Wheat bran is the hard outer layer of the grain. When you eat “healthy” whole wheat, you’re getting the bran and the germ along with the the grain itself. Conventional wisdom has touted whole grains as being healthy because the bran is high in fiber, which helps slow the digestion of the grain’s carbs so they don’t cause such a high spike in blood sugar. The problem is grains are extremely high in carbohydrates, and even with the fiber, they still cause a pretty massive spike in blood sugar.
Paleo and Phytates
The bran also contains more phytic acid (a.k.a. phytates) than the rest of the grain. Phytates are an antinutrient that interfere with mineral receptors in the body, leading to nutrient deficiencies.
The Problems With Gluten
And of course, whole wheat still has gluten, the nasty little anti-nutrient that has gotten so much attention in the press lately for being the bane of all health everywhere, and it is pretty bad. It’s a sticky substance that prevents nutrients from getting through the gut lining and into the blood stream. The body responds by increasing gut permeability, thereby letting nutrients, as well as toxins and undigested foods, into the blood stream. This creates an immune response wherein the body rushes white blood cells to the area to fight off the invaders. It also creates inflammation, which can lead to a host of health problems if allowed to become chronic.
Scrutinize the Studies
Denise Minger did an excellent job of tearing apart one study that supposedly found whole grains to be superior to other forms of fiber.