A new review of research finds that for the majority of people, eating whole grains is beneficial and that many of the claims made by wheat-free diet fans are myths.
Scientists at the University of Warwick, U.K., conducted the independent review, which was recently presented at the Food Matters Live conference at the ExCel Centre in London and noted on sciencedaily.com.
The independent study was funded by the popular British breakfast cereal company Weetabix, whose shredded wheat biscuits would surely send wheat-free and paleo dieters scurrying like vampires from garlic.
“Other than for the two percent of the population with a specific gluten or wheat intolerance, the scientific evidence behind many of the most popular wheat- and carbohydrate-free diets turns out to be surprisingly thin and selectively used,” said Senior Research Fellow Rob Lillywhite of the University of Warwick’s Warwick Crop Centre in its School of Life Sciences in a university release. There’s “overwhelming” evidence that eating a diet included whole grains increases health and helps maintain a good body weight, he added. According to the Whole Grains Council of America, Americans are not getting enough whole grains.
Lillywhite blasts the claim that the rise of gut-related ailments is due to the fact that humans weren’t designed to eat certain types of foods. “This is erroneous, as humans were not designed for anything but evolved to their environment and adapted to the available food,” he says. “The success of Homo sapiens is testament to that adaptive ability. Humans consume food products now such as cereals and dairy products, in vast quantities, that would have been unrecognizable to Stone Age hunter-gatherers and the very fact that so few people are immune or sensitive to them is demonstration of that adaptive ability.”
The review found that the less processed the grains are, the healthier they are. So skip the Stove Top and go for a whole grain version.