Just Ask for Whole Grains
 Issue: 52
February 2014
whole grain breads
Bacon Sauteed Barley
Myths Busted
Whole Grains Reduce Inflammation
Oldways Nutrition Exchange






Salty bacon and peppery arugula are the perfect complement to barley in this delicious dish!






Make a donation today!

Contribute online,
call Abby Sloane at
(617) 896-4875 to make your donation by phone,
or send your gift to:

266 Beacon St
Boston, MA 02116

Oldways is a 501(c)3 charity. All donations are
100% tax-deductible.


Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter   Find us on Pinterest

Dear Friends of Whole Grains,

We know food labeling can be confusing. That's why we were especially pleased to see this segment, which recently aired on the Today show.  It outlined common traps used on food labels to get certain products into your carts, homes and stomachs.  Advertising may all too often trick us into thinking we're getting more of a good thing, when in fact it's the opposite.  For example, labels like "low fat" may show up on products with high sugar or sodium content and lots of additives.  



Of course what we liked best about this segment was its clear message that the Whole Grain Stamp is a standout of clarity and trustworthiness in the midst of all this misleading labeling. Take a look at the whole segment - as about five million viewers did when it aired on NBC - and see how many of these traps you're already aware of. Make sure to take notes on the ones that are new to you, so you'll be a smarter shopper going forward.    


Myths Busted

While we're on the topic of false advertising, we'd like to share a great new WGC resource with you.  We recently added a page to our website dedicated to debunking some major myths about grains that are being spread by popular books and blogs.   That's right, we've done the heavy lifting to uncover the truth on these outrageous claims and we're putting them out in the open.  

Are you concerned about GMO wheat?  NO wheat commercially grown in the United States is genetically modified.  In fact, it's the farmers themselves who have fought so hard to keep it that way - fearing that any GMO contamination would hurt their export trade.  There's also no truth to the claim that modern wheat has been bred to contain higher amounts of gluten, causing an increase in celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.  While both conditions are very serious - and on the rise - the reasons are wide-ranging.  (Check out the blog links on our gluten-free page for details.)

What about weight gain?  Isn't wheat the cause of "wheat belly?" While there are plenty of people out there blaming wheat for the extra notches on their belts, no single food can pack on the pounds - unless you simply eat too much of it!   What we know is that our overall consumption of wheat has gone down over the years, making room for the increasing variety of whole grains available today.  

Are there other myths that you'd like to see "busted" on this page? Stop by the Whole Grains Forum on the Oldways website, and make your opinions known.

Studies:  Whole Grains Reduce Inflammation

Since we're here today helping you navigate the waters of uncertainty, we must include another important topic.  If you follow us regularly or keep up with whole grain news on your own, then you're probably aware that many people claim grains (even healthy whole grains) are dangerous because they contribute to chronic inflammation - which plays a role in heart disease, Alzheimer's ("Grain Brain"), and many types of cancer.   

Once again, be careful what you read: "facts" from scientific studies are often manipulated to support whatever hypothesis is being "proven."  How about this for facts?  Two recent studies show that whole grains actually reduce inflammation.

The first study, just published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research states (in plain English!) "This study provides evidence supporting the beneficial effects of whole-grain foods on biomarkers of systemic inflammation in obese children".  The second study, published last summer in the journal Gut Microbes showed that eating whole grain barley and brown rice, even for a short period, helped increase "good bacteria" in the digestive system, which relates to improvements in system-wide inflammation.

Because the vast majority of published studies include jargon that is unfamiliar to the average consumer, it's easy for their messages to be misrepresented - intentionally or not.  So read with caution, and always consider the source.  For more great health studies relating to whole grains, take a look through the WGC's searchable database of health studies.


Do you enjoy keeping up on the latest nutrition news?  The Oldways Nutrition Exchange, a sister program of the WGC, provides incredible, easy-to-understand resources on everything from "Sensible Weight Loss" and "Cooking with Kids" to some great dietary information - like ways to "Meet your Protein Needs" and how to "Get More Fruits and Vegetables."

Oldways created the ONE program for registered dietitians, especially those who work in supermarkets.  But here's the inside scoop:  Whether you're a dietitian or just curious for your own health, all these amazing toolkits are free to access and yours to share.  We've even published an editorial calendar for the year, so you have more to look forward to.  Past toolkits are available too, and after the easy signup,  you can access the whole series!  It's just another great way Oldways and the Whole Grains Council are helping you make informed decisions about what you eat.  Enjoy!
Discounts Deals
We thought it was time to bring back an oldie but goodie, because who doesn't like a deal?  Check out these 3 from Whole Grains Council members and check back next month for more!

$1 off any item from Bob's Red Mill

$1 off Morning Oat Crunch from Barbara's Bakery

$2 off a family-size frozen entree from Annie's


Best regards from all of us at Oldways and the Whole Grains Council,  

Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies
Oldways  /  Whole Grains Council

Program Manager
Oldways / Whole Grains Council 
Mallory Cushman                                  
Stamp Program Manager                                                        
Oldways  /  Whole Grains Council        


Oldways Health through Heritage logo
Let the old ways be your guide to good health and well-being.
266 Beacon Street, Boston, MA  |  617-421-5500  |  Fax 617-421-5511