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Whole grains can have a powerful impact on your health! Start shaping up for fall by adding a variety of whole grains to your diet. Since your body absorbs the nutrients from food easier than from vitamins, it’s important to eat the foods with the most antioxidants. Here’s how you can know the differences of the everyday grains we eat, and to get the most benefits from tasty whole grains!
Why Are Whole Grains Good For You?
Whole grains are loaded with essential vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need. Whole grains contain protein, fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium. Due to this, whole grains have been shown to prevent many types of illness including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cancer. Whole grains are linked to excellent amounts of fiber. Whole wheat contains the most fiber and brown rice has the least.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that diets with whole grains that are low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol reduce heart disease and cancers. This applies to whole grain foods with at least 51% of whole grain ingredients. Shockingly enough, only 10% of Americans get enough whole grains a day. It’s best to incorporate at least three serving’s worth.
Know the Difference Between 100% Whole Grains and 100% Wheat
A whole grain is the bran, germ, and endosperm of a grain. The most important thing is that all parts of the grain are still intact and in a healthy proportion.
It gets tricky when you’re at the grocery store with tons of options in front of you. Remember to steer clear of anything that’s refined or processed. Similar names like “multigrain, 100% wheat, organic, pumpernickel, bran, and stone ground” are not necessarily whole grain! Especially beware of “100% wheat” bread. Why? Unfortunately, manufacturers strip the outermost later of bran off the wheat kernel and use refined wheat flour with molasses to fill it. Sadly this product does not count as 100% whole grain bread!
You can avoid these situations by reading the ingredient label on the back of the product. Required by law, the label contains a list of all ingredients in the food. Make sure the first ingredient reads “whole,” such as “whole wheat flour.” To ensure you’re eating the best, look for the Whole Grain Council’s stamp that displays a 100% banner.
The most common types of whole grains are:
- Brown rice
- Wild rice
- Whole rye
- Whole-grain barley
- Bulgur (cracked wheat)
- 100% whole wheat flour
Tips to Start Getting More Whole Grains!
• Opt for whole grains in breads, cereals, muffins, waffles, bagels, crackers, pastas, rice, and other carbohydrates.
• Eat popcorn as a healthy snack.
• Try all the whole grains to see which ones you like best. You might find a new favorite food that’s also good for you!
Suit up for fall—Start eating whole grains today and eat the best carbs you can!