Why We Ditched Grains

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People always ask if our energy bites contain grains.  They don’t. And here’s why.

While whole grains have been lauded as nutritious thanks in part to some serious political lobbying, they can cause frustrating reactions for many.  Take Tom (one of our co-founders): he had been eating whole grains as part of his diet for years.  His lunch usually consisted of a Chipotle burrito bowl with brown rice, or a sandwich on whole wheat bread.  But after lunch, everything went terribly wrong. His energy would crash faster than Game of Thrones’ approval rating and he found himself wanting to sleep at his desk. Or, under it.

So, what’s a healthy millennial guy to do?  Try the Whole30!    

During the Whole30, Tom was forced to cut grains from his diet for an entire month. Wanna guess how Tom felt after removing grains?  A-mazing!  No more after lunch desk naps, greater focus (i.e. no more “grain brain”), and way less caffeine.  When it was time for Tom to test the foods that he had eliminated for the past month, he quickly found that reincorporating grains brought back his post-lunch slump.

What is it about grains that can cause this reaction? 

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1)     Grains can significantly impact blood sugar: whole wheat raises blood sugar more than sugar!  When individuals with type-2 diabetes followed either a diet with whole grains or a paleo diet without grains, those on the paleo diet saw greater improvements in insulin sensitivity, meaning their hormones were better at regulating their blood sugar.

 2)     Some individuals are more sensitive to glucose (building block of carbohydrates and the sugar in “blood sugar”) than others.  This means that two people eating the same food can experience different changes in their blood sugar.  Experiencing side effects of low blood sugar such as fatigue and fogginess 1-2 hours after eating is called “reactive hypoglycemia.”   

 3)     Some individuals have food sensitivities to grains.  Food sensitivities can include a range of symptoms, including fatigue and brain fog, and the effects can be felt several hours to several days after ingestion.

Besides cutting grains out of his diet, the Whole30 also spurred Tom to make his own energy bars from clean ingredients.  These early batches were the predecessors to the energy bites we make today, in all their grain-free glory.

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In addition to being the Head of Product & Nutrition at Unwrapp’d, Maria Capecelatro, MNT is the owner of Dream Nutrition, a holistic nutrition practice in Denver for women who are tired, stressed, and depressed.