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Topic: Anyone Given Up Whole Grains?

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Subject: Anyone Given Up Whole Grains?
Date Posted: 8/28/2008 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,757
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I've been having digestional issues, and I'm starting to suspect either IBS, a lactose intolerance and a gluten intolerance.  I'm cutting all dairy and gluten products from my diet and will try that for a week to see if my symptoms improve. If so, I'll maybe add back in the gluten stuff first and see what happens. 

Anyway, my question is - I recently read in a health magazine that a doctor says he has patients who have given up almost all whole grains and are very healthy and happy and feel better.  The doctor says there is nothing in grains that you can't get in vegetables and legumes.  With whole grains being all the rage (it seems everywhere you hear people extolling the virtues of them), is it really possible to give them up altogether?  Has anyone done this?  I must admit that I really do like whole wheat, oats, barley, etc. and the thought of giving them up is strange, but I'm intrigued.  I'm currently a semi-vegetarian, and I'm worried that if I give up dairy and whole grains, I'll be left with almost nothing to eat (except for fruits, veggies, fish/seafood and legumes).  LOL! 

If anyone has any experience, please share! 



Date Posted: 8/30/2008 1:45 AM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2008
Posts: 123
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If you think something is making you sick, you shouldn't eat it, and see how you feel. Just keep in mind that there are many grains other than wheat, and that some doctors will always say that their diet is going to make you healthier, they couldn't sell their books if they all said the same thing.

Date Posted: 9/24/2008 10:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 7,143
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My son is on a gluten free casein free diet because of autism. Glutenfreemall.com is where I get alot of his foods. There's also glutensolutions.com

Date Posted: 2/13/2009 9:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2005
Posts: 1,624
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Last Edited on: 2/8/15 12:59 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 2/17/2009 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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Whole grains are healthier than bleached non-whole grains. THere are many places you can get fiber, but you should have some sort of whole grains. Try cutting out Wheat for a couple of weeks. They make breads, pastas made of other grains. I like the oatmeal breads IMO.

Date Posted: 3/10/2009 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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Shelly, maybe it's a quantity issue? Maybe too much of a good thing? I love them too but I know for me some days if I eat too many whole grain selections, I don't feel so good in the tummy....

Date Posted: 1/7/2010 11:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2009
Posts: 53
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My grandma had to cut out all wheat but she uses other grains;  perhaps it is just to much grains in one day;  I would personally go to a different doctor if I had a doctor who told me that!  I do have a friend who has IBS, but she uses 100 percent whole wheat bread Orowheats; she gets it from the Orowheat Thrift Store where I get mine; she can eat it fine, but other wheat breads & other breads bother her.

 I know a lot of Bob Red Mill's products that I get are gluten  free & some are both gluten & dairy free and this I believe includes flours; and baking mixes. Very healthy products.  Absolutely LOVE his farina; your posts were quite a while ago; are you ok now?

Date Posted: 2/18/2010 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2009
Posts: 465
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(I know this is an old thread, but the information could be useful to others)

I have severe IBS. I was diagnosed at 13 and spent the next six years locked in the bathroom. At least that's what it felt like!I missed out on a lot because I was in pain all the time and didn't feel up to hanging out with my friends. I saw a number of doctors and tried different pills, but none of them helped. I finally stumbled across the books Living with IBS and Eating for IBS. Following the advice in those books meant some major lifestyles changes, but it was honestly worth it. I can go out now without worrying there won't be a bathroom nearby- in fact I barely think about my IBS anymore.

With IBS you want to avoid dairy, fat, red meats, insoluble fiber, alcohol, and caffeine. They can cause your colon to overreact, resulting in a flare up of symptoms. Dairy was the hardest thing for me to give up, but I've found some great substitutes and don't really notice the difference anymore.

The mainstay of your diet should be soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is the kind found in white flour and foods like potatoes and bananas. You can also get it as a powdered supplement (be careful, not all fiber supplements are soluble). Soluble fiber helps regulate both diarrhea and constipation. It should be the first thing you eat at every meal. This provides a kind of protection for your colon and helps the other food to move through without causing problems.

Insoluble fiber is the kind found in whole grains and foods like salad. For people with IBS insoluble fiber can trigger a flare up. However, the body needs insoluble fiber to clean the walls of the colon. Most of the other triggers you can simply avoid, but insoluble fiber can help protect against colon cancer. Instead of cutting it out all together, always pair it with soluble fiber. Eat a white flour biscuit first, then eat a small whole grain biscuit.

There is no doubt that whole grains are healthier than white flour, but for people with IBS whole grains can cause severe pain and cramping. The IBS diet does offer other health benefits though because it cuts out dairy and red meat. You also want to use as little fat when cooking as possible, and remember with IBS the kind of fat doesn't matter- olive oil and lard can both cause flares. Once you've regulated the body (and for severe IBS that can take a few weeks of eating little more than white rice and potatoes), you can try adding back in small amounts of your favorite "trigger" foods. Everyone's body is different, so a food on the "bad" list may not be a trigger for you. Peppermint tea is also great for soothing for the stomach and keeping the colon from cramping.

Sorry for writing a novel, but following this diet honestly did give me my life back. IBS is the most common diagnosis for women with stomach pain, yet over 80% of gastro docs admit they don't know much about the disease. They also significantly underrate the amount of pain it causes. Knowing how much I missed out on because of it, I can't help but want to help fellow sufferers.