What you need to know about whole grains
Healthy eating is important to you? Then you might actually be interested in reading this article about serious facts concerning whole grains, especially if you didn’t pay too much attention to them until now. If the only thing you know or heard about the whole grains is that they are healthy and good for the digestive system, then you really know nothing at all. But that’s okay, it’s our job to inform you about the full package of benefits for the health that they whole grains have. Stay close to us and read the following lines!
For too many years, the bad reputation of breads and pastas has been tolerated and spread over and over among the people that were interested in finding the proper diet that was right for their metabolism’s type. But this is not the case anymore, because breads and pastas are now known not only for being full of carbs (even though some people think that eating less carbs will be good for their diet regime), but they are becoming more and more popular among nutritionists and people interested in a healthier eating style due to the fact that they contain the wonder-ingredient called whole grains. Even though you may have read on too many labels to count that this or that product is made or contains whole grains, in fact, the reality is different and only a few of them really contain whole grains, while the rest of them contain very little or not at all.
If you are interested in knowing what the products made from whole grains really are, you should follow the definition provided by the Food and Drug Administration (aka FDA), who sustained that whole grains can be considered all the products that contain intact, ground, cracked or flaked cereal grains that still have their endosperm, the germ and the bran. Among the most popular cereal grains nowadays, wheat, bulgur, barley, buckwheat, corn amaranth, teff, millet, triticale, rice, oats, rye, quinoa, sorghum and wild rice are the most frequently used and familiar to people interested in healthy eating. Did you get stuck at the endosperm, the germ and the bran? Well, let us make it clearer for you. The endosperm, the germ and the bran are the main anatomical components of the cereal grains. If the foods include this parts also, you can say that the foods or products you consume contain the whole grain. This is where the whole grains products have gotten their names. However, there are also discussions about the groat. What is a groat? A groat is actually a hulled grain which has been broken into smaller fragments. The groat also includes the main anatomical components of the cereal grains, even if it has been hulled.
So, if the FDA has shed some light on the subject for you guys, let’s now move to what the manufacturers do or promise nowadays. Well, for instance, they are particularly often loose with the labels of their products, claiming that they contain much more whole grains that they do in reality. In fact, certain products contain only a few parts of the whole grain ingredients. What is the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendations in these circumstances? Well, it appears that the FDA is encouraging people to look for the products labeled with 100% whole grain rather than the ones simply labeled as whole grains, that is if you are looking to get the most of the whole grain content. There is also a Whole Grains Council that actually advise and recommends people to take a more serious and closer look at the nutrition label. If people notice that the first ingredient on the label’s list is the whole grain specification, then it is more probable that the product contains much more whole grains than the rest. If we knew that there are some whole grains that are particularly rich in fibers, we have to know that not all of them are the same nor do they have the same composition. So, if until now you have been looking at a product and searched for its fiber content specifications, there are high chances that these are not a good indicator for a whole grain content.
But enough with the talking and let’s get to more serious business! What about the nutritional information and the health benefits of the whole grains for us all? Yeap, sounds good to me! Well, let’s see…
According to the American Heart Association, people should be eating 6 to 8 servings of whole grains foods, or at least grain foods, in a day, each day. Whole grains provide a ton of benefits for the entire body and its well function. For instance, whole grains are very rich in mineral magnesium, which it is used (the magnesium) by pretty much over 300 different enzyme systems that are inside the human body, or so it claims the National Institutes of Health. Whole grains appear to be kind of vitals for the heart’s health, or the brain’s health or the bone’s health, and this is only one small reason for why we should make sure to introduce them more often in our diets. If you are interested in finding out the right amounts of magnesium from inside different types of whole grains per 200 calorie serving, here is a helping list that was made by a famous nutrition expert that specialized herself in health, diet and aging, doctor Carolyn Dean. According to her list, it seems that:
- The wheat bran in a crude form contains 556 mg
- The rice bran in its crude form contains 494 mg
- The oat bran that is cooked contains 200 mg
- The oat bran when it is raw contains 191 mg
- The rye flour that is dark contains up to 153 mg
- The buckwheat flour that is whole-groat contains 150 mg
- The buckwheat contains 135 mg
There are, however, still a lot of people that prefer to avoid pasta and breads because these contain carbs and they really do want to avoid or eat as less carbs as possible, in order to have a proper digestion process. Our advice for these people is to rethink their eating of whole grains or the different versions of these foods (pasta and breads). A doctor called Dana S. Simpler, which is an internist with a special curiosity and interest in nutrition, agrees that the persons that only look at the carbs and don’t actually see the whole grains vs. processed grains thing, do not fully or completely understand what are the whole grains’ health benefits for them, especially on the long run. Even though the whole grains and also the processed grains appear to have the same or equal amounts of carbs, these different types of grains do not have the same impact or the same effects on the people’s metabolism or their blood sugar levels. Doctor Simpler agreed that the whole grains are being absorbed more slowly by the body, and they are gradually metabolized, while in the meantime, the processed grain flours are much more fast absorbed in the body, which makes them a possible leader for the spikes in insulin and the blood sugar levels.
Another doctor but also an associate professor of medicine that teaches at the UCLA David Geffen Schiil of Medicine, along with an assistant that is a professor of medicine at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, they both agree that the whole grains are a healthy and an important part in every person’s healthy diet and eating habits. Why do they think that? Because the whole grains (and in this category, the cereals, the breads and the pastas) have been proven (in previous researches and studies) to be able to reduce the heart disease and also the heart diseases that were related to deaths, especially when they were taken as a part of a healthy diet for the heart. But the thing is, not all the carbs (especially the ones in the whole grains) are bad, and not all of them are the same or produce negative results on a person’s health.
There were plenty of studies conducted on healthy diets, foods and aliments, but only a recent one was made on the subject that if people were to eat at least three servings of whole grain foods per day, they were 20% less likely to die in an early time of their lives, in comparison with all the people who ate less than one serving per day. If you’re looking for a new way to lower the risk of dying from cancer, eating 3servings of whole grains per day may actually do the trick, specialists verified. Also, if you’re worried that you may get a heart disease and die because of it, eat also 3 servings of whole grains per day and there will be 25% lower risks for you to die because of a heart disease.
Another important thing about the whole grains is that they are good and healthy for the eyes, as well. The California Optometric Association has figured out that the low glycemic index of the whole grains may be able to reduce the risk for the macular degeneration that occurs due to the aging process. This is the main cause for severe vision loss in older people, such as the ones that are over 60 years old. Also, the whole grains contain the vitamin E, niacin and zinc, which are all good for promoting the overall health of the eyes.
For the persons that are interested in losing weight and maintaining a good, healthy and balanced diet, whole grains are an excellent choice, they can really be an important part in the weight management plan. The bonus is that whole grains makes you feel fuller, so you won’t have to eat too much or overeat because you’re starving. Eating less with definitely keep you away of the extra pounds that threaten your balanced body shape.
However, eating too much whole grains or the switching to them all of a sudden may cause you some side effects. For example, you may begin to experience a deficiency in folic acid, in vitamin B. The reason is that too often the processed foods are filled with folic acid, while the breads made from whole grains are not entirely made of this. To be sure, you have to take a look closer at the nutrition facts that are written on the back of the products, if you want to make sure that they really contain folic acid.
Let’s recap the whole grains benefits for the health, shall we?
- Whole grains support a better eye vision
- Whole grains decrease the chances of cancer death
- Whole grains lower the risks of developing a heart disease and die because of it
- Whole grains are good for the weight loss
Are you still in doubt whether you should try them or not?
I would define myself as an experience journalist and an interactive copywriter with an extra interest in scriptwriting, copywriting, branding, proofreading.etc…
In the last 8 years of my life I have been covering news related to health care department, by doing this in a way I have developed a soft spot for subjects about Health & Well-being, Weight Loss & Fashion, Industry Trends.
I have worked very closely with affiliates publications to the Indian Express Group like Express Pharma and Express Biotech, where I have assisted the editor to perform different editorial tasks including special issues, editing, pagination, proofreading texts…