grains, not less., along with our eating lots of fruits and veggies. And avoiding white flour and sugar.

  14. Catherine
    Posted September 19, 2013 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    America needs to understand that once the whole grain has been powdered into flour, it is no longer a whole grain. It will have a spiking effect on blood sugar. If we eat the whole grain….in a form where we can see the grain…we will be healthier and happier! and get all the goodness that Nature intended for us.

  15. vecdi
    Posted September 20, 2013 at 4:01 am | Permalink

    In the nutrition point of wiev yes,it is right for you but not for me . In the food safety point of wiev. %50 of the total wheat grain production in USA is going to animal feed industry not to food industry. why? it is fusarium toxin problem. on other hand %50 of fusarium toxins removed from grains together with kepek(selluloze)in refining process for white flour poduction. Now, what is your decision?

  16. Julie
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    My understanding about whole grains is that they are still considered whole grains even when ground into flour because nothing has been taken out (unless of course it’s white flour). Whole wheat flour still has all of it’s parts, which is why we can still label it as whole wheat – the operative word being whole. However, it is digested more quickly than the whole wheat berry grain because it has been ground.

  17. Mark
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Is the rice you refer to in the brief article all rice or just white rice? Is brown rice considered a whole grain?
    (grammar police – back off please)

  18. Barbara
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    I gave up flour and sugar in 2008 and lost 110 pounds and have kept it off since 2009. I firmly believe flour and sugar are killers. So long as I abstain from them I have no problem maintaining a weight 125 I haven’t been at since 6th grade and I was 48 when I started. Someone above posted that ground grains, flour, is no longer a whole grain and that is true! Sugar Blues wrote about it in 1971 and the American diet has gotten steadily worse since then. Not only do flour and sugar spike blood sugar and contribute to diabetes but they are addictive so people want more and more. Believe it or not its easier to ban it than control it.

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] 1 Tbs. butter 1 Tbs. + ¼ cup sugar 1 cup 2% milk 3 large eggs ¾ cup almond meal (flour) ¼ cup whole-wheat flour ½ tsp. almond extract 4 apples, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced ¼ cup sliced […]

  2. By What to Eat: The Best Breads You Can Buy on December 27, 2014 at 5:05 am

    […] White bread is at risk of becoming a niche market, predicts the vice-president of marketing for ConAgra Mills. We can only hope he’s right. But while demand for white bread fell by 20 percent between 2005 and 2010, it still has 35 percent of the sliced-bread market. Whole grains are at 21 percent, and a grab-bag “other” category is at 44 percent. We’ve evaluated scores of breads and come up with a list of the best below. […]

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