Soaking Grains to Remove Phytic: What’s the Upside?

After last weeks post,  I’ve had a lot of questions regarding soaking grains.  Although soaking has proven somewhat effective at removing phytic acid, research points to a 50% reduction at most. One study from 2002 in the Journal of Food Science determined that:

A 16hr soak at 77 degrees Fahrenheit (or 3 day germination period) had No Reduction in phytic acid.

Furthermore, most of the popular grains (oats and rice) have extremely high levels to begin with. For instance, rice has nearly 1250mg of phytic acid per 100g of dry weight (and 0 phytase to digest it).  Even if an 18hr soak removed 50% of the phytic acid, we’re still left with 600mg – far too much to be consuming at once!

Is it just me or are we trying extremely hard to make a food edible and beneficial, that clearly isn’t edible and beneficial?

Regardless of whether or not you choose to soak,  it doesn’t change the fact that grains (and beans) are extremely high in carbohydrates. Maybe 0.0001% of the population take the necessary 5 days to malt and sprout oats at 52 degrees Fahrenheit, and soak them for 17 hours at 120 degrees Fahrenheit to remove 98% of the phytic acid. And after all that, what are we left with?

29 grams of carbohydrates in a ½ cup!

Far too many high glycemic carbohydrates for the majority of the overweight and physically inactive population to be consuming.

What about whole grains?

Forgetting for a second that this has a minute reduction the net carbohydrate total (carbohydrates minus fiber), research has made it quite clear that the blood sugar response from whole grains compared to refined grains is nearly equivalent. It’s also been proven that swapping refined grains for whole grains has no significant reductions in body fat or the other risk factors for the metabolic syndrome.

And as I mentioned in Grains = High in UNavailable Nutrients, the higher the fiber the higher the phytic acid.  Even if there was a benefit in blood sugar from selecting whole grains (which there isn’t) it’s trumped by a loss in nutrients.

Grains = Lose Lose!

You can go ahead and try soaking your grains to remove the phytic acid and access more nutrients, but you can’t outsoak the glucose load.  Grains are far too high in insulin-skyrocketing carbohydrates, which continue to drive obesity and the degenerative diseases that come with it.


Stay Lean!
Coach Mike


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