Please Read Part One Before Continuing…
In part one (found here) I addressed a simple question: Are grains healthy? The answer is unequivocally, undeniably no. We do not need grains to survive, let alone thrive. In fact, they are naturally selected to ward off pests, whether they be insects or hominids. I suggest we take the hint and stop eating them.
What about the “staples” of healthy diets? As I mentioned in Part One, there is a spectrum of not-so-bad (rice) to terrible (whole wheat). Wheat, which is extremely Gluten heavy, should be, in my honest opinion, dropped from a fat-loss diet completely.
That being said, Oatmeal (middle of the spectrum) and Rice deserve a closer look before thy are completely axed.
I’ll tell you right now the biggest problem with “oatmeal” is the quick oats filled with crap, mostly sugar. So let’s, for the sake of simplicity, just cut the instant packages of oats out of the diet completely.
Now we are facing raw, rolled or steel cut, bland nasty-ass oats. Oats don’t really taste good (at all) and do not have a lot of offer. The nutrient profile is decent, but like the grains I discussed in Part One the bioavailability of them is questionable. Oats do, however, have quite the reputation as a healthy food, why?
Studies have shown the soluble fiber has a host of great effects in humans (and pigs) when consumed in moderate amounts. Studies have never shown, however, that the fiber source MUST be oats – yellow and green vegetables have the same effect. All the hoopla surrounded the health benefits of oats has been mostly manufactured by the people trying to SELL you oats.
That being said, are they good or bad?
Neither. If you are lean and actually enjoy the taste of raw whole oats than you should be able to eat them with little negative side effects. Again, this pertains to those that handle insulin well. If you are overweight or trying to lose weight (which most of you are) I would drop the oats altogether and add some green veggies to get all the positive effects of fiber and none of the negative, insulin related effects. If you want a starch or a carb source stick with Rice (on occasion) or Sweet Potatoes (often).
In part one I laid out the dangers of grains and their anti-nutrients that are capable of wreaking havoc on the stomach lining of any single human. Hell, the ultimate grain, Wheat, can puncture holes in stomach linings! Why then, am I about to advocate for rice consumption…. And, even more farfetched, why am I about to push white rice into your diet and take out the brown?
Pay attention, this is another section I need your open-minded thinking caps on:
Recognize, first, that we live in an incredibly complex, intertwined world made of living organisms that are all trying to survive and maintain balance. Just like everything else in this world, very few things are what they seem to be at first glance – and that is especially true for food. We are not machines that add and subtract calories and nutrients, instead we are organisms that have evolved and adapted to absorbing nutrients to survive. This means that the food label on the back of a package means very little. The nutrients in a specific food do not determine it’s effect on our body, the effect is going to be a result of what our body can effectively absorb and utilize. This s also covered in part one.
Phytates, as we learned in part one, make nutrient unavailable for humans to utilize, while rice has phytates (phytin) it is located in the bran. Interestingly enough, white rice is brown rice with the bran removed, so while Brown Rice has a better nutrient profile, it is useless to us. White rice might have very little in the way of nutritional value, but it is handled much more effectively by the human body.
Rice also contains Trypsin Inhibitor; trypsin, at the most basic level, strips protein down to Amino Acids so the body can absorb and utilize them. A trypsin inhibitor (found in rice) is obviously not a good thing then… luckily the trypsin inhibitor lies within the bran, so it is not an issue amongst white-rice eaters.
Obviously, Brown Rice does more harm than good – but what about white rice? It does no harm but seems to offer no benefit. White rice is an excellent carb source in the fact that it has no negative effects (outside insulin response which all carbs will have) and can act as a vessel for other good nutrients! If you handle insulin well white rice is great as a carb source (just don’t let it take the place of more nutritious foods) and is great for bulking up cleanly. Whether or not rice belongs in your diet depends entirely on your current metabolic state.
Sick of rice and need more carb sources?
Don’t reach for the potatoes yet, you might want to read Part 3 before you do that!