Rice, pasta, and bread are just some of a carbohydrate lover’s favorite foods. While it is important to enjoy these dishes in moderation, you need to ensure you are consuming whole grains instead of refined grains whenever possible. Why? Because during the refining process, much of the B vitamins, iron, and dietary fiber are removed, whereas whole grains contain the entire grain and provide important health benefits:
- Reduces risk of developing type 2 diabetes or heart disease, and of having a stroke
- Reduces blood cholesterol levels
- B vitamins play a key role in metabolism
- Good source of iron, which carries oxygen to the blood
- Helps curb cravings by providing a feeling of fullness
Whole grains have a place in weight management as well. A study from American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that a dieter who consumes whole grains loses more weight in the abdominal area compared to dieters who primarily consume refined grains.
You can find whole grains in a variety of different foods such as:
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat, oats, or rye
- Whole-grain bread or barley
How will you know if it’s a whole grain product? Look for the words “whole” or “whole grain” in front of the grain’s name on the ingredient list, which should be the first item listed. Products labeled as “stone-ground”, “100% wheat”, “multi-grain”, or “seven grain” are generally not whole grain products.
Although there may be an adjustment period going from the taste of refined to whole grains, you will benefit from increased nutrients and fiber; incorporate whole grains into your diet and add a new dynamic to the way you eat!