Exposing The Whole Grain Myth

Published: February 24th, 2013.

Video Transcript

 Additional notes:

  • The USDA definition of “whole grain” refers to any mixture of bran, endosperm and germ in similar proportions that would exist in an intact grain. However, the grains can be processed so that all of its parts are separated and broken down before being incorporated again into foods.
  • The FDA only requires a food product to consist of 51% whole grains (by weight) to be considered a “whole grain food.”
  • To add even more confusion, the Health Canada website states the following:  “…as sold in Canada, whole wheat flour may have much of the germ removed. Therefore, 100% whole wheat bread may not be whole grain…”
  • The US and Canadian governments do not have proper regulations for whole gfoodlabel_comicrain labeling and, as a result, misleading and false labeling practices are perfectly legal. This is great for protecting food industry profits but not so great for consumers that are fooled into buying unhealthy products.
  • Professor Ludwig from the Harvard School of Public Health conducted very definitive studies showing the clear difference in how truly whole and intact grains are metabolized by the body versus processed “whole grains.” The processed grains led to higher sugar spikes as well as to overeating.
  • Foods labeled with a “Whole Grain” stamp often contain more sugar and more overall calories than similar products without the stamp.
  • Processing techniques, utilized by the big players in the food industry, degrade natural antioxidants and change the chemistry of the food to create a final product that is void of any real nutrients and harmful to your health.
  • The differences are clear scientifically and also in practice; we’ve seen individuals consume truly whole grains (sprouted) for the first time and report not only better digestion and elimination, but also a sustained amount of energy lasting for many hours.



Bottom line:

Even health conscious individuals are often manipulated by companies that are legally permitted to advertise false claims and to lie on food labels. This is where we begin to question our humanity and to ask why are there not stronger regulations in place to protect the consumer?

You should be able to make healthy food choices without having to sift through mountains of misinformation. As always, our biggest defense against these unethical practices is to become better educated.


Marc Jaoude
Health & Wellness Educator

62 Responses

  1. Beautiful video, thank you. I wonder why you focus solely on sprouted grains without any mention on sourdough? I have made bread from organic wheatberries sprouted and then ground fresh at home but we did not enjoy it. We are very happy with my freshly milled whole grain sourdough in taste, texture, flavor, and the way it makes us feel after eating, from top to bottom this bread experience is truly phenomenal and it shows in our health. I let the freshly milled whole grain flour soak for several hours first before adding the sourdough starter and himalayan salt. I understand that that “extended autolyse” is the key to biovailability of vitamins and minerals and also neutralization of anti-nutrients.

    1. Hi Amanda,

      that sounds wonderful! Thank you for sharing. You are correct, so much more could have been included in this video! Sourdough bread is a good alternative but its benefits rely on the many variables of the fermentation process. Sprouting is a simple process that consistently results in a significantly more nutritious product, and is easy for virtually every person to do correctly.

      Wishing you and your family continued great health and delicious bread!

  2. That grain analysis of bran, germ and endosperm, does it apply to all grains or just wheat? Anyway glad to know that only sprouted bread is truly whole grain.

      1. Alright, cool but with other grains it’s a more different story. Like with brown rice you’re eating the whole grain (without the hull, because as far as i know that’s not edible), it dosen’t get turned into flour like wheat soo that means it dosen’t lose most of its nutrition? Or it loses its nutrition in other ways?

        1. Correct, fully intact grains are the best option. Brown rice is a little tricky though due to the potential for high arsenic levels. White rice isn’t so different nutritionally and has less arsenic, so I tend to make the exception when in comes to rice and recommend white over brown. If available to you, sprouted rice would be the ideal option, and would also have less arsenic.

    1. Absolutely, the term “biostitute” is used to describe scientists who misrepresent science for the benefit of commercial interests.

  3. Wowwww… This made so much sense. Ok, I’m done with bread now. Thank you so much for this video. Very awesome….

    1. Thank you very much. In the big scheme of things, if you do consume fully intact sprouted grains, and a diet that is rich in beneficial plant-based foods, consuming a little bit of bread isn’t going to be too problematic. The issue is that many people consume highly processed “whole grain” bread and cereal products believing in the marketing claims. If this is their idea of healthy eating then we have a problem!

      1. @Markito Nutrition I definitely agree now. That was me. I was eating 100% whole grain bread thinking I was eating healthy, and now I’m cutting bread out completely. I’m watching all your videos from here on out. Thank you so much again.

  4. Wow, I love how you explained the cycle of life of the plant, the vitamins and nutrients in its entirety of the grain. I also like your idioms too you crack me up. You presented your video in an easy comprehensive short video. The deceiving advertising, false labels should should be better controlled through our USDA with total accuracy. No wonder my Family and Fellow Americans are getting sick consuming byproducts, synthetics, man made products and chemicals that our bodies cannot tolerate or even digest properly. Thank you very much for the informative video. You Rawk!

    1. Wow, thank you for taking the time to provide such wonderful feedback. It is much appreciated. On the topic of deceptive advertising, I recommend you watch my video entitled “Nutrition Scam 101: When Doctors Abuse Your Trust”- in this video I highlight 10 interesting methods that “health experts” use to manipulate information. Wishing you all the best.

  5. You cannot claim to be on the side of science while constantly fear-mongering about “synthetic” and “manmade” food products. I was thinking earlier today, “It’s weird that people freak out about ‘processed foods’ since most food is processed anyway.” Well, you took that to a ludicrous extreme by saying we should ONLY be eating raw whole grains, and that Cheerios cannot claim to be whole grain just because they’re processed. This is like saying that cooked meat isn’t real meat, so you should eat it raw.

    1. Sprouting is also a form of processing. What counts is whether what we consume has a beneficial effect on our health. I did not say we should only eat sprouted whole grains, I simply stated that this would be the ideal. Telling people what is ideal is a form of respect. Most people in this industry tell the public what they want to hear, or what they think they are able to do. I prefer to let people make those decisions for themselves. Ideally, grains should be sprouted- and that’s how our clients have consumed them for many years. Your Cheerio-cooked meat analogy doesn’t make sense, remember that with Cheerios the components of a whole grain are first broken down and separated, and then put back together in ratios that are deemed to resemble a whole grain, along with added synthetic vitamins that offer no real benefit. Rest assured, I have no bias towards natural versus synthetic- a lot of “natural” foods are not healthy to consume. However, I do stand by the fact that a sprouted whole grain is healthier (and tastier) than a Cheerio, and easily accessible to people willing to take steps to better their health.

  6. grains are in no way a ‘natural’ product to begin with…they are 100% a human creation

    1. Depends what you mean by natural? An archeologist from the University of Calgary found the oldest example of extensive reliance on cereal grains in the diet of Homo Sapiens dating back at least 105,000 years. And evidence shows that our ancestors have been eating grasses and grass-like plants for around 3.5 million years, so it’s no wonder that they eventually turned to the seeds of those grasses (grains).

      On another note, cows are a modified sub species of the aurochs wild ox, producing 10 times more milk as their ancestors. A genetic study shows that the domestication of cows occurred 10,500 years ago.

      Again, what is your definition of natural? Everything in our environment today has been modified in some way, shape, or form. What matters is the modern scientific evidence that clearly explains why the healthiest people on the planet, such as those living in Blue Zone communities, consume copious amounts of grains and beans on a daily basis. I don’t think they ponder too much on what level of “natural” the food they gather from the earth is… they don’t have the same type of “knowledge” that we have about food and diets, but they do have greater health.

      Thank you for your comment – it’s certainly an interesting topic that opens up the door for further clarification.

  7. Hello, Marc: What’s your position on multivitamins from companies like “Garden of Life,” “MegaFood,” and “The Synergy Company”? As you likely know, these company claim their products come from fruits and vegetables. Thank you.

    1. +Karl Hungus thank you for your question. Whole food, plant based supplements, with no harmful ingredients, can be very beneficial. The best supplements are green juices that people can make at home – and even more so when these juices include microgreens. The only supplement that everyone should consume is B12- and the article on my website entitled “The Paleo Diet is Based on Fantasy, Not Science”, tackles the B12 myth, explaining why everyone – including meat eaters- can benefit from a B12 supplement.

      1. +Markito Nutrition – Once again, Marc, I sincerely thank you and appreciate your trusted and sensible advice. It speaks volumes that you advise people to always see food over medicine and supplements. No shortcuts. No quick fixes. No gimmicks. You’re the best!

        1. + Karl Hungus thank you very much. It’s not easy telling people that they are responsible for their own health – and that there is no magic bullet that will do it for them- but that’s the truth. And if they are ready to take responsibility for their health, the success they can achieve is incredible. Thanks again for your questions and comments, all read and appreciated.

    1. Doctors can perform a blood test to detect specific antibodies. And a biopsy of the intestine can confirm celiac disease. However, by cleaning out your diet, eliminating processed and animal based foods, you can figure out a lot on your own. And if you are still not sure, an elimination diet is the next step.

      As I eluded to in my video, a lot of the gluten in grains is broken down during the sprouting process. One study concluded the following: “Germinating wheat enzymes reduce the toxicity of wheat gliadin in vitro and ex vivo. Further studies are justified to develop an alternative therapy for celiac disease.” This may be just one of the reasons why my clients who previously thought they were sensitive to gluten discovered that they could, in fact, eat all types of sprouted grains without any issues. So while some people do in fact suffer from celiac disease, others may just be in need of improving the quality of their diet.

    1. Maple Hill The best way to cleanse the colon is green juice fasting. You can visit my website to learn more- https://markitonutrition.com.

      Psyllium husk (aka Metamucil) is okay to use on and off, but not for too long because it’s too aggressive and may weaken your colon muscles to the point that dependency may occur. I prefer chia seeds for long term use. Like psyllium, chia seeds form a gel in water.

      1. +Markito Nutrition I like chia seeds too, I use them for omega 3 and some protein, but they’re a bit expensive so I don’t eat every day. I have a bag of psyllium husks that I have an opened yet. Should I return it?

        1. Maple Hill Doesn’t hurt to keep some psyllium around the house, as a “medicine cabinet item”. However, the real medicine that supports a healthy and functional colon is a proper whole food plant based diet, along with green juices and a habit of intermittent fasting. I just published an article on my website highlighting one client’s inspiring recovery from life-altering digestive issues. All the best.

            1. +Markito Nutrition In what section of your website is the green juice recipe you mentioned?

              1. Maple Hill Just click on “nutrition” from the main menu and then select “Living Foods”. You will see the 24 hour juice fast that our clients do weekly, and there is also a link to a juice recipe page titled “Markito Nutrition Juices”.

  8. Yep! Another comment. Your videos are so interesting that it’s as if I as binge-watching. Ha ha.

    You talk about the bad mix of yeast and sugar being “a lethal combination”. But cultured food or lacto-fermentations have been regarded as beneficial for health, which requires exactly that to multiple good bacteria, essential for good health and strong immunity. Could you clarify what you mean by that? Or do you not promote these types of food?


    1. Hi again! Unpasteurized lactofermented foods such as sauerkraut, something that can easily be made at home, is an excellent source of probiotics. Bread made with commercial yeast is not a source of probiotics.

  9. How about the ‘healthy’ product “Weet-Bix”? Is it really good for us?

    p/s: You’re doing so great! Love your explanation, it’s very informative. I appreciate much! Keep it up!!! :D

    1. +6WinterHan9 Thanks for watching. I’ll provide you with some information that will help to answer your question:

      – When you turn a whole grain into a flour you increase its surface area and this allows your body to convert it into sugar very quickly. This is why whole grain bread is as high on the Glycemic Index as white bread. In other words, flour is not a “health product” regardless of its source.

      – The healthiest way to consume grains is to sprout them at home until they grow a little tail, and then to eat them as a cereal or to blend them a little. The less you mash them up, the better it is. For information on how sprouting increases the nutritional value of whole grains you can visit my Markito Nutrition website.

      – Sugar should not appear as one of the first 5 ingredients in any product you purchase. This includes all the other names for sugar that they use to trick the consumer, such as agave syrup, brown rice syrup, corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, cane sugar, fructose, glucose, maltose, molasses, and so on.

      – The sodium to calorie ratio should be no higher than 1:1. Weet-Bix is an Australian product so they list kilojoules instead of calories. For your reference, 1 calorie = 4.18 kilojoules. Doing some quick math, you will see that this product does pass the sodium test.

      – I would also look out for synthetic vitamins that are added to boost the nutritional content of the product. Synthetic laboratory-made nutrients are to be avoided, yet they are added to a majority of breakfast cereals sold at grocery stores, including so-called health stores. I give an example of this problem in my article “Warning, harmful chemicals in almond milk” which can also be found on my Markito Nutrition website.

      All the best.

  10. Aren’t you just talking total shit right now bro? You say that cheerios aren’t even food just based on their looks, then say that fiber is essential. But the reality is that fiber is the part of the food that cannot be digested, that is what is truly not seen as food by our bodies. Not that it is bad, although excessive fiber can act as an irritant. You don’t need fiber except to make your poop more irritating to get out.

    1. Please refrain from using swear words. This video is intended for educational purposes. The consumption of whole food dietary fiber has been shown to be essential for our health. Fiber promotes a shift in the gut toward different types of beneficial bacteria. And these microbes that live in our gut not only support a healthy gastrointestinal system but are also responsible for the functioning of our immune system. They have been shown to reduce our risk for chronic health issues such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, and autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. Not consuming a proper diet, naturally rich in fiber, can shift the balance of bacteria in our intestines towards microbes that promote inflammation and infection. 

    1. Cacao is not a health food, although it is unfortunately promoted as one- raw cacao is the latest health craze at the moment. We do not include cacao in any of the recipes on our Markito Nutrition website for the following reasons:

      Cacao beans need to be fermented to become edible, and this process is done under poor conditions, leading to a high concentration of mycotoxins such as aflatoxin- a known carcinogen. Visiting a cacao farm will show you the lack of proper sanitation and the ease of contamination.

      Even if produced under tremendous safety guidelines, which is far from the reality, the reported health benefits of raw cacao is just an example of how hype can sometimes overtake science. Cacao is extremely addictive, it is a hallucinogen – the native people did not mistake cacao seeds for food; they added it to their psychedelic plant mixtures and had a party! It was only used in very small quantities and never in the amounts that we are consuming it today. Cacao is a stimulant that is damaging to the kidneys, liver and adrenal glands. Furthermore, almost all cacao tested recently was found to contain dangerous levels of cadmium (a heavy metal).

      Breaking it down a little further, cacao is roughly 35% saturated fat and most people do not like the taste of raw cacao so, to compound the issue, they add tons of sugar to it- saturated fat and sugar is not a nutritional profile that we like! But even if you take 100g of a bitter dark chocolate bar (70-85% cacao) with very little sugar added, this bar would contain 605 calories, 400 of which would be fat, and almost 60% of this fat would be SATURATED fat!

      Above all else, there are many accounts of individuals that began consuming cacao for health reasons and had to stop within a year or two due to negative side effects. Still, cacao remains an emotional issue for most people and it’s easy to understand why: It is a high fat, highly addictive stimulant, and we want to be told it’s good for us. Of course you may enjoy a small amount of it on some occasions. The issue, however, is that cacao should not be labelled a health food. 

  11. You can extend this to every kind of product. We have to be (and consume) what we are, nature’s products, in order to be in harmony with nature. Deconstruction is only beautiful in Art. But deconstruct a product to then construct it in an artificial way (and on top of that eat it) is against us a hundred percent.

    1. Beautifully said Nelson, thank you for your contribution. We often deconstruct the nutritional profile of each food to debate its benefits- this is what we call a reductionist approach because it only serves to show a small part of the big picture. The truth of your statement is substantially more powerful, more intuitive, and definitely more conscious and connected to the realities of life on earth.

  12. It’s funny when you try to water the cheerios, they will never sprout but let’s be fair, even a bread made with sprout wheat will never sprout either. Anyway your video is great!!!

    1. Thank you for your comment Nelson. It’s so true, sprouted bread doesn’t grow when watered! But in all seriousness, it has been over a year since I created this video, and looking back at it today I wish I had emphasized the nutritional differences between sprouted and non sprouted grains in more detail. Not only do sprouted grains provide us with up to ten times more nutrients, but they also do NOT contain the harmful anti-nutrients that exist at large in most commercially available non sprouted grain products.

      The numerous scientific studies that have clearly demonstrated the importance of sprouting are nothing short of incredible. In one study sprouting rye increased folate by up to 4 times, and another study showed that sprouting buckwheat increased the concentration of rutin tenfold, and also elevated quercitin levels, both of which are antioxidants known for their anti-inflammatory effects. I provide more information on the benefits of sprouted whole grains on this website. Thanks again for watching. All the best.

  13. Thank you so much for this video. I have been searching everywhere for an explanation as to why whole grains were so bad, and I finally found the answer! I also learned some new things, too! I did now know about all of the synthetic vitamins and minerals.. This was a great video that clearly explained a lot of truths about the food industry. Thank you!!

    1. Thank you Jadadi93 for your great feedback, I am happy that you found the video useful. Proper nutrition education is the only way to solve our current health crisis.

    1. Great question. Sprouted breads are in fact available at select health stores, and are usually found in the frozen section. Not all of them are healthy so you should look at the label before purchasing. You can make your own raw sprouted bread at home with the use of a good blender and a dehydrator. Essene or Manna bread is sprouted bread that goes back thousands of years, and the only two ingredients are sprouted grains and water. But instead of a blender they used rocks, and instead of a dehydrator they used the sun!

      If, however, you are new to sprouting I recommend that you spend more time learning how to prepare simple recipes featuring sprouted whole grains rather than attempt to make bread right from the start. You can see our sprout recipes under the community section of our website. Here is an example of a sprouted grain breakfast.

  14. Very well done… You need to make more videos Markito!!! Many people aren’t even AWARE of sprouted grains. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thank you very much for your positive feedback. You bring up a good point about how so many people are unaware of sprouting. The community section of our Markito Nutrition website (free to join + open to everybody) features a page of recipes all made with sprouts. Our goal is to educate people on how easy it is to grow and consume some of the most nutritious foods on the planet right on their own kitchen counter. Our local clients that we see weekly have literally changed their lives by doing this, and these videos are just one way that we can reach out to the public that we don’t get to see in person, and to share some of the same info that has helped many others.

    1. The scientific evidence shows us that our body does not recognize synthetic “man-made” vitamins and toxicity occurs rather easily. Nutrients in whole foods contain thousands of cofactors all working together in synergy. Isolating synthetic molecules in a lab and expecting the human body to recognize them as nutrients has resulted in many negative consequences. Over 95% of supplements sold today are synthetic. However, whole food, truly natural supplements can be quite important in today’s environment.

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