I’d like to update a post I wrote last September, musing on whether whole grains cause weight gain.
I was writing at the time in response to a study that showed that cutting grains from your diet causes weight loss. I was skeptical about this study because it focused on grains in general, rather than on whole grains specifically. I believe strongly that cutting refined grains from your diet will cause weight loss; but I’m less sure about whole grains. And showing that cutting grains in general causes weight loss doesn’t mean that cutting whole grains will cause weight loss, if you’re cutting refined grains at the same time.
But I don’t want to leave the impression that whole grains can’t put weight on you, or that cutting them from your diet can’t help you to lose weight. There are two reasons I think it’s possible that cutting whole grains from your diet can help you lose weight.
One, from a historical perspective, we didn’t eat grains until very recently in our evolutionary development. This means we’ve spent the vast, vast bulk of our time as humans not eating grains. It’s possible that our bodies still haven’t perfectly adapted to them.
Second, most whole grains we eat these days are cooked. Having recently gone raw, and sustainably lost 8 to 9 pounds without exercise simply by eliminating cooked food, I’m convinced that, unless your body is markedly different from mine, you’ll lose weight by cutting cooked foods; and hence if you’ve been eating cooked grains you could lose weight by replacing them with raw foods.
So, depending on your current diet, and depending on what foods you use to replace whole grains in your diet, you may well lose weight by doing so.
The more interesting question for me, and possibly the most telling for whole grains themselves, is whether raw whole grains will make you heavier than will other raw foods.
So far, it’s tough for me to tell. As I’ve noted in recent posts, I’ve added Go Raw products to my diet recently, and several of these products include (raw, sprouted) grains. I’m unquestionably lighter when I eat these products than when I eat cooked food; but it’s not yet clear whether I’m lighter when I avoid these products but remain completely raw than when I include these grain-based products in my completely raw diet.
That’s an experiment for another day. If anybody’s played around with this diet and has some ideas about raw grains and weight gain please let me know.