So……..I’m going to be honest. I switched my family to whole grains simply because I heard it was healthier. I really didn’t know why it was healthy. I added whole grains to my rules on blind faith. I started buying whole wheat pasta and quit eating white rice. Since then, I have done my research and boy…..am I glad I made the change from refined flours and grains to whole grains. As always, I urge you to make decisions for your family as you see fit, once you have the necessary information.
Why not eat regular flour and white rice? First of all……we eat far too many foods with these ingredients for there not to be any nutritional value. My goal is to eat the most nutrient dense food I can so that my body can fight off illness and keep me going strong for a good many years. Refined grains are processed so much that there is virtually no nutritional value left. Refined flours have the germ and bran removed. In case you don’t know……that’s where the majority of the nutrition is. We are then left with simple carbohydrates which elevate our blood sugar in unhealthy ways.
Now the good news……. The Whole Grains Council www.wholegrains.org has a list of 14 whole grains. That is a lot of whole grains to choose from. Thank goodness we are not going to starve! My family primarily eats 5 of them. We eat whole wheat, popcorn (yes it is a whole grain), oats, brown and wild rice. We have recently added quinoa. I love it, but it’s new to our family so we are still learning what to do with quinoa. I encourage you to try it. It is considered a super food because of all of its nutrients.
Per the Whole Grains Council’s website, the health benefits listed in repeated studies include:
- reduced stroke risk (reduced 30-36%)
- type 2 diabetes risk reduced (reduced 21-30%)
- heart disease risk reduced (reduced 25-28%)
- better weight maintenance
There is also a growing list of benefits in newer studies including:
- reduced risk of asthma
- healthier carotid arteries
- reduction of inflammatory disease
- lower risk of colorectal cancer
- healthier blood pressure levels
- less gum disease and tooth loss
I don’t know about you……..but there are enough reasons right there for me to encourage this change to whole grains with my family. I view my job as Mother to protect my family and if I can do that with food (even if it is just reducing risk) I am going to do it. I just need to have the right information. Thank you Whole Grains Council!
Remember……..the food industry is very tricky. Read labels carefully so you know that you are getting whole grains. Many processed foods advertise that they have whole grains, but when you read the label it is really only partially made with whole grains. The key with wheat is to look for the word, “whole”. It will always say whole wheat when whole wheat flour is used. Just the word “wheat” is not enough. Even white flour is made from wheat. You will also frequently find “enriched” flours. What processing does is strip all the nutrients so the food industry attempts to put nutrition back into the product. Don’t be fooled by these flashy labels. Insist on whole wheat.
I hope this gives you the beginnings of some understanding of whole grains. I would love to hear your comments. If the page says “0” comments, just click on it to open it up and leave us a question or comment. Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook and you can follow us on Twitter @jugglngrealfood. Can’t wait to hear from you! Make sure you subscribe at the right so you don’t miss the next episode and don’t keep us a secret. Share our information with your friends. They will be glad you did.