Getting your whole grains!

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February 20, 2014 by thehealthyheartcenter

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Whole grain products can be somewhat tricky to pick out in the grocery store, but there are some tips to follow to make sure you are getting the best options.

– Look for labels that say “whole” (this is a good place to start)

– Check the ingredients list. The first ingredient should be some type of whole grain; this could be whole wheat or another type of whole grain, and if all the grains listed are whole, you’ve picked a winner.

– Don’t be fooled by the color of some bread products. Products that say wheat bread or multi-grain are not a ‘whole grain’ despite their brownish hue. Also, whole grain products may be white if they are made with whole white grain—so check those ingredients.

– Other products that are whole grains but may not be as obvious are brown rice, bulgur, popcorn, whole oats, quinoa, buckwheat, wild rice, and barley.

 

You may be wondering why whole grains are so important vs. regular white bread and other refined products. Here’s your answer:

– Although refined products are enriched with vitamins, the processing of these products from whole grains reduces the amount of protein by 25%! So even with the addition of other nutrients, you are not getting the satiating properties of protein, which is found in higher amounts in whole grains.

– Whole grains have fiber, which along with making you full for longer, can also help to lower risk of certain diseases including some cancers, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

 

Remember this:

– Make half your grains whole! That means 50% of all the grains you consume should be whole grains.

– Even though whole grains are undoubtedly a better option than refined grains, some whole grain products – such as desserts and snacks – can be high in sugar, fat, and sodium. Therefore, it is important to limit these options and only replace refined foods existing in your diet with their whole grain alternatives, instead of just adding whole grain foods to the diet.

If any clarification about this post is needed, please comment below!

 

Source: http://www.extension.org/pages/19899/how-to-spot-whole-grains#.UwImQbvLjfY

Picture source: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/The-Greatness-of-Whole-Grains_UCM_455739_Article.jsp

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Authors

Dr. Wali Gauvin

Kendra Fink RD CPT

Jessica Griffin: Intern

Julianna Yi: Intern

Marielle Mangano: Intern

Jackie Page: Intern

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