WEEK 5 - The Compassionists
Cultivate Love and Compassion to Connect with Yourself and with Others
Positive Health Principle #33
Add Value to People's Lives
In today's class you will learn:
1. What is the difference between whole grains and refined grains
2. How to recognise the difference between grains
3. What research says about the health benefits of whole grains
When you finish today's class, click the golden button below and take another extra small action!
REFLECT: What value other people add to your life?
“Try not to become a man of success.
Rather become a man of value.”
TODAY'S DOSE OF POSITIVE HEALTH
“In seeking truth, you have to get both sides of a story.” Walter Cronkite
There have been a lot of discussions recently about whole grains. In fact, most people talk about grains in the context of health benefits, forgetting that we eat them simply because they taste good. So what are these grains and how can we enjoy them in a healthier way?
White bread and whole grain bread are both made from the same wheat that is a cereal grain. One grain is refined, the other is whole. What's the difference?
Whole grain has the entire seed of the plant exactly as it would be in its natural environment growing in the open fields. It consists of three parts: endosperm, bran and germ. During the process of making white bread, however, bran and germ are removed from the grain leaving only endosperm. To summarise, whole grain products have all three parts of the kernel, whereas refined grain products have only endosperm.
How do the three parts of the grain contribute to our body?
The endosperm is mostly starchy carbohydrates rich in calories. The bran is the outer skin, rich in protein, vitamin B and minerals. The germ is the baby; it can grow and sprout into a new plant. It’s the most nutritious part and a great source of vitamin E, protein, healthy fats and magnesium. Both the bran and the germ are rich in fibre. One type is insoluble fibre that doesn’t dissolve in water, passes through the body undamaged, and helps reduce constipation. The second type is soluble fibre, which dissolves in water and slows the movement of food through our digestive system. This process helps the body manage and stabilise both blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Refined grains like white bread or white rice are essentially the endosperms. They lack bran and germ and, therefore, lack all the essential proteins, vitamins, and fibre benefits.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), any food product labelled as whole grain must contain at least 51% of whole grains by weight. These refined grains, which are named 'whole grains' have low nutritious value as the nutrient-rich germ and bran are not there.
Most breakfast cereals say on the label 100% whole grain, but in reality, they aren’t. Why? Becuase they are not real foods. They are processed and refined. Do Cheerios look like real food? No, they don't. They look like Cheerios and are made of various processed compounds that are not natural. Natural food is not made of anything; it's made of food. We can recognise the difference between whole grains and enriched or coloured grains just by looking at the natural oats and Cheerios.
If we don't know what a product is made of, our body doesn’t know either. In other words, our digestive system doesn’t recognise these man-made added chemicals sold in boxes as food and it doesn’t know what to do with it. It causes confusion and stresses the system.
So, why are the bran and germ removed from the grain in the first instance?
The supposed whole grain cereals and bread are processed. They are broken down into what we call flour that essentially lack all the essential nutrients and fibre. After the nutrition is removed from the grain, some portions of the bread are reintroduced and lots of various substances are added, like corn starch, modified wheat starch, salt, sugar and yeast to make the bread or cereal more fluffy so the final product looks bigger than it really is. Germ removal extends the shelf-life of a product. Bran removal gives the white colour and provides the soft texture. Moreover, refined grains like pasta or white rice cook more quickly than whole grains.
The combination of yeast and sugar is really bad for our digestive system. This makes many people think that they need to eat gluten-free products. Gluten free foods, however, are recommended for people who have Celiac disease, are gluten sensitive or gluten intolerant. Most people don't have these problems. In fact, 95% of the population isn't gluten intolerant, but 100% of us is processed food intolerant.
Some manufacturers add nutrients and fibre to the processed products to make up for the losses in fibre that comes from the bran and germ. This is not helpful at all. Scientific studies have shown that the benefits of eating fibre rich foods are not seen when the fibre is created synthetically or isolated on its own without the rich array of vitamins and plant compounds that are naturally found in whole grain. In other words, the health benefits of fibre are only present when food that contains fibre is consumed in its entirety.
The current dietary guideline recommends having at least five servings of grains a day. This includes oat, rye, barley, bulgur, farro and kasha, brown rice, corn and wheat.
There is a large, consistent data showing that people who eat whole grains have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity, up to 30% lower risk of heart disease, and 17% lower risk of colorectal cancer. Although most of these studies are observational and they don’t prove that whole grains cause a lower risk of diseases, we know that those who eat whole grains are less likely to get ill. Randomised controlled trials are also available showing that whole grains improve markers of inflammation and reduce the risk of heart disease. A few studies from Harvard have shown that people who ate whole grains were 9% less likely to die, with a 15% reduction in death from heart disease.
The philosophy of healthy nutrition whether it comes to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure or cancer, is simple. Healthy food is real food and real food is made of real food. In other words, an apple is made of an apple and an egg is made of an egg. There is only one form of real whole grain. It includes all three parts of the kernel. It isn’t processed into flour and has no added synthetic chemicals, sugar and yeast.
In the 1930s doctor Royal Lee was investigating chemicals added to food and stated: “One of the biggest tragedies of human civilisation is the precedence of chemical therapy over nutrition. It’s a substitution of artificial therapy over nature, of poisons over food, in which we are feeding people poisons trying to correct the reactions of starvation.”
Grains - The Whole Story
Whole grains in a daily diet
TODAY'S INSPIRED ACTION
Choose one whole grain product for breakfast
YOUR WEEKLY SESSION
Get ready for your weekly session.
In your fourth session you will explore the benefits of practicing self-compassion and set the following intentions:
1. Gain more clarity around the concept of self-compassion
2. Find three simple ways to practice self-compassion daily
3. Start your self-compassion journal
Answer the questions in the Self-Compassion test (download No1), and go through the exercises (download No2) before your next session. Evaluate your session in the Self-Evaluation Worksheet (download No3).
1. Please make sure that you choose a convenient time and a quiet place for your Skype conversations.
2. Let the members of your household know when you need time for yourself, so you are not being interrupted.
3. Check your wifi connection and show up on time.
4. If you are unable to attend, you can still reschedule within the next few days before the Monday of the following week, if your guide has a free time slot.
5. Your one-to-one sessions are an integral part of the Grace School curriculum. It is, therefore, fundamental that each session is in synchrony with the weekly Grace School module.
YOUR WEEKLY DOWNLOADS
All files attached below have been created to support and enhance your learning experience.
These are available for download for the next 7 days. Please make sure that you create your account to answer the questions in the Self-Compassion test (No1), and do the exercises (No2) before your next session.
Use the Self-Evaluation Worksheet (No3) after your session. At the end of the week reflect on your experiences and challenges. Summarise your week with the Self-Reflection Worksheet (No4).
Your WEEK 5 Downloads:
1. Self-Compassion test - identify your level of self-compassion (approx. time 5 minutes)
2. Exercise Worksheet - do the exercises before your next session (approx time 10 minutes)
3. Self-Evaluation Worksheet - evaluate your session and learn from your experience (approx time 10-15 minutes)
4. Self-Reflection Worksheet - at the end of the week reflect on your experiences and challenges (approx time 10-20 minutes)
If you have any questions, comments or technical problems, please write: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.
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