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All About Whole Grains

 

The WHAT of Whole Grains
Whole grains contain all three parts of the grain – bran, germ and endosperm – unlike refined grains such as white flour and white rice, which have the bran and the germ removed in the milling process. It’s this difference that makes whole grains far more healthful than refined grains, because the bran and the germ contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats.

The WHY of Whole Grains
The benefits of whole grains are numerous and well-documented. Whole grains contain fiber, which is linked to lower risk for cardiovascular disease and lower cholesterol. They are also packed with B vitamins, which aid metabolism by helping the body release energy from protein, fat and carbohydrates and help keep the immune system healthy.

Whole grains can lead to:

  • Lower LDL cholesterol levels
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduced risk of stroke
  • Reduced risk of diabetes
  • Better weight management
  • Reduced risk of asthma
  • Healthier carotid arteries
  • Healthier blood pressure levels
  • Less gum disease and tooth loss

The WHO of Whole Grains
Experts recommend eating three servings of whole grains every day; however, only 8 percent of adults in the U.S. consume the recommended amount of whole grains. Forty-two percent of adults say they don’t eat any whole grains during the day.

So who should eat whole grains? The most important answer is: you!

The HOW of Whole Grains
Now you know what whole grains are and why it’s so important to eat them. So how do you find them? At the grocery store, check the ingredients list on the packaged foods you buy. If the first word is “whole,” you’re doing pretty well. Whole wheat, whole grain barley, whole rye or any other whole grain near the top of the ingredients list means that you’re getting a good source of whole grains. However, don’t be fooled by buzzwords like “multi-grain” or “made with whole grains.” Those don’t mean that the food is actually a good source of whole grains – check the ingredients to be sure!

Also, you can cook and bake with whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat, oats and whole grain cornmeal. Check out our recipes page for ideas on how to cook with our favorite whole grain – oats!

Learn more about whole grains:
USDA Choose MYPlate
Whole Grains Council
CNN Health
Science Daily

 

 

 

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