Whole grains are unrefined grains that offer more nutrients than their refined counter parts. Whole grains such as brown rice contain more fiber, nutrients, and minerals than refined grains such as white rice. Adding whole grains into your diet in place of refined grains can help with maintaining your blood sugar, lower cholesterol, and prevent the formation of blood clots. The fiber content also will leave you feeling full quicker, reducing the amount of calories needed to feel satisfied.

Benefits of Whole Grains

  • Eating 2 servings of whole grains daily reduces the incidence of type 2 diabetes by slowing the absorption of sugar, preventing spikes in blood sugar levels.
  • Whole grains lower the risk of developing cardiac diseases by lowering cholesterol and preventing blood clots from forming.
  • Because of the high levels of fiber in whole grains, it promotes healthy digestive health by preventing constipation and lessening pressure in the intestines.
  • Promotes weight loss through increased fiber content.
  • Eating whole grains has been shown to have a protective effect against cancer in certain studies.

Examples of Whole Grains

  • Barley
  • Brown Rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Oatmeal
  • Popcorn
  • Whole grain variations of products such as bread or pasta

Quick Tips:

  • When looking for whole grain options, also pay attention to sugar content.
  • At least half of the grains you eat should be of the whole grain variety.
  • Replace refined grains with whole grains in your favorite recipes.
  • If refined grains are completely eliminated from your diet, be sure to get folic acid in other foods, such as fruit.

 Sources: Mayo Clinic, Harvard School of Public Health. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only.  For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.