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The Importance of Whole Grains in Our Diet

  By posted Jan 13th 2012
Diet & Fitness
The Importance of Whole Grains in Our Diet

 

No healthy diet advice seems to be complete without a mention of whole grains. But do we really have a decent amount of knowledge when it comes to understanding the importance of whole grains in our diet? Not only are whole grains healthy, but they can also be used in healthy and delicious recipes that'll leave you asking for more. Even so, for many of us our list of whole grains would end at brown bread and brown rice. But there is so much more to explore and understand about whole grains, says Sunita Roy Chaudhary, Senior Dietician at Rockland Hospital, New Delhi. Read on...

What exactly are whole grain food items?
Whole grains are any cereal from which the bran has not been removed. Many of the cereal’s nutrients are in the covering or the bran. If that is removed during the milling processes much of the nutrients are destroyed.

What are the top 10 whole grain foods which must be included in our daily healthy diet?

  1. Wheat 
  2. Brown Rice
  3. Oats
  4. Barley
  5. Corn
  6. Rye
  7. Jowar
  8. Bajra
  9. Ragi
  10. Quinoa


How are whole grains better than refined or processed grains?
Whole grains have more nutrients per unit as compared to their refined counterparts. They also have more fibre and thus are a lot better for our digestive systems. Whole grains are easily digestible, contain more antioxidants and help prevent many chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity and constipation.


How can we include more whole grain foods in our daily diets?

No Indian meal is complete without one or two chappatis. Try and incorporate whole grains in your chappatis. Prepare them from whole wheat, bajra, jowar, and ragi for maximum health benefits instead of flour.

Whole wheat breads, oats, wheat flakes, corn flakes and quinoa can be used as healthy breakfast cereals. Breads made of rye are also available. Whole wheat pitas and pizza bases are also available nowadays, but make sure you read the label carefully before buying them.

Brown rice and ragi can be boiled or steamed and idlis can be made from them.

Popcorn, made from whole wheat
, also makes a very tasty and healthy snack. However, make sure you are not adding large quantities of salt, sugar or fatty items in it.

Nowadays, many cakes, pastries and pies are available which are made of oats mixed with wheat or other healthy whole grains. 


Go for whole wheat pasta. However, if you don't like them too much, try a mixture of whole wheat and refined pasta. Here’s how you can make your
pasta healthy without ditching your weight loss plan.

Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images 

 

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