Friday Food Talk – Why whole grains?

Friday Food Talk – Why whole grains?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that at least half of the grains you eat should come from whole grains. Whole grains are naturally high in fiber. Fibers make our bodies work better and prevent heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and many other health problems. It improves digestion, stabilizes blood sugar levels, detoxifies our bodies, keeps body pH low, and excretes unwanted substances from the body. 

Unfortunately, a low-carb diet is one of the most popular dietary trends nowadays. Technically carbohydrates are one of the human body’s important sources of energy and play a critical role in overall health and wellness. Approximately 50% of the calories should come from good health-promoting whole grains carbohydrates. Often whole grains are mistaken with the low carb diet trends. Even though whole grains share the common macronutrient carbohydrates like processed grains, they are not the same carb. Whole grains are good carbs that we should not fear. The body does not process the refind carbohydrates the same way as it does whole grains.  Unlike the carbs from processed grains, whole grains do a lot of good things to our bodies. Natural fibers in whole grain prevent our bodies from many diseases like obesity, diabetes, cancer, and much more.  

No doubt, we will benefit from cutting down on carbs from processed foods. Because they don’t provide the same benefits as whole grains. In fact, overconsumption of some highly processed foods can even have some detrimental effects on our bodies.  For example, there is a big difference between a bag of processed wheat cereal versus unprocessed wheat bulgur. The processed wheat cereal will lack natural dietary fiber with other health-promoting nutrients and it may also have some added sugars, fat, and other preservatives. Actually, it is the journey of processing grain that makes it a good carb or bad carb. It would be great if good carbs can be marked by a “Health Dot” to let consumers know that this is a healthy carb. For example, we tested Bob’s Red Mill wheat Bulgur in our food rating system (Food Coach), and it turned out to be a Yellow Dot-Health Promoting Food due to the following healthy qualities. 

  • Moderate in calories per serving
  • A healthy balance of carbohydrates and dietary fiber
  • No added sodium, fat, sugars, food additives, artificial flavor, or colors

Dietitian Nutritionist Recommendation:

Whole grains are good healthy foods. Read food labels carefully when buying whole-grain products. Look for 100% whole grains. Look at the ingredient list. It should not have much added to it except the main product. The closer the grain is to its original intact whole form the healthier it is. Read more about the benefit of whole grains here.

Please note that this page is not medical advice. This can be only used as general guidance to a healthy and balanced diet for your health and wellness. This food does not ensure an adequate or inadequate and safe level of intake for a single person. Please consult your health care provider prior to following any diet plan to ensure your personal medical nutritional needs. Check out our Medical Nutrition Therapy for the diet plan that is right for you! Thank you!

Try this healthy whole grain Tabbouleh Salad

Check out some more wonderful whole grain recipes at the Whole Grain Counsel! I am going to try some of these recipes as well!

If you are curious about any product’s healthiness, then check it out at our Food Coach Apple and eat with intention, responsibility, and confidence!

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