Do you eat enough whole grains? Canada’s new food guide gives them a special place by recommending that Canadians eat some in sufficient quantities everyday. We should also consume enough protein, good fats, and lots of vegetables and fruits.
A whole grain is a cereal composed of three distinct parts: bran, germ, and endosperm. The refining process removes the bran and the germ, leaving only the endosperm. Therefore, refining removes most fibers, vitamins B and E, minerals, and antioxidants.
This is why processed products usually contain less fibers unless other fibers such as inulin are added during the manufacturing process.
They are mostly found in :
But be cautious! Some foods don’t contain whole grains even if the packaging says otherwise. And the colour of the product is not a good indicator either. Instead, carefully read the list of ingredients and look for the words ” whole grains ” and ” whole “. And they should be in the first three ingredients.
Studies have shown that whole grains have great health benefits, such as a significant reduction in risks of developing cardiovascular and cerebral vascular diseases, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Indeed, a recent meta-analysis1Aune, D., Keum, N., Giovannucci, E., Fadnes, L. T., Boffetta, P., Greenwood, D. C., ... & Norat, T. (2016). Whole grain consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all cause and cause specific mortality: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. bmj, 353. revealed that consuming 28 g of whole grains daily reduced cardiovascular risks by 22%. Impressive!
Whole grains’ ability to fight diseases comes from their unique mix of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibers. A one ounce (28 g) portion of whole grains therefore contains :
Fibers are also associated with many health benefits. Among other things, they help regulate glycemia (blood sugar levels) and insulinemia (blood insulin levels), which are two risk factors of type 2 diabetes.
Your brain can then send signals of satiety before you finish eating, which helps avoid overconsumption.
Fiber-rich foods are generally less caloric and contain less fats and added sugars, while also being more filling.
Psst! Check out this article How to Choose the Best Bread in the Supermarket for more whole-grain bread options!
A diet rich in fibers and whole grains helps maintaining a healthy weight and preventing cardiovascular diseases as well as some cancers. Try to include more whole grains in your diet!
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