Friday, 26 October 2012

Choosing Wholegrain

One of the changes that I would like to make to my diet is to start choosing wholegrain products over those made using refined grains. I think most of us know that wholemeal is healthier, but do we all know why. I would like to explain my reasons for opting for wholegrain, and the benefits I believe it to have.

Grains can come in two forms, either refined or unrefined. Wholegrain is the term commonly used to describe grains which are unrefined. When grains are refined, during the milling process the outer bran coating and the inner germ are removed leaving only the endosperm behind. The endosperm mostly contains carbohydrates, whereas the bran is high in fibre and the germ contains many vitamins and minerals. The image below illustrates this well:

Having a diet that includes a lot of wholegrains has been shown to reduce the risk of some health problems and improve the health of the digestive system. Consuming the whole of the grain provides a lot more nutrients and benefits then the endosperm alone.

Some examples of wholegrains are: corn, oats, wheat, quinoa, bulgar, brown rice, barely and rye. When shopping look at the ingredients to check the wholegrain content. If a wholegrain is a main ingredient it will be listed at the top of the ingredients list.

The main reason I would like to include wholegrains in my diet is to benefit from the increased fibre and B vitamins. In future I will try to choose wholegrain options when it comes to choosing products such as bread, pasta and cereals.

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