Why You Should Eat More Whole Grains

Good Day Y’all!


I am hearing news of good progress on St Thomas, and I simply cannot wait to get back this week! Since I posted a lot of recipes last week, this post is focusing more on nutrition education and today’s topic is Whole Grains! The benefits to eating whole grains are numerous. In Caribbean diets, there tends to be a large amount of white rice, as well as, fried breads and breading made with white, refined, wheat flour. Increasing your intake of whole grains is one way to improve your health. I know whole grains products can be expensive on island, but they don’t have to be. If we can increase the demand, we can
decrease the price!

Why should you eat more whole grains?

  • Whole grains are naturally packed with vitamins and minerals. They also tend to be higher in  protein than refined grains
  • Whole grains are additionally higher in fiber, which will make you feel fuller for longer. Increasing fiber in your diet can reduce bad cholesterol (Riccioni et al, 2012) and help improve symptoms of IBS (Moayyedi et al, 2014)
  • Research shows people who eat more whole grains have a lower risk of dying from obesity, heart disease, type two diabetes, and certain cancers! (Zhang et al, 2017)

Whole grain vs Refined grain


Every type of grain has a different structure, but they all contain three main parts: bran, endosperm, and germ. The term ‘whole grain’ is used to describe an intact grain, flour or a food that contains all three parts of the grain. Refining grains removes the bran and germ. This process also removes some important nutrients, including B-vitamins, iron and dietary fiber. Most refined grains are enriched, which means that some of the B vitamins and iron are added back after processing. Fiber, however, is not added back to enriched grains.

Examples of Whole Grains

Brown Rice, Quinoa, Barley, Farro, Amaranth, Millet, Buckwheat, Oats, Bulgar, Freekeh, Wheat berry, Spelt, Triticale, Rye, Teff, Maize

At the Grocery Store…Don’t be fooled by false advertising, be sure to read the ingredient label!

Words in Ingredient List Is this Whole Grain?
Whole grain [name of grain], whole wheat / whole [other grain], stoneground whole [grain], whole meal, brown rice, oats, oatmeal, multigrain, sprouted, whole grain, malted whole grain, sorghum, quinoa, buckwheat Yes, these are whole grain
Wheat, or wheat flour, semolina, durum wheat, organic flour, stone ground No, these are usually not whole grain
Enriched flour, de-germinated (corn) bran, wheat germ, legumes such as soybeans, lupins, lentils, seeds* like chia, linseed, sesame seed, etc. No, these are not whole grain

*note, some seeds do have nutritional benefits even though not consider whole grains





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