A grain product is any food manufactured from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or any cereal grain. Examples include bread, pasta, oats, morning cereals, tortillas, and grits. Whole and processed are the two subgroups of grains.
The bran, germ, and cytoplasm of the wheat kernel are all included in whole grains. People who eat whole grains as part of a well-balanced diet are less likely to develop chronic diseases. Here are ten suggestions to help you start eating more whole grains and in turn eating healthier!
1. When Feasible, Choose Whole Grains That Are Still Intact.
Whole grains in their natural state are unrefined and unprocessed. They are higher in nutrients and have less added sugar, saturated fat, and sodium.
Whole grains that are still intact include:
- Buckwheat: a superfood that many people regard to be a particularly healthy whole grain. Buckwheat may help manage diabetes, enhance heart health, and support weight loss, among other things. It is a raw grain that is high in protein, fiber, and calories.
- Brown rice: a good source of dietary fiber can help you live longer by lowering your risk of heart disease.
- Bulgur (cracked wheat): commonly used in salads and pilafs, together with herbal ingredients, veggies, spices, and other grains.
- Whole-grain, hulled barley: is more nutrient-dense than pearled barley.
- Quinoa: high in antioxidants, which help protect your heart and other organs from damage.
- Millet: high in potassium, a nutrient that promotes kidney and heart health. Potassium is also important for nerve signal transmission, which is how your brain and muscles communicate with each other. It is a good source of vitamin A as well.
- Whole oats: usually the best option for a healthy and fulfilling breakfast.
2. Make Simple Changes.
Examine simple, cost-effective strategies to switch from processed grains to intact whole grains and whole-grain products.
- Rice bubbles to oats
- White bread to whole grain bread
- White rice to brown rice, barley, or quinoa
- Water crackers to whole grain crackers
- White flour to whole grain flours such as wholemeal flour
- White bread roll to multigrain bread roll
Remember, we would all benefit from eating more vegetables so you could also consider swapping refined grains like white pasta and bread for vegetables.
A good example is using lettuce cups instead of white bread wraps next time you are making burritos.
3. Mix Your Regular Dishes With Whole Grains.
Whole grains, such as barley in vegetable soups or stews and bulgur wheat in casseroles or stir-fries, can be used in mixed dishes. A quinoa salad or pilaf is a good option as well.
4. Make At Least One Meal A Day With Whole Grains.
To get you started, consider the following suggestions:
- Breakfast: bircher muesli, toasted whole-grain bread, or porridge.
- Lunch: soup with a whole grain bread roll or a wholemeal salad wrap.
- Dinner: stir-fry buckwheat noodles, add barley to soups, casseroles, or risotto, and mix raw grains like brown rice, wholemeal pasta, or quinoa into salads.
5. Make Some Whole-Grain Goodness In The Oven.
Do you want to do some baking this weekend? Look for whole-grain recipes that include oats, buckwheat, millet, bran, or wholemeal flour.
Here are some delectable suggestions:
6. To Save Time Later, Cook Extra Whole Grains.
Try cooking using whole raw grains that you may not be familiar with. Brown rice, barley, bulgur wheat, quinoa, and millet are cooked by immersing them in water, bringing them to a boil, and then simmering until the liquid has been absorbed. Cooking times will vary, so read the back of the package carefully.
Cook additional whole grains such as quinoa, barley, brown rice, or bulgur wheat and freeze half. You may then use them as a quick side dish or as the foundation for your next dinner.
7. Enjoy Them As A Snack.
Health enthusiasts often make their own granola bars with full raw grain oats, rice, and quinoa, and they are always fantastic! These wonderful little nibbles are yet another option to eat more whole raw grains.
Since it is something that you can prepare yourself, you will know precisely what is in them, which means less sugar, preservatives, and junk than store-bought granola bars and snacks.
It is very possible to boost your raw whole-grain intake without substantially modifying your diet or giving up things that you enjoy.
8. When Buying Raw Whole Grains, Know What To Look For.
It is easy to get carried away with food labels! Some whole grain items (such as crackers and morning cereals) are high in sugar, salt, and saturated fat; the closer the product is to the original grain (such as oats), the better.
Use these guidelines to pick the optimum whole grain products for your heart and overall health.
Read the label and choose foods with whole-grain ingredients listed first or near the top. Look for the following words:
- The stone ground whole [grain]
- Kibbled wheat
- Whole wheat
- Whole-grain [name of grain]
Look for goods with the most fiber per 100 grams by reading the nutrition information panel. Also, look for items that contain whole grains that can be seen, such as visible bits of grain rather than ground or crushed ones.
9. Become A Role Model For Children.
Serve and eat whole grains every day with meals or as snacks to set a positive example for your children. This will not only motivate you to stay on this healthy diet but will also keep you in check!
10. Be A Wise Shopper.
The color of a food does not indicate whether or not it is a whole-grain. Foods marketed as “multi-grain,” “stone-ground,” “100% wheat,” “cracked wheat,” “seven-grain,” or “bran” are rarely 100 percent whole-grain and may not contain any whole grain at all.
Raw whole grains are a healthy food, but it is our total diet that influences our heart health, not just whole grains. Replace refined grains with whole grains and a variety of vegetables and fruits, as well as legumes (such as chickpeas and lentils), nuts, seeds, oily fish, and low-fat dairy.