Carbs get a negative rap because so many people are eating the bad ones—refined carbohydrates in white bread, sugary cereals, and all sorts of other junk food and drinks. In fact, research has shown that 95 percent of the grains we eat are refined. Eating too many foods with these adulterated ingredients isn't just bad for watching your weight; it can also raise your risk of heart disease and diabetes, plus raise your levels of blood fats called triglycerides, putting you on the fast track for a heart attack, stroke, or other health issues.
The good news is that working the healthier grains into your diet can help prevent these health problems. Healthy, whole-grain foods are made from cereal grains that include the whole kernel, and research shows that they can protect you from ticker trouble, diabetes, colon cancer and possibly asthma and Alzheimer’s disease.
Here are a few of the good grains we can easily substitute into our diet without being stingy on taste!
This one is pretty easy, as long as you don’t let food labels fool you. As when you’re shopping for any whole-grain product, look at the ingredients and make sure the whole grain is at or near the top of the list. Each serving should contain at least 2 or 3 grams of fibre.
Oats are particularly rich in antioxidants that protect the heart. Oats in the ingredients list mean the product is made from whole oats. But, if you are buying something like instant oatmeal, avoid those that contain high-fructose corn syrup.
When you choose white rice over brown, around 75 percent of its nutrients—including nearly all the antioxidants, magnesium, phosphorus, and B vitamins contained in the healthy bran and germ—are left on the milling-room floor. Always opt for brown rice, which includes brown aromatic varieties like basmati and jasmine. Get even more exotic with red and black rice, both of which are considered whole grains and are high in antioxidants.
Rye has more nutrients per 100-calorie serving than any other whole grain. It has four times more fibre than standard whole wheat and provides you with nearly 50 percent of your daily recommended amount of iron.
The latest craze with clean cooking fodies and I know why. It has very serious benefits. This Arabic grain is a low-carb form of ancient wheat that has up to four times more fibre than brown rice. Freekeh kernels contain more vitamins and minerals, such as immune-boosting selenium, than other grains. Once in your stomach, freekeh acts as a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of healthy bacteria that aid digestion.
Eating a half-cup of whole barley regularly during a 5-week period cut participants’ cholesterol levels by nearly 10 percent when compared to other participants who went without barley. Add raisins or dried apricots to quick-cooking barley and serve it as a side dish. Just make sure it’s whole-grain barley.
One of the best grain-based sources of magnesium, a wonder mineral that does everything from ease PMS symptoms to improve nerve functioning; and manganese, which boosts brain power.
Though it’s technically a seed and not a grain, this ancient South American power food is packed with more protein than any other grain, and each uncooked cup of the stuff (about three servings) has 522 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids.
This is a lot of choice I know but be experimental - no harm in trying something new and whole grain! Feel free to share any wholegrain tips or recipes with us in the comments.