Some well-known weight loss guides recommend eliminating wheat and gluten from your diet. However, according to the USDA, half of the grains you eat each day must be whole grains. You shouldn’t skip out on the therapeutic properties of whole grains if you suffer from celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or other reasons to cut back. You’ll reap the health benefits of fiber, a plant-based protein, vitamins, minerals, and several phytochemicals. As Keri Gans, a certified dietician in New York City, says, whole grains have the natural amounts of the kernel’s bran, germ, and endosperm. The bran and germ are eliminated from processed grains. If you can, check the label to see if the grain is among the first 3 main components. If it has the “whole grain” seal from the Whole Wheat Council, you can be sure there is at least half a serving of whole grain inside.
Furthermore, just because bread is brown doesn’t mean it’s any better for you. Brown sugar or molasses could just be used to add color. For thousands of years, people have relied on them to provide them with nutrition. However, advocates of several contemporary diets, such as the paleo diet, assert that doing so is detrimental to health. The opposite is true for them, which has been shown to reduce the risk of health issues like obesity and inflammation that have been related to consuming large amounts of processed grains. Eating whole grains is related to numerous advantages, such as a reduced threat of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. The 9 main reasons why eating whole grains is good for you are listed below.
What are the health advantages of whole grains?
Unlike refined grains, which have had the bran and germ removed, whole grains have had nothing removed throughout the processing. This article will discuss six ways in which these can improve health. People used to believe that eating whole grains would make them fat, so they avoided them. We now know this to be incorrect. Because of the widespread belief that the typical American consumes too many refined carbohydrates, many diets suggest cutting back on or even cutting out carbohydrates entirely (think white bread, rice, and pasta). These grains contain critical nutrients and serve as the basis of a nutritious diet, fall under the carbohydrate group yet are often ignored by these regimens. Since there are so many varieties of these grains, from amaranth to wild rice, they can be easily incorporated into a wide variety of recipes.
Many of these nutrients are lost when grains are refined, a process that is typically undertaken to increase the shelf life of products or improve their texture and flavor. Products like white flour and white rice are examples of refined grains. Whole-wheat flour, wheat berries, bulgur, oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice are all examples of popular whole grains. There is a wide variety of whole grains available, making it difficult to keep track of how much you are eating or how much you “should” be eating. Each person has a different optimal serving size for whole grains. Eating whole grains regularly may have positive effects on your health. The following are some of the diseases that have been demonstrated to be helped by consuming whole grains.
Following are the health advantages of whole grains
Fibre is abundant in several whole grains
Consuming whole grains is highly recommended because of the high fiber content they contain. Whole grains have two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, both of which are helpful to your health; adults require about 25 to 35 grams of fiber daily. Two slices of dark rye bread have 5.8 g of fiber, but the same amount of white bread only has 1.9 g. In addition, a serving of instant rice has only 0.7 g of fiber, but 1/2 cup of uncooked brown rice has 5.5 g of fiber. This is in contrast to the 2 g of fiber found in uncooked rice. Additionally, since fiber is digested slowly, it prolongs fullness. And it’s common knowledge that fiber is good for you because of its ability to regulate blood sugar, decrease “bad” cholesterol, and lessen the likelihood of developing colon cancer. However, these grains vary greatly in their fiber content.
Additionally, they aid with digestion
In addition to helping the digestive system, whole grains also have other advantages. Intestinal regularity is ensured by the fiber content. And they protect against diverticulosis, a disorder in which pouches develop in the lining of the colon and cause discomfort, irritation, and bowel irregularities. This is largely due to the high fiber content of these grains, but the lactic acid they contain also helps “good bacteria” thrive in the large intestine. These microorganisms improve nutrient absorption, ease digestion, and may even strengthen the immune system.
Mitigate your cardiovascular disease risk
The risk of cardiovascular disease, the largest cause of death worldwide, is reduced by eating whole grains. The risk of cardiovascular disease could be reduced by 22 percent if you eat three 1-ounce (28-gram) servings of whole grains per day, according to a meta-analysis of 10 research. A similar 10-year research in 17,424 adults found that those with the highest percentage of whole grains to total carb intake had a 47% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. The study’s authors concluded that diets high in whole grains and low in refined grains were associated with better heart health. It is difficult to disentangle the advantages of individual foods because most studies combine the benefits of several types of whole grains into a single category. Despite this, whole-grain products like bread and cereals, especially those with bran added, have been shown to lessen the likelihood of developing heart disease.
They’re useful for reducing cholesterol levels
Not only can whole grains assist in preventing your body from absorbing “bad” cholesterol, but they also have the potential to reduce triglycerides, both of which are significant factors in the development of heart disease. Consuming a diet higher in whole grains reduces the chance of developing heart disease. According to the findings of one research, women who consumed two to three portions of whole grain products daily had a thirty percent lower risk of suffering a heart attack or passing away as a result of heart disease as compared to women who consumed less than one portion each week. Whole wheat, oats, brown rice, maize, rye, and millet are some examples of entire grains that are beneficial to heart health. Other whole grains include millet and buckwheat.
They have a hypotensive effect
The advantages of whole grains for the heart are not limited to lowering cholesterol and triglycerides alone. In addition to this, they reduce blood pressure, which is one of the most significant risk factors for coronary disease. One study indicated that men who had more than seven servings of whole grain cereal per week had a 19% decreased chance of developing high blood pressure when compared to those who consumed one or fewer servings. Another study that looked at women came to the same conclusion. “Consuming these grains rather than processed grains is associated with significant reductions in blood cholesterol, triglyceride levels, hypertension, and insulin levels,” according to one study. It is anticipated that making any one of these adjustments will lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
When used regularly, they can aid with weight management
People who consume a lot of whole grains are less likely to put on weight over time and are more likely to maintain their current weight, in comparison to people who consume a lot of refined grains. According to the findings of one research, women who consumed the most wheat germ and other pretty much the entire grains had a 49% reduced risk of “massive weight gain” over time in comparison to women who preferred doughnuts and white bread. Other whole grains that were found to have this protective effect included quinoa, barley, and oats. Middle-aged men and women who had a diet that was high in fiber gained an average of 3.35 fewer pounds than those who consumed a diet that was high in refined food throughout 12 years.
They induce a sense of satiety in you
As opposed to processed grains like cookies or white bread, whole grains can help you feel fuller for longer, which could aid with weight control. Try rye or protein-packed quinoa for optimal fullness; both these grains and vegetables take longer to digest, which may help you eat less overall.
They are useful in controlling blood sugar levels
One of the key advantages of whole grains is that they prevent blood glucose levels from rising too quickly, which can have several health benefits, including a lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes. One study found that diabetic risk was reduced by 30% among women who consumed two to three servings of these grains daily, compared to those who consumed zero to one serving per day. People who had three or more daily servings of these grains had a 32% lower chance of developing diabetes, while those who consumed refined grains had a 5% lower risk. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be reduced by 16% simply by switching to brown rice from white rice once per day (which amounts to around 2 ounces). Individuals with pre-diabetes or at high risk for developing diabetes would do well to increase their consumption of these grains.
The Bottom Line
There are numerous ways to include these grains in your daily diet. Finding whole-grain replacements for refined grains in your diet may be the easiest thing to accomplish. Rather than stocking up on white pasta, for instance, consider switching to whole-wheat or other whole-grain varieties. Apply the same method to cereals and pieces of bread. Checking the ingredient label will tell you if a product contains whole grains or not. Try to find grain products that specify they are “whole” versions. It’s not whole wheat if it only says “wheat” instead of “whole wheat.” It’s also fun to try out exotic whole grains like quinoa that you might not have tasted previously. The medical advantages of whole grains are numerous. Consuming whole grains regularly has been shown to lower the danger of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and excess weight.
When you swap out processed grains for these grains, you’ll notice a significant improvement. Whole grains and other high-fiber foods are great for digestive health, but those with celiac disease should avoid them. Consuming whole grains daily has been linked to better health and longer life. Steel-cut oats and other whole-grain breakfast cereals are very common. These grains supply critical vitamins, minerals, and fiber that our bodies require, but they have fallen out of favor as low-carb diets have become increasingly fashionable. Consuming four to five portions of whole grains per day (with the bran, endosperm, and germ still intact) has been shown to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes, improve cholesterol levels, and increase satiety.