Eat More Whole Grains

Whole grains are an essential part our diets.  Whole grains include the germ and bran of the grain, which are removed in the refining of grains.  These essential parts of the grain provide many great benefits.  Our muesli’s contain at least 26g of whole grains in every 1/3C serving, that’s over half of the FDA’s recommend amount.  Here’s 10 reasons you need to eat more whole grains.

1. You aren’t eating enough.  Only 5% of Americans are getting the recommended 3 servings of whole grains (48g) everyday, according to a report by General Mills in January.  By eating more whole grains, you will reap all the benefits below.  You should be eating whole grains in place of calories from refined carbs and fatty foods.

2. Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.  Whole grains will help regulate and maintain low blood glucose levels and healthy insulin levels.

3. More Fiber.  Whole grains are packed with fiber.  Fiber has been shown to help maintain healthy choloesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease.  It is also shown to reduce risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers.

4. Low GI and GL.  Many people are on “carb-conscious” diets without knowing the difference between carbs.  Whole grains, compared to their refined counterparts, have low glycemic indexes (GI) and glycemic loads (GL) because they do not cause spikes in blood glucose levels.  Whole grains provide essential nutrients and are beneficial even for low-carb diets, most of which seek to remove refined carbs from our diets.

5. More nutritious.  White flour is depleted of 17 nutrients and contains 25% less protein than whole wheat flour.  Whole grains have many nutrients including vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants from phytonutrients.

6. B-Vitamins.  Whole grains contain several B-Vitamins which have been shown to support metabolism, maintain healthy skin and muscle tone, and reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer.

7. Feel fuller.  Whole grains contain the bran and germ of the grain, the parts highest in both protein and fiber.  This will lead to increased fullness, which should lead to overall lower calorie consumption.

8.  Lowers LDL and Triglyceride levels.  Diets rich in whole grains are shown to lower low density lipoprotein (bad) cholosterol and triglyceride levels, leading to reduced risk of coronary heart disease.

9.  Show off your abs.  A study of body fat distribution among 2,834 participants.  The study found that people with the highest whole grain intake had less subcutaneous abdominal fat (fat under their skin) and less visceral abdominal fat (fat around their organs), while those with the highest refined grain intake had more of both types of abdominal fat, especially visceral fat.

10.  You’ll live longer.  Consumer Reports lists whole grain consumption in it’s 9 Ways to a Longer Life because of the evidence of whole grains reducing the risk of heart disease, several cancers, and inflammatory diseases such as asthma.

Sources:
http://www.wholegraingap.com/

Harris KA, Kris-Etherton PM. “Effects of whole grains on coronary heart disease risk.” CurrentAtherosclerosis Reports. November 2010

McKeown NM, Troy LM, Jacques PF, Hoffmann U, O’Donnell CJ, Fox CS “Whole- and refined-grain intakes are differentially associated with abdominal visceral and subcutaneous adiposity in healthy adults: the Framingham Heart Study.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. November 2010.

Nilsson AC, Östman EM, Knudsen KE, Holst JJ, Björck IM.  “A cereal-based evening meal rich in indigestible carbohydrates increases plasma butyrate the next morning.” Journal of Nutrition. November 2010

Tighe P, Duthie G, Vaughan N, Brittenden J, Simpson WG, Duthie S, Mutch W, Wahle K, Horgan G, Thies F. “Effect of increased consumption of whole-grain foods on blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk markers in healthy middle-aged persons: a randomized controlled trial.“ American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. October 2010.

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