The Inconvenient Truth About Whole Grains

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whole grains truth

Great whole grains! Are you ready for the truth?

As a healthy-minded individual, you’re conscious of whole grains, believing they’re good for you.

They’re high in B-Vitamins, fiber and some protein. They’re satisfying, comforting, and an easy-to-make, inexpensive choice. Plus you adore your morning oats or DIY granola.

You’ve added them to your diet over the years, but you’re still on a quest for vibrant health and weight control.

Listen to my Green Divas Foodie-Philes podcast for my 101 on grains, then read on for more…


Information is power. And in my world, there are often many facets to each nutrition discovery.

Last February, during a virtual cleanse, I invited Dr. Frank Lipman as a guest speaker. It’s always fascinating talking with him, but on this call he shared that many of his clients are giving up grains. And not just white rice, but they’re giving up all grains, even the whole grain variety.

It would be an understatement to say the prospect of no grains caught the attention of several clients and cleanse participants. Because if Dr. Lipman’s patients are losing weight and feeling better, lighter and leaner, I was asked if they, too, should be giving up all grains?

The evidence looks compelling. And not only does Dr. Lipman support this dietary theory, but Dr. David Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain as well as many nutrition experts are finding that grains can be difficult to digest and lead to bloating, foggy brain, sugar issues, elevated cortisol levels, digestive issues, weight gain and more… even the gluten-free grains.

Like most dietary theories, the answer lies in what works well for you, as an individual. If you love your bread and pasta now and then, and nothing rings your chimes like a good risotto, here’s a step by step plan to ease you into ultimate health.

3 steps to ultimate health… with or without grains in your diet

1. If you eat processed grains of any kind, like bread, wraps or pasta, switch to organic choices that are preferably gluten-free.

Non-organic breads and wraps contain chemical additives and can be overly processed using unhealthy fats and sugars. Gluten is inflammatory in many people and years of hybridizing has created a new type of wheat that can be irritating and difficult to digest.

2. If you eat organic or gluten-free processed foods, switch to gluten-free whole grain choices like quinoa, millet or brown rice.

Whole grains are a better choice than any processed food, like pasta or a wrap, because they are in their whole, unadulterated state. Your body has less work to do to break down and assimilate those nutrients.

I recommend enjoying gluten-free grains, (brown rice, quinoa, millet, teff, gluten free oats) and skipping gluten (wheat, farro) for at least two weeks to see how you feel.

3. If you eat gluten free grains frequently, and still have digestive issues, skin issues, or an inability to lose those last 15 pounds, try removing grains all together.

Focus on healthy proteins and adding more vegetables into your diet. Try zucchini pasta, and enjoy starchy vegetables like yams and roasted beets to help you wean off of grains. Add green smoothies, high fiber shakes, and lots of fresh garden greens and veggies.

Remember, no matter what you read online, or what your best friend eats, it may very well not be what’s best for you.

This is your body and your life, and your chance to Discover Your Nutritional Style.

So share with me, I’m really curious about what role grains play in your diet? Are you a fan, or not so much?


Listen to this Green Divas Foodie-Philes podcast on smoothies for more grain-free ways to enjoy healthy foods…

Listen to the latest Green Divas Radio Show—and other green and healthy living podcasts—daily on (or get the GDGD Radio app)!

~Asst. Ed. Green Diva Christine | Images via Shutterstock

Conscious Consumer, GD Ticker, Green Divas Foodie-Philes, Green Divas Radio Show, Healthy Living

About the author / 

Green Diva Holli

Holli Thompson is a former VP for Chanel, turned creator of Nutritional Style®, a health and nutrition blog and consulting company. Her innovative method of identifying the three types of nutritional styles; Healthy Omnivore™, Flexible Vegetarian™, and Modern Vegan™, was established to allow women (and men) to finally experience an attainable, satisfying and always health-filled lifestyle. An inspirational speaker, and TV guest for several major networks, Thompson is the author of Discover Your Nutritional Style. She is a regular contributor to, and shares weekly on her own blog, She also contributes to You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Read more at

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