Whole Grains Are Part of Eating Whole Foods

Whole grains are part of eating whole foods

With all the latest fads and trends, it’s hard telling what type of carbohydrates you should be eating. There is tons of research backing the fact that whole grains are superior to refined grains in terms of health benefits.

Q: How are whole grains different from refined grains?

A: Whole grains consist of the bran, germ and endosperm. This makes up the entire grain seed which is where the term “whole grain” comes from. In comparison, refined grains often strip away both the germ and bran leaving only the endosperm. Later the germ and bran are added back to the grain. This process eliminates the majority of the nutrients (nearly 25%), including fiber, that the grain held before becoming refined.

Q: What are the health benefits of eating whole grains?

A: Whole grains keep you full longer because the body has to break down all 3 parts of the grain. Looking at the glycemic index, refined grains score high (spiking blood glucose at a higher rate), and whole grains score low (spiking blood glucose at a low rate). But what does this mean? Eating refined grains puts all of us at many risks, but by eating whole grains (lowering blood glucose levels) you are increasing the health benefits by:

  • Reducing the risk of stroke by 30-36%
  • Reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes by 21-30%
  • Reducing the risk of heart disease by 25-28%
  • Increasing weight management

Q: How many whole grains should I bet eating per day?

A: The recommended amount of whole grains consumed per day should be 3-5 servings. Be cautious in reading the nutritional facts. The ingredient list should list whole grains as one of the first ingredients listed. Just because it says whole grains does not mean they have not snuck in added sugars to offset the nutritional value. Another indicator of a good source of whole grains is the amount of fiber on the nutritional facts. There should be at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.

Q: What are some examples of whole grains?

A: There is a wide variety to choose from when picking whole grains. It also depends on what type of meal you are preparing. Here are some examples of different types of whole grains that you can incorporate into multiple healthy recipes.

  • Barley
  • Brown Rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Oatmeal
  • Popcorn
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Wild rice
  • Millet
  • Bulgur
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