Grains? Good or Bad?

VoedingNu organized a nutrition event about the popular topic grains. Hans Kraak, chief editor of VoedingNu opened the event. Jan Willem van der Kamp TNO (Food and nutrition) started the event with a insights in the history of wheat.

In the middle ages the number one food is bread together with porridge and beer. In 1800 potatoes were introduced and became an important part of our daily food next to bread. As of 1900 we consumed less bread and more meat and dairy products. Recently in 2013 the bread consumption in The Netherlands decreased also because of fear for bread. It would make you fat and it is unhealthy according to some gurus.

fresh tasty dark bread isolated on the white background.Jan Willem is involved in the Healthgrain project. It has 55 members from 19 countries varying from companies and research centres. He enthusiastically tells that the bread consumption in Denmark increased a lot after a public campaign. Unfortunately it will not happen in The Netherlands because there is no public campaign funded by the government.

If you ferment the products the anti-oxidants will be better available. In some cultures this sour bread is popular. Also, there is a less whole meal taste. There was a question from a baker about fytine. Fytine in bread is an ingredient which has damaging effects. Guess what? The damaging effect is less when you ferment the bread.

Paylinkho healthy breadrofessor Fred Brouns from Maastricht University
Fred presented about the sense and nonsense about wheat in media. He started with the facts that a man at an age of 70 years ate for 50.000 hours, got 55.000.000 kcal, and drank 65.000 liter . He also told about history of wheat and evidence found that it is more than 45.000 years old. Although wheat, rye and barley are cultivated more than 45.000 years ago, modern bread has different structure. Since 10.000 years we eat this ‘modern’ bread. There is no evidence that the old structure would be healthier than the new structure.

The most important question is: what is gluten? Gliadine and glutenin makes gluten. Because of the gluten, bread and cake will rise in the oven. It is responsible for the structure in breads and cakes.

side-background20Danielle Wolvers of the Dutch Nutrition Centre
Danielle presented about recommended daily intake in The Netherlands and other countries. She explained what kind of work the Nutrition Centre has  to communicate a healthy nutrition lifestyle. Science is the basis for advice. Scientific consensus is most important in their communication.

Ellen Govers, dietitian
Last but not least dietitian Ellen Govers presented about the daily practice. What kind of effects does bread have on our health and body? Ellen started with information on our traditional eating pattern. This was not that difficult to follow fifty years ago because there was not a lot of choice. Nowadays it is more complicated. Patients that visit her practice are out of balance. They normally eat more carbs and almost no protein. In this way you’ll get overweight from carbs. An important message is that patients are different than healthy subjects. They have all kinds of disbalance in their body. So you always have to be careful when you treat them.

Insuline resistance is a good end point to measure health. This is not the standard procedure. The bigger the insulin resistance the higher the visceral fat. The visceral fat is the bad fat in your body. This is the fat surrounding your belly. Obese people have insulin resistance and they will profit with a low-carb diet. They have to be treated by a dietitian.

All in all an interesting day with a lot of nutrition information. The summary hardly describes all the facts and figures given in all presentations.


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