Besides the minimum recommendation of consuming 2 servings of fruits and 5 servings of fresh vegetable in a balanced diet, grains could also be included to make your diet better. The list of grains should include whole-wheat flour, cracked wheat, rolled oats and steel-cut oats. Other products which are related to grains include whole-wheat pasta, oatmeal, popcorn, wheat germ, brown rice, wheat berries and bulgur wheat.
Study shows that people who consume the equivalent of 2 to 3 slices of whole-grain bread per day were 40% less likely to have an ischemic condition or stroke than those who ate the equivalent of less than half a slice of bread per day. A group of 34,000 adults were included in the research and those who ate the most whole grains have 23% lower risk of dying due to heart and vascular diseases and at the same time have 21% lower risk for cancer. It is known that oats could reduce cholesterol. The endosperm of the grain contains carbohydrate and protein while the bran contains vitamin B, Minerals and fiber. The germ is rich with healthy oils, minerals and also protein. Most of the grains products provide us with thiamin, niacin, iron, fiber and riboflavin. They are low fat and cholesterol in nature, making them a suitable component in your diet. However, it doesn’t mean that crackers, muffins, doughnuts and croissants fall into this category.
Besides lowering the risk for cancer, heart and vascular diseases, research also shows that adding whole grains into your daily healthy diet reduce the risk for type-2 diabetes as well. This is thanks to the ability of oats in regulating blood sugar value. They are even used in weight control.
A 6-11 servings of starches and grains are recommended. 1 cup of cooked oatmeal could equal to 2 servings while 1 cup of pasta and a slice of bread could easily equal to 3 servings. Another easy way to monitor your servings could be: A serving is equal to one slice of bread, 1 ounce of ready to eat cereal or half a cup of cooked cereal, pasta or rice.
Try to consume whole grains whenever possible and avoid consuming refined or enriched grains. You can check the nutrition facts when you are in doubt. Reduce the amount of butter and margarine which is usually consumed together with these products. Instead of bread, try to use oats in your meatloaf and burgers. You can also try to replace white rice with oats and barley. Brown rice can be used to make rice pudding instead of the normal white rice. Choose dark bread instead of the normal enriched white bread. If you find the taste to hard to accept, try to start with brown bread with subtle taste. It can be a perfect stepping stone before moving on to real brown rye bread.
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