Milling whole wheat into white flour may cause as much as a 300-fold decrease in phytonutrient content.
In 2007, whole grains were linked to a healthier body weight in people both young and old. Whole grains are the very staples of human civilization. The Aztec empire had amaranth, the Incas had quinoa, Asian empires were built on rice and buckwheat, African empires had millet and teff, and wheat, oats, rye and barley kept Europe going. You should be able to find any of these whole grains in bulk at your local natural food store. When whole wheat flour is milled into white flour, at least 25 nutrients are removed and five are chemically replaced to "enrich" it. It is the Great Grain Robbery! And that's just the vitamins and minerals. There is also 2 to 300 fold loss in phytonutrient content. So, if we have a choice, never again white bread, white pasta or white rice. Instead eat the grain, the whole grain and nothing but.
A healthy body weight is important but more important than the circumference of our waist is the circumference of our carotid arteries that supply the blood to our brain. Researchers at Wake Forest University followed a thousand people for five years and measured the amount of plaque in their carotid arteries. This is what our blood flow should look like. This is what our blood flow should not look like. Those eating whole grains had a slower progression of their atherosclerotic disease. These were all omnivores who ate meat so the plaque in their arteries continued to grow but those eating whole grains had slower growth, slower closing off of their arteries than those just eating refined grains. To use diet actually to stop the plaque from growing, to reverse the disease and actually start opening up our arteries, they'd have to have gone on a nearly completely plant-based diet and eliminate cholesterol and saturated animal fat.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.
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For some context, please check out my associated blog post: Plant-Based Diets for Metabolic Syndrome