Grains = High in UNavailable Nutrients

Did you know that rickets and osteoporosis are extremely common in populations that rely heavily on cereal grains?

Why you ask?

Because like beans, grains are high in phytic acid. And as I mentioned in More Beans = Less Nutrients, phytic acid reduces the absorption of key minerals like magnesium and zinc).  Interestingly, we’re frequently told to choose whole grains over refined grains, even though whole grains contain more phytic acid – it’s the fiber part (ex: bran) that contains the phytic acid.

Somewhat of a catch 22 wouldn’t you say?

You can either leave the grain whole to benefit from more fiber and a slower blood sugar response (insulin spike), or you can remove the hull (bran) to avoid the phytic acid.

And unfortunately, this isn’t the only tough decision. The fiber portion of the grain that contains the most phytic acid is also the part with the most nutrients. Thus, not only are you choosing between blood sugar and phytic acid, but:

You’re choosing between higher mineral levels and a lower chance of absorbing them, or lower mineral levels and a better chance of absorbing them.

Either way you lose – the phytic acid prevents absorption of the available nutrients, or the nutrient content declines when the phytic acid (bran) is removed.

To say you eat grains for nutrients is like saying you go to the strip club for action. Although it appears both are available, there’s too much preventing you from getting any.

What about soaking grains? Click here

Stay Lean!
Coach Mike


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