EXPOSED: Whole grains AREN'T healthy!
Don't be a chicken!
You don't act like a chicken. At least, you don't THINK you act like a chicken... but there's a good chance you share at least one habit with the old yardbird.
Odds are, both of you are eating whole grains.
Those are the backbone -- or maybe the wishbone -- of a chicken's diet, as they're what you'll find in any decent chickenfeed (at least if the chicken is being fed the "good" stuff).
But if you've been eating whole grains under the assumption that they're good for you, I've got a new study you need to see.
Researchers pecked through decades of data on grains and the effect they have on human health.
They were stunned to find that the evidence backing whole grains for human health amounted to... well... chickenfeed.
They found that the mainstream advice to eat whole grains is based on assumptions, not science.
Few studies have looked at the health benefits of whole grains in any kind of carefully controlled way.
The handful that made the attempt didn't last very long. None of them ran more than four months, which is nothing when it comes to looking at long-terms risks such as heart disease.
Once they crunched through all the science, the researchers found that there may not be much of a difference in risk at all whether you have whole grains or any other kind of grain, including refined and processed grains.
That doesn't mean you should give up and eat refined grains.
It does mean that "whole grains" are vastly overrated. My strong suspicion is that any benefits linked to whole grains in some studies aren't even from the grains themselves.
They're from fiber -- and, when it comes down to it, whole grains really aren't the best sources of that fiber.
Besides, whole grains cause blood sugar spikes and even weight gain -- which is fine for a chicken. You want them plump, after all.
But that's certainly not what you want for yourself.
So, skip the breads and pass on the cereals. Whole grains or not, they're just not that good for you.
If you want proven heart protection and a wide range of other health benefits, aim for between 40 and 50 grams of fiber a day, mostly from fresh produce such as broccoli, peas, apples, avocados, and pears.
One of the best sources of fiber is beans -- and they're great this time of year in vegetarian stews and chili.