Grain of Truth: Why Eating Wheat Can Improve Your Health

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9781101982914: Grain of Truth: Why Eating Wheat Can Improve Your Health

A Pollan-esque look at the truth about wheat, with surprising insights on the advantages of eating the world’s most contested grain

You owe it to your mind and body to step away from the gluten-free frenzy long enough to do what’s best for your own personal health. Once you separate fad from fact you’ll quickly discover the answer: whole grains, including wheat. Most recently, a Harvard School of Public Health long-term study that followed 117, 500 men and women over a 25-year span revealed that people who eat a whole grain-rich diet lower their risk of cardiovascular disease by 20 percent, and increase their lifespan at least 6 percent. No other food produces similar results.
 
As for the gluten found in wheat, rye and barley—at most six out of a hundred of us have any real problem with it, and less than one percent of us, with celiac disease, cannot tolerate it in any form. So why has wheat become the new asbestos? Why are the shelves of every grocery store and supermarket in America heaped high with gluten-free products? That’s what Stephen Yafa sets out to discover in Grain of Truth—a book drawn in part from personal experience that is as entertaining as it is informative.
 
After hundreds of interviews with food scientists, gluten-sensitive individuals, bakers, nutritionists, gastroenterologists and others, he finds that indeed there is indeed a culprit. But it’s not wheat. It’s not gluten. It’s the way that grain is milled and processed by large industrial manufacturers and bakeries. That discovery spurs him to search out growers, millers and bakers who deliver whole wheat to us the way it was meant to be: naturally fermented, with all parts, bran, germ, and white endosperm intact. Yafa finds a thriving local grain movement gaining strength across the country, much as the organic movement did a few decades back. And as he apprentices with local artisan bakers and make his own sourdough breads at home he learns something that few of us know: naturally fermented over two days, as opposed to four hours in commercial bakeries, whole wheat is easily digested by the vast majority of us, including many who consider themselves gluten-sensitive. The long fermentation processing method breaks down these bulky gluten proteins into tiny fragments while slowing the conversion rate of starch to sugar in our bloodstream.
 
Along the way Grain of Truth challenges many common myths. Yafa shows us the science that proves a gluten-free diet doesn’t lead to weight loss and that it isn't healthier in any way. He counters common assumptions that modern wheat has been genetically manipulated to contain more gluten, and he point out that despite much web chatter to the contrary, there is no GMO wheat.
 
Those are only some of the reasons that Grain of Truth offers a badly needed fact-based response to anti-wheat hysteria. It also offers an ingredient in short supply these days—common sense, measured out with just enough savvy and substance to make you reconsider what's best for you—and to help you find a healthy answer in real, delicious food.
 
For readers of Salt Sugar Fat and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Grain of Truth smoothly blends science, history, biology, economics, and nutrition to give us back our daily bread.

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About the Author:

Stephen Yafa, the author of Cotton: The Biography of a Revolutionary Fiber, is also a novelist, playwright, and award-winning screenwriter. He has written for Playboy, Details, and Rolling Stone, and lives in Mill Valley, California.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

CONTENTS

 

Prologue

One of the many bonds between my wife, Bonnie, and myself has long been the sturdy armor of skepticism we have both erected to protect us from the relentless onslaught of dietary, fashion, lifestyle, and spiritual fads, all directed toward creating a slimmer, bouncier, brighter-eyed, whiter-toothed, higher-functioning you and me—just the sort of evolved being we’ve both learned to dodge at cocktail parties. Over two decades we’d lived through the Atkins, Pritikin, Scarsdale, South Beach, Blood Type, Beverly Hills, Detox, Israeli Army, Cabbage Soup, and Grapefruit diets and emerged more or less intact. We’d survived break dancing, the Maharishi, Pet Rocks, Rubik’s Cubes, Cabbage Patch Dolls, Beanie Babies, ant farms, granny glasses, lava lamps, leisure suits, strobe lights, and Tony Robbins. There have been scars but no damage to major organs including the cerebral cortex—or so I thought.

Then came the Ayurvedic retreat. Bonnie and three female friends disappeared into the hills near Calistoga in Napa County one December morning for a weekend of intense spa treatments. Returning home, my wife made an announcement. “I have a gluten neck,” she said. Her first words. I waited for the punch line. None followed. Apparently two male Ayurvedic practitioners, who work on you as a team—I know how this sounds—performed their tandem bodywork on Bonnie. She said she half-expected to be massaged by a guru with a white goatee and a turban. The ancient Indian practice of Ayurvedic medicine, she understood, dates back more than twenty-five hundred years and stresses the balance of three internal doshas—water, fire, and air. Beneath the exotic nomenclature is an emphasis on a healthy body-mind connection, a smooth-running metabolism, and an unimpeded digestive system.

“One of the bodyworkers dug his knuckles into the kinks in my neck and shoulders and after a minute he just stopped,” Bonnie reported. “He told me, ‘There’s very little I can do for you until you stop eating gluten. Your upper torso is so inflamed that if you sincerely want to see change, you’ll have to take gluten out of your diet.’ And I am, starting now.” This was not the punch line I expected.

The first items to disappear from our kitchen pantry were pumpernickel, crusty sourdough with its spongy interior, and every other form of wheat-based, chewy, delicious bread and bagel. In their place a whole cast of pretenders moved in like squatters, bearing no resemblance to the authentic original—loaves begging to be called bread yet made from tapioca, rice, sorghum, potato, cornstarch, and flour; crackers and cookies and other assorted dry, brittle wannabe edibles that I snipped off with my front teeth like slivers of seasoned cardboard and attempted to crunch into bite-size units capable of being swallowed. Whether eating non-gluten pizza, pastry, or ersatz pasta, the experience of savoring and chewing anything springy and doughy soon became a nostalgic memory at best, the way that bright sun glows only in dim recollections of characters in bleak postapocalyptic novels. Nothing remained of the heady scent, elasticity, and buoyant texture I associate with leavened wheat. What I’m eating isn’t food, I decided: it is punishment for running the occasional red light and sins I’ve yet to commit...

I saw my investigative charge quite simply as probing where necessary and seeking out experts—wheat growers, millers, bakers, bioscientists, nutritionists, and physicians—with credentials and insights that could be trusted to add perspective...


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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. A Pollan-esque look at the truth about wheat, with surprising insights on the advantages of eating the world s most contested grain You owe it to your mind and body to step away from the gluten-free frenzy long enough to do what s best for your own personal health. Once you separate fad from fact you ll quickly discover the answer: whole grains, including wheat. Most recently, a Harvard School of Public Health long-term study that followed 117, 500 men and women over a 25-year span revealed that people who eat a whole grain-rich diet lower their risk of cardiovascular disease by 20 percent, and increase their lifespan at least 6 percent. No other food produces similar results. As for the gluten found in wheat, rye and barley at most six out of a hundred of us have any real problem with it, and less than one percent of us, with celiac disease, cannot tolerate it in any form. So why has wheat become the new asbestos? Why are the shelves of every grocery store and supermarket in America heaped high with gluten-free products? That s what Stephen Yafa sets out to discover in Grain of Truth a book drawn in part from personal experience that is as entertaining as it is informative. After hundreds of interviews with food scientists, gluten-sensitive individuals, bakers, nutritionists, gastroenterologists and others, he finds that indeed there is indeed a culprit. But it s not wheat. It s not gluten. It s the way that grain is milled and processed by large industrial manufacturers and bakeries. That discovery spurs him to search out growers, millers and bakers who deliver whole wheat to us the way it was meant to be: naturally fermented, with all parts, bran, germ, and white endosperm intact. Yafa finds a thriving local grain movement gaining strength across the country, much as the organic movement did a few decades back. And as he apprentices with local artisan bakers and make his own sourdough breads at home he learns something that few of us know: naturally fermented over two days, as opposed to four hours in commercial bakeries, whole wheat is easily digested by the vast majority of us, including many who consider themselves gluten-sensitive. The long fermentation processing method breaks down these bulky gluten proteins into tiny fragments while slowing the conversion rate of starch to sugar in our bloodstream. Along the way Grain of Truth challenges many common myths. Yafa shows us the science that proves a gluten-free diet doesn t lead to weight loss and that it isn t healthier in any way. He counters common assumptions that modern wheat has been genetically manipulated to contain more gluten, and he point out that despite much web chatter to the contrary, there is no GMO wheat. Those are only some of the reasons that Grain of Truth offers a badly needed fact-based response to anti-wheat hysteria. It also offers an ingredient in short supply these days common sense, measured out with just enough savvy and substance to make you reconsider what s best for you and to help you find a healthy answer in real, delicious food. For readers of Salt Sugar Fat and The Omnivore s Dilemma, Grain of Truth smoothly blends science, history, biology, economics, and nutrition to give us back our daily bread. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781101982914

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. A Pollan-esque look at the truth about wheat, with surprising insights on the advantages of eating the world s most contested grain You owe it to your mind and body to step away from the gluten-free frenzy long enough to do what s best for your own personal health. Once you separate fad from fact you ll quickly discover the answer: whole grains, including wheat. Most recently, a Harvard School of Public Health long-term study that followed 117, 500 men and women over a 25-year span revealed that people who eat a whole grain-rich diet lower their risk of cardiovascular disease by 20 percent, and increase their lifespan at least 6 percent. No other food produces similar results. As for the gluten found in wheat, rye and barley at most six out of a hundred of us have any real problem with it, and less than one percent of us, with celiac disease, cannot tolerate it in any form. So why has wheat become the new asbestos? Why are the shelves of every grocery store and supermarket in America heaped high with gluten-free products? That s what Stephen Yafa sets out to discover in Grain of Truth a book drawn in part from personal experience that is as entertaining as it is informative. After hundreds of interviews with food scientists, gluten-sensitive individuals, bakers, nutritionists, gastroenterologists and others, he finds that indeed there is indeed a culprit. But it s not wheat. It s not gluten. It s the way that grain is milled and processed by large industrial manufacturers and bakeries. That discovery spurs him to search out growers, millers and bakers who deliver whole wheat to us the way it was meant to be: naturally fermented, with all parts, bran, germ, and white endosperm intact. Yafa finds a thriving local grain movement gaining strength across the country, much as the organic movement did a few decades back. And as he apprentices with local artisan bakers and make his own sourdough breads at home he learns something that few of us know: naturally fermented over two days, as opposed to four hours in commercial bakeries, whole wheat is easily digested by the vast majority of us, including many who consider themselves gluten-sensitive. The long fermentation processing method breaks down these bulky gluten proteins into tiny fragments while slowing the conversion rate of starch to sugar in our bloodstream. Along the way Grain of Truth challenges many common myths. Yafa shows us the science that proves a gluten-free diet doesn t lead to weight loss and that it isn t healthier in any way. He counters common assumptions that modern wheat has been genetically manipulated to contain more gluten, and he point out that despite much web chatter to the contrary, there is no GMO wheat. Those are only some of the reasons that Grain of Truth offers a badly needed fact-based response to anti-wheat hysteria. It also offers an ingredient in short supply these days common sense, measured out with just enough savvy and substance to make you reconsider what s best for you and to help you find a healthy answer in real, delicious food. For readers of Salt Sugar Fat and The Omnivore s Dilemma, Grain of Truth smoothly blends science, history, biology, economics, and nutrition to give us back our daily bread. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781101982914

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. A Pollan-esque look at the truth about wheat, with surprising insights on the advantages of eating the world s most contested grain You owe it to your mind and body to step away from the gluten-free frenzy long enough to do what s best for your own personal health. Once you separate fad from fact you ll quickly discover the answer: whole grains, including wheat. Most recently, a Harvard School of Public Health long-term study that followed 117, 500 men and women over a 25-year span revealed that people who eat a whole grain-rich diet lower their risk of cardiovascular disease by 20 percent, and increase their lifespan at least 6 percent. No other food produces similar results. As for the gluten found in wheat, rye and barley at most six out of a hundred of us have any real problem with it, and less than one percent of us, with celiac disease, cannot tolerate it in any form. So why has wheat become the new asbestos? Why are the shelves of every grocery store and supermarket in America heaped high with gluten-free products? That s what Stephen Yafa sets out to discover in Grain of Truth a book drawn in part from personal experience that is as entertaining as it is informative. After hundreds of interviews with food scientists, gluten-sensitive individuals, bakers, nutritionists, gastroenterologists and others, he finds that indeed there is indeed a culprit. But it s not wheat. It s not gluten. It s the way that grain is milled and processed by large industrial manufacturers and bakeries. That discovery spurs him to search out growers, millers and bakers who deliver whole wheat to us the way it was meant to be: naturally fermented, with all parts, bran, germ, and white endosperm intact. Yafa finds a thriving local grain movement gaining strength across the country, much as the organic movement did a few decades back. And as he apprentices with local artisan bakers and make his own sourdough breads at home he learns something that few of us know: naturally fermented over two days, as opposed to four hours in commercial bakeries, whole wheat is easily digested by the vast majority of us, including many who consider themselves gluten-sensitive. The long fermentation processing method breaks down these bulky gluten proteins into tiny fragments while slowing the conversion rate of starch to sugar in our bloodstream. Along the way Grain of Truth challenges many common myths. Yafa shows us the science that proves a gluten-free diet doesn t lead to weight loss and that it isn t healthier in any way. He counters common assumptions that modern wheat has been genetically manipulated to contain more gluten, and he point out that despite much web chatter to the contrary, there is no GMO wheat. Those are only some of the reasons that Grain of Truth offers a badly needed fact-based response to anti-wheat hysteria. It also offers an ingredient in short supply these days common sense, measured out with just enough savvy and substance to make you reconsider what s best for you and to help you find a healthy answer in real, delicious food. For readers of Salt Sugar Fat and The Omnivore s Dilemma, Grain of Truth smoothly blends science, history, biology, economics, and nutrition to give us back our daily bread. Bookseller Inventory # BZV9781101982914

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