The Benefits of Whole Grains will revolutionize your diet! By learning to like whole grains, you will automatically feel full with less food and fewer calories. You will automatically eat less and eat less later, too. Sound good? It does to me!
What are Carbs? All grains, fruits, and vegetables.
What are Whole Grains? "Whole grain" means what it says - that the "whole" grain was used - including the outer covering (bran and germ). A wheat grain is brown; that's why 100% whole wheat bread is also brown. The inside of the wheat kernel is white; therefore, your white bread consists only of the inner part of the grain.
Whole grains are not just wheat. According to Wikipedia, here are common whole grains:
Beware: some companies advertise "100% Wheat" which does not include the WHOLE kernel. White refined bread is still made out of wheat, even though the bran and germ (which have the FIBER) are removed.
What is enriched wheat? The inside of the kernel (endosperm-the white part) is used. The nutrients, but not the fiber from the bran and germ, are added back. You get nutrients but not the fiber.
Also, companies can advertise "whole grain," but that doesn't mean its ingredients are "100% whole grain." To simplify, I just keep my eye on fiber grams - 3 grams minimum per serving, 5 is better.
A "white whole wheat" is now available, so people can still have their white bread and get the benefits of whole grains. You can do your own research for the benefits of whole grains at wheatfoods.org. This is the website for the Wheat Foods Council.
Start with food that is a MIX of whole grains and regular (white) wheat. Eventually progress to 100% whole grain foods (or go straight to this phase, if you can). You'll benefit from whole grains right away.
BREAD: If you love white bread, then you may not jump for joy at the taste of 100% whole wheat bread. Solution? You can slowly change your tastes. How? Buy bread that is part WHOLE wheat and part (white/enriched) wheat. Take a few months (or more) to get used to this taste, then go to 100% whole wheat for the benefits of whole grains. Also, look for healthy breads made out of the new white whole wheat. My grocery does not have this yet, but they have white breads with fiber added and fluffy wheat blends that look mostly white.
Most of my family is perfectly happy with the denser whole wheat breads, but a couple of us will just not eat them. So we switched to a fluffier 100% whole wheat (less fiber but still good). I prefer 100% whole wheat over multi grain bread because they are not always 100% whole grain.
PASTA: Same as above. Start to MIX 100% whole wheat pastas with white pastas. We started out by cooking regular white spaghetti with whole wheat spaghetti. Now we've progressed to all whole wheat pasta. Those brown pastas turn a much lighter color after they're cooked, so you can start to sneak a bit in to your pasta dishes without a jolt to your palate. We don't mind all whole wheat in rotini and penne dishes. Grocery stores also carry whole grain blends that are pretty high in fiber.
A great benefit of whole grains is that when you're accustomed to this more flavorful and filling pasta, white pasta will begin taste undesirable (gummy and bland). Take 1 month, 6 months, or even 2 years to get used to whole wheat pastas. You will be rewarded in your whole grain diet!
CEREALS. See our Why Eat Breakfast
page for lots of great ideas. Mainly, I try to buy cereals that have 5
grams of fiber per serving. Oatmeal is a good whole grain cereal. (You
don't have to give up your favorite childhood cereals - eat them for
BAGELS/ENGLISH MUFFINS: Same as bread. It's actually easier to switch to 100% whole wheat varieties for bagels and english muffins. We often toast these for dinner in place of white rolls.
GRANOLAS: Granolas are mainly oats. Look at the labels and look for 5 grams of fiber per serving. I finally got a good recipe for homemade granola.
CRACKERS: This is a hard one (literally). Kashi crackers are ok but not very high in fiber. We mostly just stopped eating many crackers. I do keep Wheat Thins Multigrain around for cheese & crackers. Most of the high fiber crackers don't taste good to me.
MACARONI & CHEESE: When the kids were younger, I still made Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, but luckily they sell a whole grain version with 5 grams of fiber per serving. If I make homemade mac & cheese, I use 100% whole wheat macaroni - this is not as popular with the family yet.
TORTILLAS: My family is pretty happy with 100% whole wheat tortillas, especially made into quesadillas. I think they're happier with white tortillas, but I just don't buy them.
POPCORN: Wow, a whole grain we already liked! Our family is a big fan of microwave popcorn. A great choice is Orville Redenbacher's "Smart Pop!" in the mini bag size. It comes in a butter flavor or kettle korn.
RICE: Brown Rice is better. I love Uncle Ben's Ready Rice (cooks in 90 seconds) Whole Grain Brown. Here's a great Campbell's chicken and brown rice recipe: click here.
Timeline: Ideally, give yourself a month for C - CORRECT your Eating with Carbs.
1st - To start your whole grain diet, get rid of your white refined breads and low fiber crackers. You can do it; just throw them away.
Go buy some healthy bread made with at least PART whole grains
(probably whole wheat). Also shop for whole grain pastas, bagels,
tortillas, and cereals.
When you're ready, go to 100% whole wheat breads (or other 100% whole grain types). The benefits of whole grains are worth your time, even if it took you a year or more to reach this phase.
Share your story about the benefits of whole grains. Your idea could really help and encourage someone else . . .
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