New book in Dutch

Eet vet word slank

Eet vet word slank gepubliceerd januari 2013

In dit boek lees je o.a.: * heel veel informatie ter bevordering van je gezondheid; * hoe je door de juiste vetten te eten en te drinken kan afvallen; * hoe de overheid en de voedingsindustrie ons, uit financieel belang, verkeerd voorlichten; * dat je van bewerkte vetten ziek kan worden.

Trick and Treat:
How 'healthy eating' is making us ill
Trick and Treat cover

"A great book that shatters so many of the nutritional fantasies and fads of the last twenty years. Read it and prolong your life."
Clarissa Dickson Wright

Natural Health & Weight Loss cover

"NH&WL may be the best non-technical book on diet ever written"
Joel Kauffman, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, PA


All cereal grains have significant nutritional
shortcomings which are apparent upon analysis.


Part 1: In the beginning

As fat became a 'four-letter-word' in the 1980s we were advised to base meals and snacks on starchy foods. In effect this meant that we should eat cereal-based foods such as bread, breakfast cereals, rice and pasta. And today, worldwide, cereals supply more food calories than all other foods combined:

                 Totals (million tonnes)
Food group (estimated edible dry matter)
Cereals .................................................. 1,545
Tubers ..................................................... 136
Pulses ...................................................... 127
All meats, milk and eggs ........................... .119
Sugar ...................................................... .101
Fruits ....................................................... ..34

But, while cereal grains like wheat, maize (corn) and rice provide over half the world's energy and protein needs,[1] there is considerable evidence that their use is not without significant health risks. Professor Loren Cordain of Colorado State University points out that cereal grains are something of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the agricultural revolution could probably never have happened without them; we would not be able to sustain the enormous present-day human population; we wouldn't have the industrial culture in which we live; the enormous increase in human knowledge would probably never had taken place; and we would not have our understanding of medicine, science and technology. But on the other hand, neither would we have most of humanity's chronic ills including whole-scale warfare, starvation, tyranny, infectious epidemics and chronic diseases.[2]

Despite the risks inherent in consuming cereal grains, it is clear that humanity has now become dependent upon them for the majority of its food supply; that 'cereal grains literally stand between mankind and starvation'.[3] In view of this fact, it is essential that we fully understand the nutritional implications of eating cereal grains on our health and well being — and, perhaps, modify our reliance on them as best we can to minimise their adverse effects.

Cereal grain domestication

The cereal grains we eat today were all derived from wild grasses, first domesticated no earlier than the Agricultural Revolution. This began as a domestication of animals about 10,000 years ago in the Near East, a move that spread to northern Europe over the following 5,000 years or so, [4] and to other countries and peoples as recently as the present day.

It was not until this time that cereal grains (grasses) began to be cultivated. The first were wheat and barley, first domesticated around 8,000 b.c. in the north coastal area of Africa, known as the Fertile Crescent; rice was first domesticated approximately 5,000 b.c. in China, India, and southeast Asia; maize was domesticated around the same time in Central and South America; millet was domesticated in Africa between 3,000 and 4,000 b.c.; rye was domesticated around 3,000 b.c. in southwest Asia; and oats were domesticated 1,000 b.c. in Europe.[5]

Cereal grain cultivation and use

Grasses are found worldwide. But we cannot use their stalks to feed us, just their seeds. In their wild form, these would have been of little use to us because, being similar to present-day grass seeds, they would have been small and difficult to harvest.[6] They also would have needed a considerable amount of processing before they could have been eaten: they would have had to be cut and collected, and winnowed to separate the seeds from the rest of the plants. That in itself would have been very time-consuming, and would certainly have used more energy than the small seeds would have provided. There is also the problem that, even today, our gut is not equipped with the enzymes required to derive energy from the types of starch and fibre which predominate in grasses. Consequently, unless cereal grains were milled to break down the cell walls and cooked to crystallize the starch granules and hence make them more digestible, the proteins and carbohydrates the seeds contained were largely unavailable for absorption and assimilation. For these reasons, it would have been well nigh impossible for our ancestors to exploit this food source.

It is almost certain, therefore, that the grasses were not originally cultivated as a food for humans, but used only as animal feed. Only by selective breeding would the seeds of the grasses gradually increase in size to make their exploitation by humans a feasible proposition. Even then, in view of the substantial amount of energy required to harvest, process, and eat cereal grains, it is very unlikely that they would have been eaten except under conditions of severe shortage of other foods.[7]

This is confirmed by observations that very few of the world's recently studied hunter-gatherer populations consumed cereal grains. Amongst those who did eat grass seeds — modern hunter-gatherers such as the Australian Aborigine and the American Great Basin Indians — these still represented only a small percentage of the total caloric intake and were eaten for only a few weeks of the year.[8]

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Last updated 31 March 2010

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