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Old 05-22-2011, 06:58 AM   #1
Daniel Sonsini
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The Difference Between Seeds & Grains?

This question came up at my BOX the other day and I was a little stumped by it. What is the difference between seeds & grains?

I follow paleo/zone myself and know to avoid grains but seeds are ok. What is the difference betwwen the two?
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Old 05-22-2011, 08:56 AM   #2
Tricia Magrini
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Re: The Difference Between Seeds & Grains?

My understanding is that most seeds do not contain the potentially gut irritating lectins that grains do.
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:24 AM   #3
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: The Difference Between Seeds & Grains?

Grains are the seeds of grasses: rice, wheat, barley, etc.

Katherine
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:01 AM   #4
Rebecca Roth
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Re: The Difference Between Seeds & Grains?

What both Katherine & Tricia said is right, they're both seeds, but there is a further clarification that can be made. If you think about how plants grow, seeds come with a fruit or flower around them to protect them from being eaten so the plant has the best chance of reproducing (same in the case of nuts they're protected by a hard shell). On the other hand, for the most part if you look at grains their seed is right out on the open completely unprotected, and that is because they have an internal protective mechanism of lectins that makes them undesirable to eat, they don't need exterior protection. Lectins make grains resistant to digestion, and as such without processing they are difficult to absorb nutrients from so animals in the wild tend to not be a threat to their reproduction.
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:59 PM   #5
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: The Difference Between Seeds & Grains?

Actually, with many plants the whole point is that the fruit (vegetable, berry, whatever) is attractive to animals, who can be counted on to spread the seeds far and wide.

You only need to watch crows and freshly sown fields to realize that grains are only modestly successful in making their seeds resistant to digestion. And since humans have much more complex processing apparatus available than crows -- including tame yeast and large grinding stones, among other things -- I don't see why the natural lectins in grains should pose any particular problems for human digestion.

Katherine
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:21 AM   #6
Lewis Dunn
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Re: The Difference Between Seeds & Grains?

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Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
You only need to watch crows and freshly sown fields to realize that grains are only modestly successful in making their seeds resistant to digestion.
That's all one needs to do? Wouldn't you want a bit more evidence that crows eating grain to come to a judgement of "only modestly successful?"

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And since humans have much more complex processing apparatus available than crows -- including tame yeast and large grinding stones, among other things -- I don't see why the natural lectins in grains should pose any particular problems for human digestion.
Interesting comment. Are you saying only that you don't see why they should pose problems and that you are puzzled about why they do, or are you saying that you think that grains do not pose digestion problems for humans and choose to ignore the considerable evidence that they do?
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:43 AM   #7
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Re: The Difference Between Seeds & Grains?

I think that some people can be less irritated than others by grain. As is the case with other forums I frequent that are much different in terms of topic but similar in one regard; when a problem is discussed with a *insert food / item being discussed* suddenly everyone has the same problem and the world is rife with pain and sorrow. An example could be from off this forum, the Glock 22 experiencing catastrophic failure. Happened to some and then everyone is having reliability issues and guns kabooming left and right. Generally in day to day experience many people are not experiencing issues for the same reasons, but attribute it to the same. I wonder if we don't see some of that here? I am sure to be shot down like Mrs. Derbyshire on this but I think some people may be attributing issues to causes that may not be related. When a doc gets a test result of gluten intolerance, then I will believe you have it. Saying your belly hurts after you eat a piece of bread doesn't cut the mustard for me. I work in behavioral health and let me remark, people will physically respond to what they believe to be true, but tests will say the opposite. Issues can become very real in the mind and this can be the difference between disease and illness.
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:55 AM   #8
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: The Difference Between Seeds & Grains?

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Originally Posted by Lewis Dunn View Post
That's all one needs to do? Wouldn't you want a bit more evidence that crows eating grain to come to a judgement of "only modestly successful?"

Interesting comment. Are you saying only that you don't see why they should pose problems and that you are puzzled about why they do, or are you saying that you think that grains do not pose digestion problems for humans and choose to ignore the considerable evidence that they do?
Which "considerable evidence" is that? (And yes, I know gluten intolerance exists. I'm talking about the evidence for avoidance of *all* grains by *all* people.)

My point about crows was that plenty of animals have successfully added grain to their diets, regardless of the evolutionary strategies grains use to prevent them from doing so. Hence the mere presence of lectins in grains is not sufficient evidence that they cannot or should not be eaten. Particularly since humans have developed means for dealing with undesirable components of food -- grinding, cooking, fermentation -- that are far beyond what any animal can accomplish.

Katherine
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:59 AM   #9
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: The Difference Between Seeds & Grains?

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Originally Posted by Bill M. Hesse View Post
I am sure to be shot down like Mrs. Derbyshire on this but I think some people may be attributing issues to causes that may not be related. When a doc gets a test result of gluten intolerance, then I will believe you have it. Saying your belly hurts after you eat a piece of bread doesn't cut the mustard for me. I work in behavioral health and let me remark, people will physically respond to what they believe to be true, but tests will say the opposite. Issues can become very real in the mind and this can be the difference between disease and illness.
Absolutely agree. There's also a tendency for people to make many changes to their diet all at once, but to conclude that only one change made all the difference. If you go from living on pepperoni pizza and Coke to eating meat and vegetables, yes, you will almost certainly feel better. No argument there. But that doesn't mean that a bowl of rice with your stir-fry is going to have any ill effects.

Katherine
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:33 AM   #10
Richard Allen Pagel
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Re: The Difference Between Seeds & Grains?

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Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
Absolutely agree. There's also a tendency for people to make many changes to their diet all at once, but to conclude that only one change made all the difference. If you go from living on pepperoni pizza and Coke to eating meat and vegetables, yes, you will almost certainly feel better. No argument there. But that doesn't mean that a bowl of rice with your stir-fry is going to have any ill effects.

Katherine
You make too much sense sometimes
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