Sunday, May 24, 2015

Whole Grains and a Longer Life

So many people “avoid carbs” and avoid grains.  The latest diet craze is to go low carb.  Is that the healthiest choice for a longer life?  Are some carbs healthy?  Absolutely.   If you are watching carbs, you should watch to see you add whole grain carbs to your diet.  Whole grains aren’t carbs to avoid but to add to your diet.  A recent Harvard study on Whole Grains found that people who ate whole grains lowered their risk of heart disease.
 How much whole grains did they eat to lower their risk of heart disease?  The more they ate they lower the risk
  • 5% lower risk of heart disease for those eating 1 ounce a day (1 slice of whole wheat bread)
  • 8% lower risk for those who replaced one serving of refined grains with one serving of whole grains every day 
  • 20% lower if a serving of red meat was replaced by whole grains

Whole grains contain all parts of the grain including the bran.  The bran is rich in B vitamins, antioxidants and fiber.  It is the bran that seems to be the most beneficial in reducing heart disease risk.

What are whole grains?  If you go to, they have a list of foods that are whole grains.  MyPlate recommends at least half the grains you eat each day should be whole grains.  Whole grains include:
  • Whole wheat flour, whole wheat bread, whole rye flour - but whole rye bread is hard to find.  I found some at World Market
  • Cereals that are whole grain like oatmeal, Cheerios
  • Whole cornmeal (Most cornmeal is not whole, need to read the ingredients)
  • Brown rice, wild rice
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat – like buckwheat pancakes
  • Whole wheat pasta – if you don’t like the taste, try 25% whole wheat pasta and 75% regular pasta
  • Barley
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Whole grain chips, Sun Chips, Food Should Taste Good  Multigrain chips,
  • Whole grain corn – popcorn is whole grain

Note:  “multi-grain”, “stone ground”, “cracked wheat”, “bran” – are usually not whole grain products.  Read the label as some foods like the Food Should Taste Good Multigrain chips are whole grain but many “multi-grain” breads are not whole grain. 

Add some whole grains to your diet for a longer life. 

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