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The Newest Craze: Sprouted Grains

(Because whole grains suddenly aren’t good enough)

Well much like that long lost ex of yours, traditional whole grains are about to resent you. Just when you thought you were doing everything right, sprouted grains come on the scene and you are left wondering where it all went so horribly wrong. I’m chalking sprouted grains up to a (legit) fad food, one equivalent to Salute Your Shorts. Sure you remember it, but then you realize it only ran for two seasons.

So what’s the deal with this new grain fetish? Look all grains start out as seeds with the potential to sprout into new plants with proper watering and sun light. Below is a comparison of wheat berries (aka kernels without the hull) and sprouted wheat berries.

Sprouting enables certain changes to occur in the seed and thus the final baked good. Benefits include…

  • Milder glycemic (blood sugar) response
  • Improved bioavailability of minerals (think calcium and iron)
  • Higher folate levels
  • Increased antioxidants
  • Insoluble fiber decreases (stuff that makes you poop)
  • Soluble fiber increases (stuff that forms your poop so it’s not just water and food debris)
  • Gluten decreases

The key with sprouting grain is the sprouting process must be stopped before the seed has time to start rotting or breaking down. Ew. Side bar – sprouted grains, specifically wheat, barely, rye, and their derivatives, are not indicated for those with Celiac disease despite their lower levels of gluten.

If you like sprouted grain products, by all means, go nuts. If you don’t, my tried and true stand by rule is to read your whole grain product’s ingredient list. The first ingredient should contain the word ‘whole’. If it doesn’t, your label is lying to you.

Satisfied?

 

*Reference: Whole Grain Council

How Much is Too Much Caffeine?

(And an aside on pumpkins)

To be honest I have no idea how much is too much caffeine. No, no, no – I do. I’m just not sure I TOTALLY agree with the generally recognized recommendations. Be that as it may, I am here to inform your sweet, knowledge-seeking buns.

Before we get started, can I just say this whole pumpkin shortage thing is very alarming. This is coming from a girl who stockpiles canned pumpkin. If there was a show devoted to people who hoarded canned vegetables, I think I would be the host. Welcome folks, today we meet Becky from Rhode Island who has so much canned rutabaga in her basement, her house is actually sinking! *Cue enthusiastic eye roll* Just FYI – the pumpkin shortage is coming from too much rain in the Midwest. Libby’s, the largest producer of canned pumpkin, gets most of their pumpkins from Illinois. I’m sorry. If you don’t believe in global warming now, you never will. Pumpkins man. Pumpkins.

So what is the deal with caffeine? Please repeat that question as Jerry Seinfield would. Do it. Now. 

The going recommendation for healthy, older adults is 400mg of caffeine per day, that is about four cups of joe. Adolescents, you get 100mg per day. The Caffeine Informer can provide you with more information on the caffeine content of various drinks, all the information you do and don’t want to know.

Boom end of post. But seriously, if you experience insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, stomach aches, rapid heart beat or muscle twitching this may be a sign of too much caffeine and you need to tone it down.

Basically, too much caffeine feels a lot like this…

 

Yes. We know.

Please drink responsibly.

*Pumpkin knowledge gathered from NPR.

Canadian Bacon Your Face Off

People are the most moronic morons these days. It’s mind blowing, isn’t it? For example. I’ve been having all this lower body joint pain recently. And by recently I mean 14 months and counting. So I finally tell my doctor about it and she directs me to see a rhuematologist. You know, like the guy diagnosing old cripply people with arthritis. No offense old cripply people. So I go and you know what he tells me? I need to stretch more. I’ll allow you to let that sink in. STRETCH MORE. Are you kidding me? You just charged my insurance company what I can only reasonably estimate to be $3,000 for this 15 minute FaceTime of an appointment and poof, just stretch? Do you know what’s not a good sign? When you walk into the doctor’s office and he says, ‘Let me see if I can make this worth your while’. Uhhhhhh. So if you haven’t caught on by now, I am the moronic moron mentioned above. Be right back, need to go stretch my achilles. My stupid, tight, over-paid-for achilles.

In the spirit of giving my few, but feverish readers their money’s worth today, we’re going to talk about bacon.

Is this you?

Nailed. This. Segue.

 

Canadian bacon. I’ve long since been accused of being a liar when I tell people they can not only eat it, but do so relatively guilt-free. K-dawg, do I look like I was born yesterday? You want me to eat a food that has the word bacon in it? Did you secretly just take out life insurance in my name as well? No. No. I didn’t and here’s why.

1. ) I am not organized enough. I mean to take out life insurance in someone else’s name sounds like a boatload of paper work, commitment (you know, to the fraud) and research.

2.) Canadian bacon is ham’s leaner, sexier cousin. It’s like if a pig and turkey (white meat only) made a baby. Boom. Canadian bacon. It’s meat from the back of the pig which is then cured.

Now then, because it’s cured means you can’t eat it in piles for days. Curing is a flavoring and preservation process often involving salt. Ew. But let’s look at the big picture. Big picture today will be focused on calories and fat and sponsored by Gillette. We can’t compare one piece to one piece because canadian bacon is much larger and more dense than traditional bacon. So we’re working in grams as a reference point in addition to pieces folks. You gotta be kidding me, the metric system? Why don’t you just write the rest of the post in Russian too? Chill. I will translate.

So 2 pieces of Canadian bacon (57 grams) and contains 89 calories, 4g total fat and 1g saturated fat. Four pieces of bacon (32 grams) contains 176 calories, 12g total fat and 4 grams of saturated fat. Say what? Oh hell no. Let’s face it, no one is eating one slice of regular bacon. Oh and the only reason I didn’t compare equal gram servings is because who is really going to eat eight pieces of bacon?! I am looking at you. 

As you can see the average serving of bacon compared to Canadian bacon has almost double the calories, triple the fat and quadruple the saturated fat. Aim to purchase a nitrate-free brand of Canadian bacon. The caveat to Canadian bacon as mentioned before is the (dun dun duuuuuuun!) sodium. One serving of it has roughly 800mg, while 4 slices of bacon has 700mg. So C.B. isn’t a total ten, but she’s a pretty good substitute overall. Sorry I just added a pronoun to a dead pig. Makes it too real, right?

Happy oinking everybody.

Nutrition information above pulled from Self.com nutrition database.