We all know that whole grains are good for the heart. And to those who are planning to whittle their middle, eating whole grains every day is a must in a healthy weight loss plan. But what are whole grains really and what grain products should you eat to stay slim?
What are grains?
Items that are made from rice, oats, wheat, barley, cornmeal, or any other cereal grain are essentially labeled as grain products. Pasta, bread, breakfast cereals, and oatmeal are also grain products.
Chances are you have heard that grain products are healthy. So is it safe for us to assume that we’re eating healthy when we eat anything that has grains in it? Not exactly. When it comes to weight loss efforts, experts recommend whole grains over refined grains.
Whole grains are healthier than refined ones. Whole grains essentially contain the entire grain kernel while refined grains are stripped off their germ and bran. The refinement process essentially prolongs shelf life and gives refined grains finer texture than whole grains. But it is during this process that important nutrients like fiber, iron, and B vitamins were also removed.
Eating whole grains is a habit you should learn to love. Whole grains are far better than refined grains for the simple reason that they are better sources of fiber and nutrients.
By eating whole grains, you give your body essential nutrients like potassium, selenium, and magnesium. Aside from supplying your body more vitamins, whole grains are also fiber-rich, which helps promote the feeling of satiety, making you feel fuller longer.
To get a lot of grains in your diet, you may want to stick to less processed foods and go for natural whenever you can. When it comes to shopping for whole grains, make sure that you read the label carefully. Look for the words “rye”, “whole wheat”, “whole grains”, and “whole oats”; make sure that they are the very first ingredient that was listed on the label.
Aside from whole grain products, fill your plate with fruits and vegetables. The more varieties you consume everyday the better.
Make it a part
Incorporating whole grains to your diet should be easy and, yes, fun. You can have whole grains and enjoy them too. Try these simple tips:
1. Add slices of sweet fruits to your high-fiber cereals. I love to sprinkle a handful of raisins over bran flakes to start my day.
2. Lunch should be all about filling and tasty meals to help you get through the day. Instead of boring menu, you may want to do brown-bagging with sandwiches using whole wheat rolls or breads. A turkey sandwich with guacamole, lettuce, fresh tomato, bean sprouts, mustard, and humus (instead of mayo) is a great lunch idea.
3. Have some leftovers? Throw in what you have in the pan and add pre-cooked brown rice. Instant hearty and healthy rice dish in less than 15 minutes!
Grains have been with us for centuries. And it remains to be the foundation of healthy snacks and meals. Eating whole grains will not only ensure that you get more nutrients, but also helps you keep unwanted calories and fats at bay.