Why Whole Grains?

With the low-carb diets still in the spotlight, most people cut out one of the most important food groups for the human body, GRAINS!  There are three macro-nutrients that the human body functions off of; carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.  If you take a third of its energy source away, your body will not have the capability to perform at its peak.  During the next week, I'll be highlighting the benefits of whole grains and different sources to include in your upcoming meal plan!!

BENEFITS OF WHOLE GRAINS, TO NAME A FEW:

  • Dietary fiber from whole grains, helps reduce cholesterol levels and can lower risk of heart disease.  Fiber also plays a role in maintaining proper GI functions and can reduce constipation and diverticulosis.

  • B-vitamins play a key role in metabolism by helping the body release energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates.  B-vitamins inlcude thiamin, riboflavin, folate, and niacn. Folate or folic acid also hlep prevent neural tube defects and spina bifida during fetal development.

  • Iron is used to carry oxygen in the blood. Recommend consuming foods high in heme-iron (meats) or eat other iron containing foods along with foods rich in vitamin C, which can improve absorption of non-heme iron. Whole and enriched refined grain products are major sources of non-heme iron in American diets.

  • Whole grains are sources of magnesium and selenium. Magnesium is a mineral used in building bones and releasing energy from muscles. Selenium protects cells from oxidation and is also important for a healthy immune system.

According to the Whole Grain Council, benefits of whole grains most documented by repeated studies include:

stroke risk reduced 30-36%

type 2 diabetes risk reduced 21-30%

heart disease risk reduced 25-28%

better weight maintenance

Other benefits indicated by recent studies include:

  • reduced risk of asthma
  • healthier carotid arteries
  • reduction of inflammatory disease risk
  • lower risk of colorectal cancer
  • healthier blood pressure levels
  • less gum disease and tooth loss

 

HOW MANY WHOLE GRAINS TO YOU CONSUME IN A DAY?