Granola Is NOT Good For You!

The word "Granola" has become almost synonymous with healthful nutrition. Granola is one of the sacred cows of the health food culture and industry.

But what is Granola, anyway?

Answer: Granola is carbohydrate cooked in fat.

According to Dr. Henry G. Bieler, physician to Anthony Quinn, Greta Garbo, Lucille Ball, and many other Hollywood celebrities, and author of the bestselling health food book Food Is Your Best Medicine, when carbohydrates are cooked in fat or oil, chemical reactions take place that produce indigestible molecules that the human digestive, endocrine, and eliminatory systems simply can’t handle. Consequently, these indigestible molecules build up in the body and cause various sorts of systemic toxemia.

The purest example of this principle is Olestra, a commercial fat substitute produced by heating together sugar (a carbohydrate) and vegetable oil (a fat) until a molecule is formed that is too large and ungainly-shaped to be absorbed by the human digestive system. Originally touted as a wonder additive to such high-fat foods as potato chips that would yield the same culinary sensation as oil but would add no calories to the diet, Olestra was soon found to have a number of undesirable side effects, including abdominal cramping and diarrhea. Furthermore, it readily absorbed fat-soluble vitamins from foods and simply flushed them out of the body before they could be assimilated. Another unwelcome side effect was steatorrhea, the accumulation of through-passing Olestra in the stool, which resulted in anal leakage. Yuck!

Dr. Bieler’s long list of offending foods containing carbohydrates cooked in fat, compiled before Granola and Olestra hit the market, includes donuts, French fries, potato chips, cookies, cake, and even bread that contains shortening. None of these has molecules as wholly indigestible as Olestra, and that in and of itself is a potential issue, as the molecules in such foods are partially digestible, passing through the intestinal lining but not being fully assimilated thereafter. It is, in Bieler’s opinion, these partially digestible, "weird" molecules that lodge themselves irremovably in our systems and thus accumulate over time that give rise to increasing systemic toxemia and consequent ill health, ranging from susceptibility to colds to cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Granola, with its high carbohydrate and oil content, would have been high on Bieler’s list had it been on the market at the time he published it.

But isn’t Granola made with "good," unrefined, monounsaturated oils, like olive and canola? Usually, yes, it is, but the fact is, that doesn’t matter! What does matter is that those "good" oils have been heated with carbohydrate until the qualities that make them good have been neutralized by the chemical reactions that take place during the cooking process!

So, what to do? My own solution, aside from avoiding Granola and most other products containing carbohydrates cooked in fat (or oil), is to enjoy those "good" oils in culinary concoctions that don’t involve cooking them with carbohydrate. Among my favorites is air-popped popcorn sprayed with olive oil from a garden spray bottle and seasoned to taste with sea salt. Warning: This concoction is fattening, so enjoy it in moderation!

Do I pontificate with authority? Well, at age seventy, having followed the Bieler diet with moderate faithfulness for 44 years, I seem to be doing pretty well. I just single-handed my 38-foot ketch from Florida to Maine last spring, I’m enjoying free geezer skiing at my local Maine ski area, and at my last physical exam, my doctor looked at me gravely and said, "I have bad news for your wife. She’s going to have to put up with you for a very long time to come!"

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Mr. David Laing

Mr. David Laing

David Bennett Laing (born 1940 in Hanover, New Hampshire) is the only child of the novelists and poets Dilys Bennett Laing and Alexander Laing. A native of Wales, Dilys was a prolific poet who published frequently in the New Yorker and other prominent magazines. She was an early feminist. Alex was mainly a writer of historical fiction and books on sailing ships. He taught English at Dartmouth College.

In his youth, David was strongly influenced by his Nature-loving mother and his druidic maternal grandmother. Although passionately interested in biology, he chose instead to major in geology at Dartmouth College because of his unwillingness to dissect animals, but his extensive readings in biology convinced him that Earth itself is, in many respects, a living being, a theme that has recently gained a respectable following in the young, cross-disciplinary fields of biogeology and geobiology.

After obtaining his master's degree from Harvard, David entered a variety of professions, from park ranger naturalist through forest ranger, preparatory school teacher, college professor, consulting geologist, and environmental educator to technical copy editor.

In addition to various journal and magazine articles, he has published two books, Aspen High Country: The Geology (Thunder River Press, 1980) and a college Earth science textbook The Earth System (Wm C Brown Publishers 1991). In 1977, he published Magic Mountain, a record album of original environmental songs (Folkways Records) and in 1980 a second album, Equilibrium, The National Audubon Society's Album of Songs of Nature and Humanity, with his daughter Robin, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie (posthumously), and Tom Wisner (Folkways Records).

David is retired and living an active life with his wife Margaret on the Maine coast, where he indulges in Nature study, sailing, and skiing. A few years ago, David discovered that he has lived his somewhat unorthodox life under the influence of Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism which has no deleterious effects on intelligence or cognition, but that confers on those so blessed a view of the world that is virtually uninfluenced by social conventions and preconceptions. 'Aspies' have very poorly developed social skills, as a result of which they tend to view the world as it really is rather than as the weight of present and past authority decrees it to be. Readers of this work might benefit from understanding this particular foible of its author.

Mr. David Laing

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  1. Anonymous says

    You mentioned that these mutated molecules are not removable? Do they ‘lodge’ in the intestinal tract? I can only wonder… after all my years of eating my favorite fried carbs… Oy. Does anyone have possible ways of clearing these from one’s system?

  2. Michman says

    One more and very important thing must be mentioned as a result of heating carbohydrates (especially the starchy ones) is the creation of Acrylamide. Acrylamide is a white odorless compound that comes from heating starch (potato chips, french fries, bread, rice and all cereals). It has been found by scientists that Acrylamide would cause CANCER!

  3. Marshall says

    From what I have read (extensively), coconut oil is the only oil that doesn’t change chemical structure when heated. Even olive oil changes chemical structure when heated above a certain point (not sure what that point is). Olive oil is best used at room temp (or cold) or very slightly heated versus cooking with it. I believe palm oil is also okay to cook with, but I am not sure about the smoking point. and, incidentally, canola oil is not a “good oil” at all. It is one of the top six GMO (genetically modified organisms) crops. It also is just not good for your body either, even if it is not GMO. Off the top of my head I cannot think of the profile characteristics of canola, but it is another lie about so-called “healthy” oils.
    Research coconut oil by doing a search on the internet. You will find an abundance of info about the realities of coconut oil, versus the fallacies that have circulated for decades.
    The following is from
    The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc.

    How is Lauric Acid Used by our body?
    The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia. As a result of these various health benefits of coconut oil, though its exact mechanism of action was unknown, it has been extensively used in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicinal system. The Coconut Research Center has compiled various references on scientific research done on coconut oil.
    You can find more info on this subject from Dr. Joseph Mercola has thousands of articles on every aspect of health and you can find out more about coconut oil and its cooking properties from him.
    Good luck!

  4. Guy says

    “‘good,’ unrefined, monounsaturated oils, like … canola” which is genetically modified. Not good in my book. Remember that GM tryptophan killed about 100 people. GM cotton foliage killed thousands of livestock. GM corn causes miscarriages in hogs, and “farmers saw differences inside GM-fed animals during … butchering, including liver damage, stomach ulcers, discoloration, and an awful stench.”

  5. Anonymous says

    Interesting no one noticed “these partially digestible, “weird” molecules that lodge themselves irremovably in our systems” are claimed to be healed by Dr. Bieler.

  6. Ade says

    You can remove cooking in oil. Just add stevia to orange juice or pineapple and mix it with all the drys in Granola and heat it. No undigestible materials, only cereals and HDL.

  7. Vincenzo says

    My question is for the author:

    Did you had the chance to have a diet written by Bieler?

    I don’t see any reply from him previously, so I doubt I’ll have an answer, but that would be interesting to know.
    ##DISCLAIMER: All the info I’m giving here are from Bieler and his only certified student’s books or from other physician’s books. I decline any responsibility for the wrong use of the following informations.##

    @first Anonymous:
    they do not ‘longe’ in the intestinal tract. Toxins are accumulated in fat, water retention and internal organs, in the worst scenario in the nervous system. But it all depends on the chemistry of toxins. It took to Bieler 20 years of colloidal/endocrine chemistry studies and more than 50 years of practice in order to understand fully how human toxemia works.
    The toxins accumulated in your body can be cleared with a Bieler diet. In such a diet what will happen is a elimination crisis. You will feel worse cause your body will start to flush out the toxins and those toxins obviously will irritate you eliminations channels. After the elimination crisis )that can take even several years if you are seriously ill) you will feel a lot better and healthy.

    @Cara: even if coconut oil is stable after heating on the atomic level, that doesn’t mean that it will not have an electronic reshape. Trans fat are generated even from electron transfer on the molecule. Avoid fried stuff as much as possible and always use fat not cooked and added raw on the food. Butter from raw milk, organic extra-virgin olive oil exctracted without heating, etc…

    @Lloydchiro: almost all foods contains Carbs, protein and fats. But this is not what we are talking about. Diferent cooking methods creates different chemical configurations of the same molecules and it can generates new compound. Fried stuff is impossible to digest properly and in the attempt to digest them we deprive our body of nutrients (e.g. vitamins). The final result is the absorbtion of toxic compound and foreign molecules (to our genes). We introduced fried food too late in our biology evolution. Our bodies have not evolved enough to digest them properly.

    @Ade: can you explain better you mixing in Granola? Adding stevia to one kind of fruit juice can be ok, but I would not mix that with anything.

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