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  • Tips on managing Stress
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  • How to improve your metabolism
  • Learn why "conventional" diets fail
  • How to target stubborn fat areas
  • Healthy and tasty recipes
  • What muscle soreness really means
  • Learn how exercise affects your mood
  • How to choose the right health club
  • Weight loss and diet myths revealed
  • Flexibility, how and when to stretch
  • How to build personal motivation
  • How to conquer procrastination
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Sign up to the get fit newsletter
Sign up for the ''Get Fit'' Newsletter
  • Tips on managing Stress
  • Ways to stay motivated
  • The benefits of resistance training
  • How to improve your metabolism
  • Learn why "conventional" diets fail
  • How to target stubborn fat areas
  • Healthy and tasty recipes
  • What muscle soreness really means
  • Learn how exercise affects your mood
  • How to choose the right health club
  • Weight loss and diet myths revealed
  • Flexibility, how and when to stretch
  • How to build personal motivation
  • How to conquer procrastination
Email:
Name:
This Month In Diet
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  • The Whole (Grain) Story
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Health and Fitness News

The Whole (Grain) Story

Tips on how to include more whole grains in your diet.

In recent years, grains have gotten a bad rap. Some people decided to cut back on carbs and try to avoid all grains. Others decided to cut out gluten and do the same. For health reasons, everyone should cut out simple, refined carbs, and if needed, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley products. But cutting out all grains means you eliminate an entire food group and miss out on valuable nutrients in the process.

Whole grains are made of three parts: the germ, endosperm, and bran. Refined grains have had their germ and bran removed, leaving only the endosperm. This strips a grain of much of its nutritional value.

Why eat whole grains? Because they’re an important source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, and plant compounds. Eat them regularly and they’ll help reduce your risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. As if those perks aren’t enough, whole grains also help keep your digestive system stay healthy and reduce unwanted inflammation.

If you’re ready to make the switch from refined grains to whole grains, you can do it with these tips.

Make Substitutions

Do you eat pasta, cereal, and bread? Then make sure they are made with 100-percent whole grains. The next time any of these foods are on your grocery list, seek out their whole-grain alternatives. Instead of using white rice, buy brown rice. Skip the white pastas, white breads, and cereals made with refined grains, and eat only those made with whole grains.

Read Ingredient Labels

When looking for whole-grain foods, watch out for sneaky wording. The words “stone-ground,” “multi-grain,” “100-percent wheat,” “bran,” or “seven-grain” don’t necessarily mean a food is made with whole grains. Also, just because a food is brown doesn’t mean it’s made with whole grains. Be sure to read a food’s list of ingredients to make sure the first ingredient listed is a whole grain. If anything else is listed first, keep shopping.

Include with Snacks

Adding another serving of whole grains to your diet is easy if you eat them for snacks. Since whole grains are high in fiber and contain protein, they help fill you up and provide lasting energy, making them great snack options. You may be delighted to learn that popcorn is a whole grain. Air-popped popcorn can make a healthy, low-calorie, filling snack when it’s made without a lot of added butter and salt.

You can also snack on a bowl of whole-grain cereal, whole-grain crackers, or a piece of whole-grain toast. Sweet tooth begging for some attention? Use whole-grain flour to make homemade cookies or muffins.

Eat with Meals

From your first to last meal, it’s possible and easy to include whole grains.
At breakfast time, skip the biscuits, bagels, and sugar-filled, refined grain cereals. Instead, fill up on oatmeal, porridge made with another grain, or a whole-grain cereal. Use whole-grain flour to prepare homemade pancakes, waffles, or muffins.

For lunch and dinner, plan to eat brown rice, quinoa, farro, or whole-grain pastas.

Experiment & Enjoy

Stuck on a single type of whole grain? Whether your go-to grain is wheat, corn, or oats, it’s a good idea to branch out and experiment with different types of whole grains. There are a variety of grains to choose from and each offers different tastes and textures. Try including millet, quinoa, rye, buckwheat, bulgur, wild rice, freekeh, barley, millet, triticale, or sorghum to your diet. You’ll feel great and find some new flavors that please your palate!