Life

Whole Grains and Your Health (Video)


When it comes to good health, don’t underestimate the power of whole grains. “People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet  have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases,” according to the United States Department of Agriculture (the USDA).

Medical experts report that the dietary fiber found in whole grain products may help:

  • Lower blood cholesterol levels.
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
  • Prevent obesity or assist with weight loss.
  • Where can you find whole grains? Stock up on brown rice, wild rice, barley, oats, quinoa, whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread, says Alice Pereira, a registered dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida. And pay careful attention to food labels.

    “Make sure you check the ingredients list for the word whole or whole grains,” she says.

    What are grains?

    Grain-based foods are products made from wheat, oats, rice, barley, cereal grain or cornmeal. Specific foods made from grains include: breakfast cereals, bread, tortillas, grits and pasta. There are two kinds of grain-based foods: Refined grains and whole grain products.

    “Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel ― the bran, germ, and endosperm,” according to the USDA. “Refined grains have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ. This is done to give grains a finer texture and improve their shelf life, but it also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins. “

    What kind of nutrients are in whole grains?

    Whole grains are a good source of nutrients such as iron, magnesium, selenium, B vitamins, and fiber.

    How much in grains should we eat each day?

    The recommended daily requirement is 6 ounces of grains. As you put together your menu, remember that one ounce of grain is equal to:

  • 1 slice of bread.
  • ½ cup of cooked pasta, rice or cereal.
  • “Make most of the grains in your diet by selecting whole grains – made from the entire seed—with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving,” Ms. Pereira says.

    How can we incorporate more whole grain servings into our daily menus?

    Cut back on refined wheat products, which can include: white bread, standard pasta, white rice and many baked goods, Ms. Pereira says.

    Instead of white bread, pick whole grain bread; substitute brown rice for white rice and use whole wheat pasta rather than white pasta.

    Here are four recommendations from the USDA to add whole grain snacks to your menu:

    1.”Snack on ready-to-eat, whole grain cereals such as toasted oat cereal.
    2. Add whole-grain flour or oatmeal when making cookies or other baked treats.
    3. Try 100% whole-grain snack crackers.
    4. Popcorn, a whole grain, can be a healthy snack if made with little or no added salt and butter.”
    Source: ChooseMyPlate.gov

    Ms. Pereira recently spoke about the health value of whole grains at an ongoing Community Health lecture series called, Navigating the Supermarket for Cancer Patients.

    (The Baptist Health News Team attended the presentation. Watch now to hear a few health facts about whole grains.)

     

    To learn more about Community Health Programs at Baptist Health visit: https://events.baptisthealth.net/

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