Are Whole Grains Good for Gout?
Whole grains are an ancient food that has been consumed for over 12,000 years. Whole grains such as wheat and rice are thought to feed roughly one-third of the world’s population. However, many modern diets, including the paleo diet, argue that eating grains are bad for your health.
Fortunately, whole grains have a different health profile than refined grains, which have been linked to issues like obesity and inflammation. There are numerous studies that demonstrate that eating whole grains may potentially provide multiple health benefits.
Whole grains, such as bread or pasta, may help reduce the risk of developing many chronic diseases, including gout. Therefore, including whole grains in your gout treatment plan is really a no-brainer!
According to studies, those who consume three servings per day reap the greatest health benefits. It’s one of the reasons it’s a staple of the famous Mediterranean diet! Yes, you can consume up to 50% of your daily calories in the form of whole-grain bread, pasta, quinoa, or rice!
In actuality, consuming whole grains is linked to a number of advantages, such as a reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Listen to the food industry’s BS about gluten-free and your health will take a beating.
So keep reading to learn about the common myths surrounding whole grains and how they may help you manage your gout symptoms better.
Gout and Your Diet
Gout is a common type of painful arthritis that may affect one or more joints but most commonly affects the feet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gout affects over 8 million people in the United States, making it one of the most common types of inflammatory arthritis (CDC).
Some of the most common ways to treat these symptoms include the use of anti-inflammatory and pain reliever medications.
The uric acid crystallizes and accumulates in the joints, causing attacks. The breakdown of purines, an organic substance found in foods, produces uric acid, an antioxidant that protects the lining of our blood vessels.
While genetics play a role in whether you develop gout, lifestyle changes may help prevent pain. Avoiding purine-rich foods and being mindful of what you eat may help relieve symptoms.
Are Whole Grains Gout-Friendly?
Oatmeal, wheat germ, and bran are examples of whole grains that contain moderate amounts of purines. However, for those suffering from gout, the benefits of eating whole grains outweigh the risks. Whole grains have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
According to a 2016 study, lowering the glycemic index lowers uric acid levels in participants. Limiting high-glycemic-index foods like white bread, pasta, and white rice may help to lower uric acid levels and possibly prevent the onset or flare-ups of gout.
Remember that eating too many whole grains may be harmful to gout patients, so keep your portion sizes in check. That being, let’s take a closer look at the benefits of consuming whole-grain foods.
What Are Whole-Grain Foods?
It’s a good bet that most people wouldn’t be able to explain the difference between terms like whole grain, multigrain and whole wheat. Nonetheless, according to a recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, adults in the United States consumed more whole grains than ever before between 2003 and 2018.
However, the researchers reported that determining how much more they consumed was difficult. That’s because the definition of whole grain food is murky.
Different organizations, including the Food and Drug Administration, the American Heart Association, and business organizations like the Whole Grains Council, have different standards for what foods meet those requirements.
And the lack of a standard definition, combined with perplexing labeling on food packaging, makes it difficult for people to accurately assess their consumption.
Despite the increase in whole grain consumption, the researchers found that most adults were still not getting enough whole grains in their diets.
Whole Grains, Explained
Whole grains contain all of the original kernel’s components in their original proportions (bran, germ, and endosperm). Refined grains are stripped of their bran and germ. Look for the word “whole,” which may refer to whole grain or whole wheat.
Verify that one of the first three ingredients listed on the label is a grain. Also, don’t be fooled by the appearance of healthy brown bread. It could simply be colored with molasses or brown sugar.
Why Do We Need Whole Grains?
A grain is considered “whole” if it contains all three components of the original kernel: bran, endosperm, and germ. The fiber-rich outer layer of a grain kernel called bran has a lot of B vitamins and minerals in it.
The endosperm is a middle layer of starchy carbohydrates with some proteins and vitamins. On the other hand, the germ is a nutrient-dense core full of vitamins, good fats, and other advantageous substances.
Whole grains include barley, brown rice, millet, oatmeal, wheat, rye, corn, and spelt. Quinoa and buckwheat are technically seeds, but in diets, they are often classified as whole grains.
Because it contains all three components, whole wheat, including whole wheat flour, qualifies as a whole grain. White flour, on the other hand, does not count because it is milled in a way that removes the wheat bran and germ.
Whole grains are important to include in your diet for a variety of reasons, including their high nutrient and fiber content. High-fiber diets have been linked to a variety of health benefits, including lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, as well as better digestion.
Grains can be a great source of B vitamins and important amino acids like methionine and phenylalanine, depending on the type you’re eating.
The Benefits of Whole Grain Foods
Some popular diet books recommend avoiding wheat or gluten in order to lose weight. However, the USDA recommends eating grains on a daily basis, with at least half of those grains being whole grains.
You don’t want to miss out on the health benefits of whole grains unless you have celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or another reason to limit your intake.
The following are some potential health advantages of including whole grains in your diet.
#1) Whole Grains Can Be Stacked with Fiber
One important benefit of eating whole grains is fiber. Adults require between 25 and 35 grams of fiber per day, and whole grains contain both soluble and insoluble types that are good for your health.
Two slices of dark rye bread contain 5.8 grams of fiber, compared to 1.9 grams in the same amount of white bread. Not only that but 1/2 cup of uncooked brown rice contains 5.5 g of fiber. Contrast that to the 2 grams in a serving of uncooked white rice (which is obviously not a whole grain) and the meager 0.7 in instant rice.
Fiber, which digests slowly, also prolongs your feeling of fullness. Furthermore, fiber has many known health advantages, including the ability to lower LDL cholesterol, control blood sugar, and lower the risk of colon cancer.
However, not all whole grains are high in fiber. Pay attention to oats, barley, and bulgur.
#2) Helps Improve Your Digestion
Whole grains have additional digestive benefits. The fiber content maintains regular bowel movements, which is important because studies show that people who eat more fiber require fewer laxatives.
Additionally, they help prevent diverticulosis, a condition in which tiny pouches develop in the colon wall and cause pain, inflammation, constipation, and diarrhea.
Although fiber provides the majority of the benefit, whole grains also contain lactic acid, which promotes “good bacteria” in the large intestine. These organisms help with digestion, nutrient absorption, and may even boost the immune system.
#3) Helps Reduce Blood Pressure
The heart benefits of whole grains go beyond cholesterol and triglycerides. They also reduce blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
One study found that men who ate more than 7 servings of whole grain breakfast cereal per week had a 19% lower risk of hypertension than those who ate one or less.
#4) May Help Bring Down Cholesterol Levels
In addition to helping to stop your body from absorbing “bad” cholesterol, whole grains may also lower triglycerides, two key risk factors for heart disease. Whole grains do, in fact, reduce overall heart disease risk.
According to one study, women who consumed 2-3 servings of whole grain products per day were 30% less likely than women who consumed fewer than one serving per week to experience a heart attack or pass away from the disease.
#5) They May Help with Weight Loss
People who consume a lot of whole grains are more likely to maintain a healthy weight. They are also less likely to gain weight over time than those who consume refined grains.
One study found that over time, women who preferred doughnuts and white bread had a 49% lower risk of “major weight gain” than women who consumed the most wheat germ, brown rice, dark bread, popcorn, and other whole grains.
Over a 12-year period, middle-aged men and women who ate a fiber-rich diet gained 3.35 pounds less than those who ate refined foods.
#6) They Help to Redistribute Fat
Eating whole grains may reduce the amount of body fat you have and promote a more evenly distributed distribution of that fat, even if it doesn’t actually cause you to lose weight, according to studies.
Specifically, eating whole grains may reduce belly fat, or what scientists kindly refer to as “central adiposity,” which raises your risk of developing diabetes and other health problems.
#7) They Make You Feel Satisfied
Whole grains may help you lose weight by making you feel fuller than refined grains like cookies or white bread. This is because whole grains take longer to digest and provide more satiation. This could also help you keep your portions in check. To maximize fullness, try rye or protein-rich quinoa.
#8) Reduce Your Chances of Developing Type 2 Diabetes
Consuming whole grains rather than refined grains may lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A review of 16 studies concluded that eating at least two servings of whole grains per day and substituting whole grains for refined grains could lower your risk of diabetes.
This has to do with the ability of whole grains high in fiber to help with weight management and the avoidance of obesity, which is a risk factor for diabetes. Furthermore, research has linked whole grain consumption to lower fasting blood sugar levels and improved insulin sensitivity.
This might be brought on by magnesium, a mineral present in whole grains that facilitates the body’s carbohydrate metabolism and is associated with insulin sensitivity.
#9) Lower Chronic Inflammation
According to some research, whole grains may help reduce inflammation. Women who ate the most whole grains were less likely to die from chronic inflammation-related diseases, according to one study.
Additionally, a recent study found that people with unhealthy diets who switched from refined to whole wheat products experienced a decrease in inflammatory markers. The results of these and other studies support suggestions that whole grains should replace most refined grains in diets.
#10) Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
Whole grains have many health benefits, including lowering your risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death worldwide. A meta-analysis of ten studies found that eating three 1-ounce (28-gram) servings of whole grains per day may reduce your risk of heart disease by 22%.
Similarly, a 10-year study of 17,424 adults discovered that those who consumed the most whole grains as a percentage of total carb intake had a 47% lower risk of heart disease. Heart-healthy diets, according to the researchers, should include more whole grains and fewer refined grains.
It can be challenging to differentiate the health benefits of various foods because most studies combine various whole-grain varieties. However, whole-grain bread and cereals as well as bran supplements have been specifically linked to a lower risk of developing heart disease.
Whole Grains Are Not Suitable for Everyone
While whole grains are generally beneficial to the majority of people, they are not always appropriate for everyone.
- Gluten intolerance and celiac disease: Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, barley, and rye that some people are intolerant to or allergic to. Gluten allergy, celiac disease, or gluten sensitivity may cause fatigue, indigestion, and joint pain, among other symptoms.The majority of people with these conditions may eat gluten-free whole grains like buckwheat, rice, oats, and amaranth. However, some people have trouble tolerating any type of grain, resulting in digestive distress and other symptoms.
- Irritable bowel syndrome: Short-chain carbohydrates referred to as FODMAPs are prevalent in some grains, including wheat. These may contribute to the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is a very common condition.
The Gluten-Free vs Whole Grain Debate
Many people who follow a gluten-free diet may be confused by this. After all, you have best-selling authors like Dr. William Davi say things like “Wheat Belly” and say stuff like “wheat causes your insulin to rise, your blood sugars and uric acid go higher…it makes you gain weight cause it’s starchy and it’s a carbohydrate.”
However, Cynthia Harriman, director of food and nutrition strategies for Oldways and the Whole Grains Council, recently explained that “plenty of whole grains are naturally gluten-free.” She went on to add, “In fact, of the 14 grains commonly eaten in the American food supply, only four of them [wheat, rye, barley, and the wheat/rye hybrid triticale] have gluten.”
Uncontaminated oats, brown rice, and corn are said to be the three most popular gluten-free whole grains, according to Harriman. However, quinoa and wild rice are also solid options and are becoming more popular.
“Gluten-free consumers should make a conscious effort to include whole grains and whole grain products in their diet,” Brown stated. “If you buy products that have more whole grains, you’re getting foods naturally higher in B vitamins and fiber, so you’re getting a better shot at a more balanced diet.”
Of course, let’s not forget the other nonsense you’ll probably hear like “well a lot of people are allergic to wheat and the gluten that is in wheat is evil cause it disrupts the digestive system and yada-yada-yada!” You know how the song goes!
The truth is that we’ve been eating whole grains for thousands of years and they’re an essential part of our diet. In fact, my Greek ancestors have always baked whole-wheat bread. And now it’s not good for you and can be harmful to your health?
Come on people! Use common sense and avoid following the latest fad! Watch and see how in several years, this gluten-free fad will have come and gone.
Then again, it won’t be long before another doctor or so-called “medical professional” appears on the scene with a new book convincing the public that lettuce is bad for them or something. And believe me, he’ll make a fortune off of lies!!!
The fact is only 1% of the general population is allergic to gluten. In addition, those that are allergic suffer from celiac disease and are sensitive to gluten. So, 99% of yous can go on and continue eating whole grains and you don’t have to worry that it’s bad for your health.
Here are some science-certified facts about whole grains:
- helps reduce heart disease risk
- helps reduce the risk of stroke
- helps reduce type 2 diabetes risk
- helps reduce blood pressure
- helps reduce asthma risk
- helps reduce colorectal cancer risk
- helps reduce inflammation in the body and gout risk. That’s a major benefit!
Please review the numerous studies I’ve provided here and tell me whether whole grains are good for you or not. A recent Harvard University study published in 2017 concluded that gluten-free diets, which are increasingly popular among consumers, increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
Examine the evidence carefully and don’t listen to one man’s opinion, whose goal is most likely fame and/or wealth.
So Where Does the Confusion Lie?
The source of the confusion is refined grains, which have been stripped of their nutritional value and bleached into white flour. That process is harmful to your health, not the other way around. This process gives wheat a bad name nowadays and confuses people.
So what they take out is the bran and the germ of the wheat grain, the most nutrient-rich parts! What you lose are the following nutrients: vitamins B1, B2, B3, and E, fiber, iron, folic acid, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and more. 100% whole wheat foods and products are a very good source of dietary fiber, manganese, and an excellent source of magnesium.
Refined grains, such as white bread, white pasta, white rice, cookies, and breakfast cereals, should be avoided. These foods have been linked to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, which includes gout.
The famous Framingham Offspring Study discovered that those who ate the most cereal fiber from 100% whole grains had significantly lower insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome than those who ate the least.
Given that gout is a metabolic disorder, it is crucial for the gout sufferer to comprehend and take in this information. If you eat whole grains, you don’t need to worry.
The Bottom Line
You can enjoy whole-grain foods, but don’t be a glutton and overeat them; that’s not what I’m saying. You do need to also eat fruits, vegetables, dairy, and some protein. Yes, meat is protein! You can learn more about what a gout diet should consist of in my eBook.
One of the most important functions of whole grains is the fiber content of wheat bran which is a laxative and makes you go. To prevent constipation, all you need to include in your diet is about a third of a cup each day.
Consider including whole grains in your diet on a daily basis to improve your health and longevity. So, instead of buying gluten-free products at the supermarket, opt for 100% whole wheat bread, pasta, and rice. That is my advice for a gout diet!