Are Grains the Root of Some Diseases?

Grain Brain and Wheat Belly say grains are the root of some diseases. Should I stop eating them?

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These books make claims that grains, particularly wheat, in your diet can cause chronic inflammation, which may lead to diseases and conditions such as type 2 diabetes, dementia, anxiety and chronic headaches. The eating plan these books promote are merely another form of a low-carbohydrate diet, emphasizing healthy fats, protein, vegetables and low-sugar fruits while substantially limiting carbohydrates.

See alsoShould You Avoid Gluten?

They contradict an abundance of research that indicates a plant-based diet that includes whole grains may help prevent disease. A narrow focus on grains as a “problem” food doesn’t address the more likely dietary culprits that may promote disease: sugar, refined-grain products and trans fats. Unless you have celiac disease or a sensitivity to gluten, grains can play an important part in a healthful diet that’s grounded in a variety of nutritious, whole foods.

Registered dietitians Tiffani Bachus and Erin Macdonald are the co-founders and creators of, a website dedicated to promoting wellness and a healthy, balanced lifestyle.