I want us all more empowered and less confused about our choices as a consumer - certainly whole grains are a tricky area!
Taken a trip down the cereal aisle lately?
"Made with Whole Grains" "Excellent Source of Vitamin D/A/E/K!" "Great Source of Calcium!"
When that is on a box of sugar-filled puffs...Wait. Stop. Think.
What we are seeing isn't a friendly public service announcement, it is a slap-to-the-face marketing technique used to make us feel less guilty about buying foods we know we should probably avoid.
Avoid "fortified with ___" and buy REAL food, REAL whole grains. It's easier than you may think.
So what are "Whole Grains"? Just that. Grains that are whole. Grains that still have their outer bran, inner germ and all the carbohydrate in between.
Why eat whole grains? Simply put, humans were designed to eat the whole grain, not just a part of it. Our bodies remain in balance if the grain is digested as a whole.
Many of you may be aware that grains=carb=sugar=fat=public freak out.
Don't freak out. A whole grain requires the body to break it down. It takes work to digest the outer layer - the bran, made of FIBER which is awesome for keeping your insides spick-and-span. It also means that the sugars are released much more slowly, meaning you can stay full longer and avoid "the crash".
Only after the body gets through the outer layer it can get to the good stuff - the carbohydrates, the sugars, where the energy is! And it isn't JUST the carbohydrates. It is accompanied by its micronutrient friends found in the germ. Refined grains and starches have many of those nutritious goodies stripped out. Don't pay more to get less.
Sooooooo what whole grains do we eat? Brown Rice, Quinoa, Millet, Barley, Rye Berries, Wheat Berries, Oatmeal, Buckwheat, Wild Rice, Popcorn, Quinoa, Amaranth, Corn, Kamut... So many options! Check out the Oldways Whole Grains Council to learn more.
Take time and explore! Replace refined white rice with a new grain. I suggest heading to a grocery that sells grains in bulk. This will allow you to experiment without committing to an entire package. Happy Exploring!
Looking to replace breakfast cereal for you and your family? Try muesli, sold in boxes or in bulk.