The US Food and Drug Administration’s Dietary Guidelines for 2005 recommends that women on a 2000 calorie per day diet eat six servings of grains per day. As you know, Caring Medical feels that it is best to know your individual Diet Type before you jump into following the US Dietary Guidelines. What is best for your friend or spouse, may not be best for you. However, most of us do consume grains within the scope of our diets, no matter if we are an “Otter” or a “Monkey.”
What’s the whole truth? Before being milled or refined, all grains are “whole” in that they contain three intact layers – the bran, the endosperm, and the germ layers. The outer layer of bran is important for its fiber, B vitamins, minerals and proteins. The middle layer (endosperm) provides energy in the form of carbohydrates and protein. The inner layer of germ contains B vitamins and vitamin E, as well as healthy unsaturated fat and protein.
Unfortunately, during the refining process, the germ and bran are often removed, leaving only the starchy endosperm. The results are refined and low nutrient value grains, such as white rice or white flour (breads).
Though the endosperm contains some nutrients, the bran and germ contain most of the valuable nutrients. Usually some vitamins and minerals are added back after the refining process but the majority of them have been stripped away.
Eating whole grains helps prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Whole grains can also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as improve how the body processes insulin and glucose. They are also good sources of antioxidants, which help fight disease.
Whole grains are high in fiber. Some whole grains products contain 5 times the fiber as refined products (or even more). Certain fibers may reduce the risk of colon and breast cancers. Fiber may also make managing your weight a little easier because those who eat whole grains tend to weigh less and feel fuller on smaller amounts of food due to the fiber content.
When choosing grains/starches to include in your diet, try to choose whole grains. When looking for whole grains, don’t judge the nutrient value by the front of the package. Claims such as “100 percent wheat” or “stone ground wheat” or “multi-grain” do not necessarily mean that the food is high in fiber and made from whole grains. Instead, read the ingredient list on the label and look for “whole” as part of the first ingredients on the label. Remember, the ingredients listed first on the food label are in the highest percentage in the product. Other whole grains to look for are brown rice, oats, spelt, Quinoa, Kamut, amaranth, and whole rye.
TIPS FOR ADDING WHOLE GRAINS TO YOUR DIET:
|•||Choose whole grain bread that contains at least 4 grams of serving per slice. Read your labels! Just because a bread is brown in color does not mean it is actually whole grain. Your bread should feel somewhat dense – not soft and skwooshy!|
|•||Consider a whole grain cereal with soy milk as a breakfast item. Again, your cereal should contain at least 4 grams of fiber per serving.|
|•||Choose brown rice instead of white rice|
|•||Add brown rice or barley to soups|
|•||Choose whole wheat or high fiber tortillas when making Mexican dishes|
|•||Have a legume based meal at least once per week, such as lentils, split peas, etc.|
|•||Sprinkle ground flaxseed over salads, soups, yogurts, or cereals.|
|•||Try some new “whole grains” that you may have no experience with such as Bulgur, Triticale, Spelt, Amaranth, Kamut, Teff, or Flaxseed. You can purchase flours made from these products as well – so you can make healthier baked goods, pancakes/waffles and side dishes!|
Other foods that contain fiber include fresh vegetables and some fruits. If you are interested in keeping your bowels regular, preventing disease, and staying healthy with whole grains, give us a call! We would be happy to help you make the grain!
There’a A Whole Lot Of Whole Grain Options
When it comes to choosing a carbohydrate based dish many people think that brown rice and whole wheat pasta are the only whole grain choices they have. You may not know it, but you are missing out on a lot of other complex carbohydrate selections. Variety is usually a key issue to sticking to your particular Hauser Diet. Patients always want to know what other options they have. All you have to do is walk through the aisles of your favorite natural grocery store and you will see a wide array of whole grain choices you can add to your meals to liven them up. The next time you’re looking to spice things up choose one of the following:
Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) is light, tasty, and easy to digest. It is not sticky or heavy like most other grains, and it has a delicious flavor all its own. Quinoa can be substituted for almost any grain in almost any recipe. It looks and tastes great on its own, or in any dish from soup to salad. Compared to other whole grains, it has a high protein content.
WHOLE WHEAT COUSCOUS
Couscous is a species of pasta originating in North Africa. Rather than being in the form of noodles it is granular. Couscous is a coarsely ground semolina pasta.
Millet is tasty, with a mildly sweet, nut-like flavor and contains a multitude of beneficial nutrients. It is non-glutinous, nearly 15% protein, and contains high amounts of fiber.
Asian countries have long enjoyed noodles made from buckwheat flour. Buckwheat can also be used for a variety of baked products, including pancakes, breads, muffins, crackers, bagels, cookies, and tortillas among others.
These are just a few alternatives to the everyday choices of rice and pasta. Staying on track with your nutritional goals will be much easier, and last longer when you keep your mind open to new foods and ideas. Try a few recipes out using one of your new found foods and let us know what you think!