Thursday, March 29, 2012

whole vs refined, plain vs peanut

The other day at lunch, I chose white rice over brown, and my friend mocked me for the lack of nutrients in my bowl. Of course, my bowl was chicken (without teriyaki sauce) and veggies over white rice, while his was teriyaki chicken, extra "magic sauce," no veggies, over brown rice.

If you are looking to your grains for your micro-nutrients, vitamins, minerals, etc. it means you're eating too many grains. You should eat enough fruits and vegetables to get what you need, and if there's room in your diet, and you choose to eat rice, so be it.

At best, grains are a way to get quick energy and provide some fuel for your body. The nutritional profile of grains per calorie is very poor compared to most fruits and vegetables. At worst, grains cause problems for many people. Brown rice makes my stomach hurt within minutes, and has since I was first subjected to it back in the 90s. For a day or two after pizza night, I feel slow, like I'm hung over. This is just me, though. If you're quiet enough and hold the internet up to your ear, you can almost hear the cries of "but I'm doing fine!" out there.

Trying to get the nutrition you need from whole grains vs refined grains is like arguing over whether Plain or Peanut M&Ms are better for you. It's clearly the peanut M&Ms, but you still shouldn't be using them for your nutrition.

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