This subject has many people confused, and rightly so. Much current opinion has been presented about how wheat and gluten are the cause of some of the Western worlds biggest health problems. Meanwhile nutritionists and medical professionals are still telling us to eat more whole grains - No wonder the confusion. Part of the problem is that the science is difficult to interpret. It is very easy to find studies showing people who eat more whole grains are healthier than those who eat refined grains. There's no doubting that. That's one of the reasons everybody agrees that processed carbohydrates have a negative effect on health.
However, this doesn't prove that eating whole grains is better than not eating whole grains in the context of a diet that's based mostly on vegetables, wild fish, and grass fed meats.
Another problem is the definition of what a wholegrain is has been diluted to a point where it's basically a 'health halo' term. The current Food Industry definition of a wholegrain is
grain where the constituents – endosperm, germ and bran – are present in such proportionsthat represent the typical ratio of those fractions occurring in the whole cereal, and includeswholemeal”
This definition is friendly to food companies, but not to consumers. It means that a manufacturer meeting the above guidelines may plaster the term 'wholegrain' all over their packet. The problem with this definition is that the grain doesn't have to be whole anymore. They can be refined as normal and then be added back in the required ratios to meet the standard. This is exactly how a sugary kids cereal can claim it's full of whole grains and lowers heart disease, while any unbiased scientist would agree that with such a high proportion of what's really refined sugar, it definitely contributes to heart disease.
The current popular trend is for avoiding grains completely in favour of low-carbohydrate meals rich in vegetables, wild meats, and good fats. This can be the best thing for some people, but carbohydrate isn't a dirty word, as long as it is a 'real food' carbohydrate. Unrefined. Whole, Natural - truly natural. Not when the box says it's natural. Remember natural real food doesn't usually come in a box, packet, or wrapper.
At Results Room we believe you should go with what feels right for yourself. If you feel bloated, sick or crampy after eating a bowl of porridge, try a different option and notice the difference in how you feel. A lunch of baked kumera with your chicken and veg from the night before making you lethargic in the afternoon? Then swap out the kumera for beans, or check the portion size, or do away with it all together if you're still not feeling good.
The easy thing about eating well is that your body will always give you feedback on how it's feeling. You just have to be able to listen and pick up that feedback, and then make changes until you're feeling amazing. This is how food should make you feel, day in and day out.