What Are Whole Grains?
Whole grains are grains that have all three parts of the kernel, the bran, germ, and endosperm. They are an important part of a healthy diet and provide many essential nutrients, including protein, fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals (iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium). Examples of whole grains include whole wheat, brown rice, oats, barley, quinoa, and other grains.
Health Benefits of Whole Grains
Eating whole grains has been linked to a lower risk of many health conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. Whole grains are also a good source of fiber, which can help with weight management, reduce cholesterol levels, and keep your digestive system healthy.
How to Add Whole Grains to Your Diet
One of the easiest ways to add whole grains to your diet is to replace refined grains with whole grains. Choose whole grain breads and pastas, brown rice instead of white rice, and whole grain cereals instead of processed cereals. You can also add quinoa, bulgur, and other whole grains to salads and soups. Additionally, many products are now made with whole grains, such as whole grain crackers, chips, and bars.
Tips for Choosing Whole Grains
When shopping for whole grains, look for products that say “whole grain” or “100% whole grain” on the label. You should also check the ingredients list to make sure that the first ingredient is a whole grain. If you’re not sure if a product is made with whole grains, check the Nutrition Facts label to see how many grams of whole grains it contains.
Whole grains can be a nutritious and tasty addition to your diet. They can help reduce your risk of certain chronic diseases and provide important nutrients such as fiber, B vitamins, and trace minerals. Look for products that say “whole grain” or “100% whole grain” on the label and check the ingredients list to make sure that the first ingredient is a whole grain. For more information about whole grains, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website.