Yes, it's true. Not only are grains good for you - they're essential. They're the most economical, ecological, dependable food source on our planet. They are detoxifying, full of fiber, anti-cancer, good for blood sugar levels, good for protein and amino acids, good for building muscle, good for losing weight, good for maintaining weight, good for your teeth (all the chewing), good for your mind (B vitamins), and, need I mention again, very good for the planet and your wallet! Anyone who complains to me about organic, healthy eating being expensive always gets the same response from me: "eat more grains and beans".
Grains are the staff of life and have been for thousands of years. Grains allowed hunter-gatherers to stop hunting and gathering all the time and build homes, families, and communities. Grains are what led to art and poetry. Without having to run around searching for food, one was able to further their connection with the Earth through planting seeds, harvesting, cooking, and reflecting on the beauty of the land which yielded the nutritional grains and beans that make up nearly every traditional diet on every continent.
Grains are seeds of plants that have potent nutritional, mineral, and amino acid profiles.
Soak them and they will sprout into beautiful young plants that you can grow or eat.
Cook them with seaweed or a pinch of celtic grey sea salt and they become even easier to digest and absorb.
Add them with any bean of your choice and you have a complete protein that is non-acidic and actually cleansing for the liver and kidneys.
Mix fruit into them and you have an alkalizing porridge that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth, carb head, AND actually help you lose weight.
Roll them into balls after they're cooled and wrap them in seaweed or crushed nuts for a delicious snack on the go.
Stuff them with vegetables, sauerkraut, umeboshi plums, fruit, or a delicious cashew/nut cheese for a gourmet platter for dinner parties or sacred road trips.
Just promise me one thing: only eat them in their whole form.
Don't grind them into flour then add oil, sugar, salt and water, and mix them into a batter, then pour them into muffin shapes, pancakes, bread molds, crackers, and tell yourself that you're eating a "whole grain".
A whole grain is one that has not been ground into flour. A whole grain is taken from the harvest, added to a pot of water with salt or seaweed, and boiled to perfection. It is then topped with delicious beans, steamed or sauteed vegetables, and sauerkraut. That is how we eat whole grains.
If you eat whole grains the traditional way you will not gain a pound, unless you're malnourished and underweight. Whole grains, like brown rice, are loaded with chromium, B vitamins, fiber, minerals, silica, and are low in calories. One cup of brown rice has, roughly, 200 calories. One cup of brown rice flour, however, has almost 600 calories. That's three times the amount of calories! This is why whole grains will undoubtedly fill you up AND function as a low calorie, high fiber food that is nutrient dense and actually helps to balance blood sugar and speed up metabolism.
Now, you don't have to never eat pancakes again. For me, personally, that would be a death sentence. For I love indulging in homemade buckwheat pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup - but only once in a while. Though I tricked myself into thinking I was getting health benefits from a daily breakfast of these pancakes for nearly a week straight, I was only satisfying my Sun-deprived brain that was yearning for warmth and stimulation. They, eventually, started exhausting me. So now I indulge once a week or less and feel perfectly fine with them.
When you eat remarkably healthy most of the time, I think it is perfectly fine, and even necessary, to indulge on occasion - especially when it brings you true joy. Hyper-vigilance is NOT an ideal picture of health, nor is it any way to properly digest and assimilate things. The beauty of whole grains is that they're, both, satisfying and really good for us. You can enjoy the without guilt and trust that you're doing your body well.