The debate about the useful and harmful effects of various grains has become very widespread in recent years across the globe. Grain has historically presented an extremely important part of our lives as it has been used as basis for most diets in both western and eastern cultures. While western cultures still depend greatly on grains like wheat, the majority of eastern cuisines are rice dependent. However, various studies and speculations have been made about the potentially harmful effects of grains on our overall health and productivity. Grains have been linked to various diseases as well, such as diabetes, cancer and arthritis and they certainly do play a factor in obesity. This is why we went into investigative mode and tried to find out which grains are the most harmful and why they should potentially be cut from our diets. Here is our list of the 10 most harmful grains in the world, starting with the ones that are healthy to the ones that are not at all.
Extremely popular in recent years as more and more people are trying to stay gluten free, Quinoa is a powerful source of both carbohydrates and protein. Quinoa is usually cooked really quick in boiling water before consumption and comes in several colors including white, black and red. Quinoa is at the very bottom of our list, as it is not one of those grains you should worry about as Quinoa is not really even a grain at all and it is one of the healthiest foods out there. Quinoa primarily contains powerful antioxidants such as quercetin which are extremely good for your health.
Amaranth is considered a whole grain but by the standard definition it is not really a grain either, which means if you are trying to cut down on your grains it should be among the last on your list. Amaranth supposedly contains more protein than any other grain out there and is a great source of other micronutrients as well, such as Vitamins A and C, Iron, Zinc, Calcium and fiber. The ultimate authority for this grain, the Amaranth Institute advises eating it along with corn, which is beyond a doubt one of the most harmful grains in existence.
Although it is called buckwheat, this grain is in no way related to wheat and the other popular grains. It is another pseudograin which is safe to eat for the most part. While buckwheat is less popular than the likes of quinoa, it is actually one of the safer and healthier grains out there and while not as healthy as some other pseudograins it is certainly not very harmful either.
Oats are one of the best sources of fiber out there and along with the other nutrients in them, such as the vitamins and antioxidants, this gluten free grain surely has many health benefits. Oats are usually eaten for the fiber found within but many nutritionists suggest that switching to green vegetables is better if you are looking for extra fiber as oats may have harmful effects. However, considering how harmful wheat can be, switching from wheat to oats can be a good decision health wise.
A popular cereal crop, millet is one of the oldest and most widespread grains on the planet. In many ways millet is similar to wheat, but the fact it is gluten free certainly makes it less harmful than wheat and other similar grains that contain gluten. The one thing that millet seems to be fairly harmful for, however, is the fact it contains goitrogens which suppress the thyroid activity, which in extreme cases can lead to goiter, which is a serious medical condition.
Rye has become very popular as a bread making grain, but the fact it contains gluten certainly makes one wonder about the potential harm it can cause, as so many people are actually sensitive to gluten. Gluten can lead to some pretty harmful side effects such as pains, constipation and diarrhea and many people should avoid it altogether. Rye is mostly used for making bread and has much in common with wheat, the most harmful of all grains. Its other uses include alcohol distillation and livestock feeding.
Another one of the older grains, similar to millet barley has been consumed by humans for many centuries. Barley is highly nutritious but also contains gluten, which can lead to many nasty side effects. Barley is generally a relatively healthy grain, but can have some really bad effects such as bloating and cramps. The high amount of carbohydrates in it will also cause you to gain weight and if you are looking out for that, you should certainly steer clear of barley.
Corn used to be a healthy grain, but seeing as how the GMO industry targets it as one of its main crops, it is extremely hard to find non-GMO corn anywhere on the planet. Even locally grown corn will usually come from GMO seeds and finding ones that are not GMO is just as difficult. As we know, GMO foods can have potentially catastrophic side-effects so eating corn and corn related products, especially ones with sugars added such as corn syrups is not the greatest idea. While corn is gluten free, it is usually processes in factories that also process wheat and can often get contaminated with residual gluten from wheat.
Durum is mostly known for its use in producing the original Itallian pasta and not pasta lover will ever recommend anything else ahead of durum pasta. However, being a kind of wheat, durum is actually quite harmful to you. Durum is slightly less harmful than regular wheat, or rather it is more useful, as it contains more protein than regular wheat, but it is extremely gluten rich and has a huge amount of carbohydrates in it, both very negative factors.
Wheat is the single most consumed grain on the planet, but according to various statistics, it is also the most harmful. For starters, wheat contains gluten which we already discussed can be very harmful. Not only people with celiac disease can suffer from eating gluten as other people have also been known to suffer from simple allergies or intolerance to the compound. Some people have also been known to be allergic to wheat protein, which can cause bloating and bad coughs and other symptoms. If you need evidence that wheat is harmful, simply look at the people whose diets include a lot of wheat as opposed to those who eat a wheat free diet. Wheat is extremely rich in carbs, gluten and other negative compounds, which cause obesity and other health issues. Wheat should be avoided in any healthy diet.