It’s a new year and you may have made a pledge on New Year’s Eve to get healthier and lose weight. To do that you may be thinking of limiting carbohydrates in your diet and going “low carb”. Well think again because including a variety of whole grains in your diet has benefits to your overall health and maintaining or losing weight.
Whole grains include all three parts of the grain; the bran, the germ and the endosperm. Together they provide fiber, B-Vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate) and minerals (magnesium, iron, zinc). Whole grains such as quinoa and amaranth are also considered a good source of complete protein as they contain all the essential amino acids needed by humans. The refined grains used in white flour, white rice, and wheat pasta contain only the starchy endosperm and although some nutrients may be added back into these foods it does not replace all that is lost in the refining process, especially fiber.
Chicken Taco Bowl
There are many health benefits of the fiber and nutrients found in whole grains. Studies have shown a diet that includes three one-ounce servings a day of whole grains has been associated with a lower body mass index (BMI) and belly fat, as fiber increases satiety and reduces total calorie consumption. In a ten year study of Framingham Heart Study Offspring it was observed that those individuals who consumed most of their carbohydrates as whole grains had a 47% lower risk of heart disease and especially when whole grain replaced refined grain products. Whole grains can also have a positive impact on the management of type 2 diabetes. Research studies have shown a diet that includes whole grains helps lower fasting blood sugar (FBS) and improves insulin sensitivity.
Mushroom Barley Stew
So rather than limiting carbohydrates in your diet try adding whole grains instead, for example, try oatmeal for breakfast, quinoa in your salad at lunch, and brown rice with dinner. To be sure you are getting the real thing when buying bread or pasta look for 100% whole wheat on the label and avoid those that say multi-grain, 100% wheat, cracked wheat, or seven-grain as they are usually not whole wheat.
Whole grains usually take significantly longer to cook than refined grains. This is due to the bran and germ layers of the grain that take a longer time to soften when cooked. Use your Suvie to schedule your whole grain meals and you won’t have to worry about waiting for your brown rice to be cooked, it will be ready for you as soon as you walk in the door. Here are 3 more brand new meals featuring whole grains from our blog: