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Going Against the Grain: How Reducing and Avoiding Grains Can Revitalize Your Health Paperback – May 10, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (May 10, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0658017225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0658017223
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Praise for Going Against the Grain:

"Melissa Diane Smith has courageously and accurately tackled what has emerged as America's primary food-related health problem: disease and obesity attributable to the regular consumption of high-calorie, nutrient-poor, immune-disruptive grains." ­Kenneth D. Fine, M.D., gluten sensitivity researcher and director of The Intestinal Health Institute, Dallas

"An intriguing book loaded with practical nutrition advice that you won't want to stop reading." Annemaria Ballin, Ph.D., founder and director of education, American Academy of Nutrition

In a society where wheat is a daily staple and the heart of the continent is endearingly called "the bread basket," it seems almost sacrilegious to promote the benefits of a low- to no-grain diet. But in Going Against the Grain, nutritionist Melissa Diane Smith challenges conventional dietary wisdom--that grains should be the centerpiece of your diet--and explains why reducing or removing grains is the secret to successful long-term weight control and good health.

Backed up by scientific research, professional experience, and her own health journey, Smith explains the surprising connection between a grain-rich diet and so many of the health problems plaguing us today, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, fatigue, and digestive disorders. In these pages, nutrition expert Smith reveals:

  • Why "health" foods aren't always healthy

  • How to find tasty snack substitutes in a no-grain diet

  • How eating "lite" can actually lead to weight gain

  • How cutting back on grains can lower your risk for disease

Smith provides original menu plans and eating-out suggestions, so, with minimum effort and hassle, you too can go against the grain!

About the Author

Melissa Diane Smith, Dipl. Nutr., is a Tucson-based nutritionist and health educator who counsels clients across the country. She is the coauthor of the bestselling Syndrome X and Why Am I Always So Tired? and the author of The User's Guide to Chromium. Her work has appeared in Let's Live, Delicious!, and Great Life magazines.

Customer Reviews

I found Ms Smith's book to be informative and well researched.
Jeanne Bishop
It's common knowledge that the food pyramid is obsolete... get caught up with the times and read Going Against the Grain.
Julie Rogers
This is an eye-opening, easy read that will change the way you think about eating from the first page on.
Cindy Kaplan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

135 of 138 people found the following review helpful By CMCM on November 30, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book in a roundabout way: My mother was diagnosed with severe celiac disease 40 years ago. She nearly died because the villi in her intestines were virtually gone and she was no longer absorbing nutrients. She weighed 80 lbs. at the time she was finally diagnosed, and unbelievably sick. Her major symptoms kicked in as an adult, and for 8 years doctors told her all her symptoms were "self-induced, in her head." Thankfully she met a single doctor who was familiar with the effects of celiac disease. She went on a gluten free diet and felt better within 2 weeks. Within 3 months she was back to her normal weight of 120.

Fast forward to me very recently: I thought my whole life that I did not inherit celiac from my mom as I was never underweight, and at a later point I put on an extra 20 lbs. that nothing would take off. I had continual digestive problems. Migraines. High blood pressure which did not respond to medication, high cholesterolol, asthmatic type symptoms even though two separate bouts of intensive asthma testing said I did not have asthma. Lots of bronchial things going on, chronic cough. The list goes on....nothing hugely debilitating, but the quality of my life was definitely affected and I went through periods of time thinking there was NOTHING I could eat that wouldn't upset me. All this time I was eating rather a lot of grain products....and I was a carb addict who loved donuts, cake, cookies etc. I got plenty of grain every single day. Dairy products also seemed to bother me. After really binging on a lot of wheat based things over two days, I had a very frightening allergic reaction one evening, so I was forced to examine this possibility and I began to research.
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107 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Cindy Kaplan on January 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is an eye-opening, easy read that will change the way you think about eating from the first page on. It doesn't scare or overload on science, but rather presents the facts on grains and tells a compelling story about why they're not as good for us as we have been led to believe.
As a person with celiac disease, I have been avoiding gluten-containing grains for some time. It was not until I read this book that I understood why monitoring my intake of other grains (and loading up instead on more veggies) could further benefit my health. Having instituted some of the changes suggested in this book, I now feel I have better blood sugar control and digestion.
I shared this book with many friends and family that have varied health issues and interests. They all found it to be very enlightening - and a true pleasure to read. Every person took at least one piece of new information away from the book that has since influenced their dietary choices (whether it be to eat fruit with cheese to balance the acidity; to choose alternate snacks to rice cakes which are high glycemic; or to choose sweet potatos over white ones for better nutrition and less starch) . The suggested meal plans and recipes are also a great source of inspiration for anyone currently on, or embarking on on grain-free or low grain diet.
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109 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Kent Ponder on January 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
Though every diet "simplification by food-type elimination" is necessarily a distortion of nutritional reality, which is complex, Smith's simplification by grain elimination is VERY helpful for many, if not most, typical eaters. Since most grains must be cooked to be chewable/digestible, it's obvious that grain eating is not natural in humans' evolutionary past. (Chew on raw wheat kernels to appreciate this fact.) In addition, most grain consumption, among Americans at least, is unfortunate in that wheat is the most-consumed, the most problematical regarding allergenicity, and the most commonly debased by bleaching and removal of higher-nutrient portions such as the germ and bran, etc. Refined grains, especially the bleached variety such as typical bakers' white flour, are simply an abomination and as much a health scourge as hydrogenated fats which, tragically, are often combined with refined-grain products in packaged crackers and chips of many varieties.
In the nutritional counseling I've done for four decades (I'm 72, very fit w/no gray hair, etc.), I've always recommended NO refined flour products, and greatly prefer the grains quinoa, amaranth and spelt over the more commonly available grains. In my experience, Smith's recommendations are very much on track, including her comments on the advantages of increasing pH toward the alkalinity side (away from the acidic side) by reducing grains and eating more dark-green, leafy vegetables. (Spelt and millet, by the way, are less acidic and therefore more conducive to better human biological terrain in the body than are wheat, rye or oats.)
There is no single key to the ideal diet, but Smith points most readers in a direction that is highly probable to improve their eating pattern, their energy and their emotional well-being.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Julie Rogers on September 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
Going Against the Grain is the most comprehensive resource on the hazards of consuming grains. It is thoughtfully written and easy to read yet incredibly thorough. The detailed information that helps deepen understanding is there, as well as the broader perspective and contextual information. I don't think a book on this subject could be better written. Melissa Diane Smith explains the hazards of a grain-based diet referencing scientific studies and interpreting them in an easy to read fashion. Then after a full discussion of different types of grains and their physiological effects she goes on to provide
menus, recipes and shopping suggestions referencing products made with acceptable ingredients. She even included manufacturer contact information so people can go to the source with questions.
Certainly Going Against the Grain will become an indispensable resource for people fighting celiac disease, but it should also be read by any and all people interested in true nutrition. It's common knowledge that the food pyramid is obsolete... get caught up with the times and read Going Against the Grain.
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