Sylvester Graham, an evangelical minister in the 1830s and the world’s first “health nut,” believed that the single greatest health concern facing Americans was rampant sexual desire. In order to suppress these carnal urges, Graham prescribed — what else? — a special diet that would tame the lusty beast within.
The Graham Diet, as it was known, consisted of two, bland meals a day featuring whole grains, fruits and vegetables. No meat, spices, alcohol or tobacco was allowed. And yep, you guessed it, he invented the much less tasty, completely sugar-free version of the cracker that shares his name. Since white flour was his primary target because he felt it led to a “lazy colon”(which leads to … God only knows what else!) he developed his own process for making whole-wheat flour, which he used for his Graham bread. He even wrote a treatise decrying the evils of white flour and it’s side effect: horniness, amongst other things.
It’s no wonder his zealot followers didn’t have sex drives, they were probably STARVING. Mr. Graham would roll over in his grave if he saw the ingredient list on a box of Nabisco Graham Crackers, knew that his disciple John Harvey Kellogg launched the modern-day breakfast cereal industry using his ideas or had any idea of the ways in which flour has perverted our society. [The Atlantic]