Stephen Cabral, CPT/CSCS is the author of Fatlossity as well as founder and director of FitLife by StephenCabral.com. The Diet.com video contributor has been an active member of the fitness and personal training community for over 10 years. His passion has led him all over the country in pursuit of continuing to further his education, certifications, and health & fitness philosophies.

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Fit Life with Stephen Cabral

by Stephen Cabral, Fitness Professional
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I know we're supposed to believe what the government tells us, but I think we both know that sometimes they're just flat out wrong or maybe telling a little fib…

This is outrageously evident when we look at the food pyramid (old and new).
food pyramid
Even with their recent revision the government is still doing a HUGE disservice to the general public by telling them that grains should comprise much of their current daily food consumption.

Did you know the USDA used to recommend 6-11 servings of grains per day?! Is there any wonder why people are so overweight and unhealthy?

Not only is this the main cause of 66% of the population being overweight, but it's also the root of the majority of the preventable illnesses we have in the US (and the world).

These grains (even so called “whole” grains) cause spikes in insulin levels and massive inflammatory responses from your body.

Over time this has devastating effects.

We have seen arthritis, cancers, high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, and countless other inflammatory based diseases on the rise. Not to mention, they all coincide with the advent of mass agricultural farming - namely wheat and corn.

So what can we do to decrease our chances of illness and live a life of total wellness?

The first step is to flip the food pyramid on its head and make grains the MINORITY of what ...    Continue

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@ 9:53am ET on August 23, 2010
I have been trying to tell people this same thing for years! Thank you for trying to show people how wrong the food pyramid really is.

@ 2:40pm ET on August 23, 2010
I feel that this article is lacking, contributing so much of the weight problem today to grains. I'm sure the author knows this, but it is negligent to leave it out - the "epidemic obesity" is owed to the larger-than-necessary portions our country eats, and all the processed things contained in much of the food markets stock. Add this to a rather sedentary lifestyle and there you have it.

@ 10:33pm ET on August 23, 2010
I agree with Kevin, this is an oversimplification of a very complex issue and to blame a healthy food group is irresponsible for someone who claims to be a health expert. You cannot make a claim that rising health issues and inflammatory based diseases are caused by eating whole grains. The food pyramid is a series of banners, so tipping it upside down will not change anything. This is a take off of Willet's recommendations for more healthy fats where he indicated the pyramid should be changed. The difference is he knew what he was talking about.

@ 9:50am ET on August 24, 2010
Wamber470, those are some pretty strong opinions...

I'm assuming you haven't read any of my other 1,100+ published articles explaining other areas related to healthy exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle.

It's not possible to review everything and give each contraindication in a 500 word article (that's why I've written over 1,100 articles).

However, I will say that the article is right on in terms of grains being one of the main culprits in leading to inflammatory based conditions since you'd be hard pressed to find a single grain that isn't inflammatory. Now when you compound that with fact that most people eat a cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and a starch for dinner you can see how these effects add up.

I don't mind you giving your opinion, but in the future I hope you'll add a more positive experience for the readers so that everyone can continue to learn what will help them reach their goals of weight loss and healthy living. And since you now know that I cannot cover every topic in 1 article you can feel free to add you own additional tips in the comment section to further increase the positive environment we are trying to create in these posts.

Have a great day and thanks for reading!

@ 4:09pm ET on August 24, 2010
I think that the food pyramid should be changed. I find I lose weight best if the bulk of my food is in Vegatable and fruit , protein 3 to 6 oz a day , 2 serving of a healthy oil, and two servings of dairy ( type of dairy depends on person) I limit my grains and starchy veg to one a day. Or More grains one day but none the next . There is also a eating program out there called " eating according to your blood type. " That One also makes sence to me. It works with my arthritis. But even on that Plan the bulk of the food is veg and fruits. I don't think one plan can fit all. for example I drink milk I lose weight. Others drink milk and they have health problems

@ 6:34pm ET on August 24, 2010
First, how many people in this country follow the food pyramid? I seriously doubt anyone takes in as many grains as the "government" suggests. Second, I did not see any references to any research proving "your" theory.
As a REGISTERED DIETITIAN, I strongly urge and recommend that a person's total daily calories are made up mostly of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy, and lean protein. I also suggest that they eat the correct portions of each. If they are only consuming 3 main meals and 1 - 2 snacks per day (and most of my clients only take in 2-3 meals per day) then they will probably NOT be getting anywhere near the recommendation of the food pyramid.
Your post is seriously biased. I noticed that your title is fitness professional. I am ethically-bound not to give my "opinion" as fact for fitness-related issues. I think this world would be a much healthier place if we didn't have other professionals "masquerading" as nutrition experts and respecting professional ethics.

@ 9:32am ET on August 25, 2010
Hi Jillc40,

Thanks for the kind hello

As for your view on grains, it really doesnt stand up since we as humans have only included them in our diet over the past 10,000 years. The access and quantity didnt even exist until the birth of agriculture.

Also, besides certain types of rice and a few other grains, the others (including all breads) are so far removed from nature there is nothing whole about them. Essentially, they are man-made foods "masquerading" as natural foods.

Im glad this article got so many people to really think about their nutrition and the biggest point Im trying to convey is that you will not be missing out on any vital and essential nutrients by sticking with lean proteins, healthy fats, lots of vegetables, and some fruit. Grains should make up a very small portion of the diet if at all (such as in the case of inflammatory based conditions).

Lastly, before you attack me or my credentials you may at least want to look into my history...

I have over a dozen certifications (including one as a nutritional specialist), 16 years of nutrition research and study, 14,000 hours of practical research, over 11,700 client sessions, appeared in the media speaking on health and weight loss over 50 times, over 1,100 commissioned published articles, and one of the most popular weight loss studios in the world. On top of that I have also personally worked with dozens of doctors and medical professionals helping them improve their own nutrition, exercise, and healthy lifestyle.

Of course, everyones entitled to their own opinion ; )

@ 11:35am ET on August 25, 2010
Yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
I realize you probably feel "attacked" but when you post something such as this, so publicly, you should realize that you are going to get differing and even opposite thoughts. My BEST interests are with the public at large and making sure they have a "balanced" view point of nutrition and make the very healthiest of decisions, since we are facing a nationwide, albeit worldwide, obesity epidemic with unhealthy behaviors playing the largest of roles.
I must add that when "anything" is removed from the diet you will see a weight loss.
Again, you did not provide references to back up your "theory." Provided you have an open mind, I am providing a link to help give you a "rounded" view on this debate about grains vs. no grains. In it there are several "cited" sources to back up the "theory" presented in the posting. Be sure to read the comments at the end of the posting as well. http://jacknorrisrd.com/?p=1260
Lastly, just because a person is published or appears in the media, etc. does not make them an expert. I am not saying that you are not or that I am an expert. But I did graduate from an accredited university and sat for and passed the registration examination for Dietitians. By doing that, those organizations have told me that I am a nutrition expert. I say I still have a lot to learn. I am also humble enough to admit I don't have all the answers.
I would be very hesitant and careful to jump on a bandwagon that bans an entire food group. Moderation is the answer to most things in life.

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