Monday, July 19, 2010

grains are good

Lately I've had several people mention to me that perhaps I need to change the name of my business, Grains&More.  Their thinking is that because so many people "can't eat grains anymore" I might want to consider a different moniker.

As I question them further it becomes very apparent that they are talking about those folks who cannot have wheat or who must avoid gluten due to celiac or other gluten-intolerant issues.  And I find myself saying the same thing to all of them.

Grains are an important part of our diet.  Just because you cannot eat those grains that have gluten in them does not mean you cannot have grains.  As a matter of fact, there are more grains that do not have gluten than there are grains that do.  The gluten containing grains are wheat, spelt, rye, and barley.  The non-glutinous grains are rice, amaranth, teff, quinoa, corn, buckwheat, sorghum, millet, and job's tears.  Oats fall into a special category.  They do not contain gluten in and of themselves, however they are so frequently grown near, stored with, transported with wheat that they can be contaminated.  Therefore many people who cannot consume gluten either look for certified gluten-free oats or avoid them all together.

Just as a reminder, gluten is actually comprised of glutenin and gliadin which are present in the endosperm (or starchy part) of certain grains.  They make up most of the protein in the grain.  In many cultures the gluten is carefully separated from the grain and used as an important protein component in the diet, sometimes being referred to as seitan.  Those grains that are considered gluten-free do not have gliadin in them.

If you cannot eat gluten that does not mean you cannot eat grains.  As I've said, they are an important part of the diet, providing fiber as well as beneficial oils from the germ which contain antioxidants and are rich in vitamin E and B.  

So in case you were wondering, I'm still Grains&More, I still believe in and promote consuming grains as a part of a healthy diet and I'm not changing my name.

photo courtesy of Fir0002 | Wikimedia Commons

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