We hear that whole grains are best but how true is this? It seems that oats, rice, wheat, barley, cornmeal and other cereal grains all begin as whole grains but many times when they reach the grocery shelves they have been refined to the point that most of their nutritional value is lost.
Whole grains contain entire grain kernels. Refined grains have a finer texture.
Refined grains have a longer shelf life which of course, makes them more appealing to manufacturers and stores. However, the dietary fiber, iron and many of the B vitamins have been removed.
Some examples of refined grain products are:
The manufacturer’s then claim to ‘enrich’ the grains by adding certain B vitamins and iron after the processing, but it’s not the same. The best method is keeping the whole grain intact, which is lost when refined.
The amount of grains needed on a daily basis depends on your age, gender and level of physical activity. The USDA says most Americans consume adequate amounts of grains, but unfortunately they are not whole grains. The USDA recommends that at least half of the amount of grains consumed should be whole grain.
Here are some tips that may help to incorporate whole grains into your daily diet:
Substitute whole-wheat flour or oat flour for up to half of the flour in pancake, waffle or muffin recipes.
Substitute whole grain products for refined products.
Use whole grains in dishes such as soups and casseroles.
Use whole-grain bread or cracker crumbs in meatloaf or on dishes that require breading like eggplant parmesan, baked fish or chicken.
Have plenty of snacks available that consist of whole-grain cereals or popcorn.
Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be cumbersome. Look at it as challenge and make it a game. Get your family involved in the substitution of some foods and snacks and before you know it, you and they won’t mix the ‘unhealthy’ products.
Dr. Daisy Sutherland is the Founder/CEO of Dr. Mommy and Friends . She is a doctor, author, speaker, social media strategist, brand ambassador, wife & mom to 5 children. Dr. Mommy's mission is to ~ Help Busy Women and Men with her 'Get Real' approach to living a happier and healthier lifestyle. Don't forget to grab your FREE gift... 7 Simple Ways to Stay Motivated