Should You Eat Grains on a Raw Food Diet?
by Swayze Foster
brown rice, should be the foundation of a healthy diet.
Would You Eat Them Raw?
Seems like a silly question, but bear with me here for a moment.
If you were out in the wild foraging for food and you came across a field of wheat,
would you be inclined to it some?
Would your mouth water at the sight of uncooked, unprocessed, unseasoned wheat
For the 1% of you who answered yes, I have to wonder about the possible fowl
genetics present in your lineage. ;)
On a more serious note, eating raw grains is not just unappetizing to the human
palate. In Grain Damage: Rethinking the High-Starch Diet, Dr. Douglas Graham
" At best, raw grains taste unpleasant and bitter, even when they are sprouted. More
often, they are inedible or poisonous if eaten in the field. Even birds, the only natural
grain eaters, feed their young on insects, as grains are deficient in protein and
On the other hand, ripe fruit is instantly appealing to our senses. It's beautiful to look
at. Its smell makes us salivate. It gives nicely in our hands.
Last but not least, fruit tastes wonderful. What sane person can honestly resist a
perfectly ripe peach or a fragrant muskmelon?
What About Cooked Grains?
You may be thinking that cooking grains is a better option than eating them raw.
When a complex carbohydrate food such as wheat or barley is heated, the molecules
of the food are fused together into a glue-like substance. Even though cooking has
broken down the complex starches into simple glucose, the body must do extra work
to process the now chemically fused molecules.
This presents a huge problem in terms of blood-sugar levels. In Left In the Dark,
authors Graham Glynn and Tony Wright write:
" Carbohydrates also appear to be problematic when eaten in large amounts. A diet
high in carbohydrates, especially refined carbohydrates (cakes biscuits, pasta, etc.)
dumps large amounts of glucose rapidly into our bloodstream. This can cause insulin
resistance in which the absorption of glucose from the bloodstream is disrupted. This
in turn can lead to obesity, adult onset diabetes, hypertension, heart attacks and
And a little further down the page:
"If we compare refined carbohydrates with fruit we can see that fruit has a much
lower glycemic index, which means it is digested more slowly thus avoiding the
problems of the 'glucose rush."
But that's not all! Here are some more problems associated with eating cooked
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
But Humans Have Been Eating Grains For Thousands of Years!
While 10-30,000 years may seem like a long time to we humans with a mere
100-year life span (at best), it is but a flash in the pan evolutionarily speaking.
Here is an excerpt from Human Diet: Its Origin and Evolution on the increased
consumption of grains since the Neolithic Period (when humans settled down and
began farming extensively):
" Becoming dependent on grains reduced intake of fruits and vegetables, often to
20% or less of total energy intake. Accordingly, access to micronutrients (vitamins,
minerals, and phytochemicals) previously supplied by fruits and vegetables was
" Of course, cereal grains also provide micronutrients, but not necessarily those to
which human biology became accustomed throughout a multimillion-year
evolutionary experience, during which fruits and vegetables were the overwhelmingly
dominant plant foods."
Quite simply, we have not been consuming a diet high in grains long enough for our
anatomy and physiology to have adapted to them.
And anyway, grains do not fulfill our nutritional needs as fruits and vegetables do. For
instance, they are very low in vitamins A, B, and C and sodium and calcium.
This is why when you pick up a box of cereal or whole wheat pasta, you will often see
"Fortified with," preceded by a host of vitamins and minerals that have been added
to the product.
Not only that, but certain properties in grains affects absorption of vital nutrients
within the body. It is now known that grain consumption decreases .
And while many proponents of a grain-based diet site fiber as a reason to indulge,
there is a huge caveat here. You see, the fibers in grains are not water-soluble like
those present in fruits and vegetables; they are insoluble.
This means that they lack the ability to absorb water and move comfortably through
the body. Think of a harsh bristle brush slowly making its way down your digestive
Leave It To the Birds
In short, there is no reason for you to consume grains. Raw or cooked, they are
completely inferior to raw fruits and vegetables.
If you are having trouble consuming enough calories on a raw food diet, there is no
need to turn to sprouting grains...or legumes for that matter. Simply increasing your
consumption of sweet fruit until you feel satisfied will do the trick.
Remember, fruit always comes first.
About The Author
For more information on the best raw vegan diet, be sure to visit
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It is no secret that we as a
species consume a lot of cereal
grains. It's in our breakfast, our
lunches, our side dishes and
entrees. It's in our Mexican,
Italian, and Chinese staples.
Grains even make up most of our
favorite snacks and desserts.
And according to the United
States Department of Agriculture
(USDA), the American Heart
Association, and the American
Cancer Society, this is a good
thing. These institutions feel that
"whole" grains, such as wheat and
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