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Yoga Korunta

Life & Politics

Location: United States

One learns, as nothing endures but change.

16 January 2007

Tuesday's Word: whole grains

Whole grains are cereal grains which retain the bran and germ as well as the endosperm, in contrast to refined grains which retain only the endosperm. Whole meal products are made from whole grain flour.

Common whole grain products include oatmeal, popcorn, brown rice, whole wheat flour, sprouted grains and whole wheat bread. Common refined grain products include white rice, white bread, hominy and pasta (although whole-grain varieties of pasta are available in natural-food sections of stores).

1 Identifying whole grains products
2 Health benefits
3 References
4 See also
5 External links

Identifying whole grains products

Whole grain products can be identified by the ingredient list. Typically if the ingredient lists "whole wheat", "rolled oats", or "whole corn" as the first ingredient, the product is a whole grain food item. Another way to identify whole grains in the foods you eat is to look in the nutritional facts information and check if the food item contains dietary fiber. If it contains a significant amount, it most likely contains whole grains. "Wheat flour" is not a whole grain and therefore does not indicate a whole grain product. Many breads are colored brown (often with molasses) and made to look like whole grain, but are not. Additionally, some food manufacturers make foods with whole grain ingredients, but because whole grain ingredients are not the dominant ingredient, they are not whole grain products.

Whole grains are often more expensive than refined grains because their higher oil content is susceptible to rancidification, complicating processing, storage, and transport.
Similar to the distinction between whole and refined grains is that between whole pulses and refined dal.

From AACC (American Association of Cereal Chemist) definition: "Whole grains shall consist of the intact, ground, cracked or flaked caryopsis, whose principal anatomical components - the starchy endosperm, germ and bran - are present in the same relative proportions as they exist in the intact caryopsis.”

Health benefits

Whole grains are believed to be nutritionally superior to refined grains, richer in dietary fiber, antioxidants, protein (and in particular the amino acid lysine), dietary minerals (including magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and selenium), and vitamins (including niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin E). Manufacturers are sometimes required by law to fortify refined grain products to make up for the loss of vitamins and minerals.

The greater amount of dietary fiber, as much as four times that found in refined grains, is likely the most important benefit, as it has been shown to reduce the incidence of some forms of cancer, digestive system diseases, coronary heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Some of these protective effects occur because carbohydrates from whole grains are digested and enter the bloodstream more slowly (as measured by the glycemic index).

Some store bought grains can be germinated and sprouted for additional nutritional benefits. Grains can generate toxic byproducts in the sprouting process. Make sure to rinse sprouts well before ingesting so as to avoid inducing toxicity.

Health tip o' the day!


Blogger Mary said...

Thanks for the health tip!

Blogger Yoga Korunta said...

Happy to be of help, Mary. Exercise each morning is followed by a healthful breakfast. It's amazing what this plan does to promote a positive outlook; regardless of the day's events, one is prepared to accept them as an opportunity to grow.

Thanks for reading!

Blogger Laurie said...

Thanks for stopping by Defiance! Feel free to comment and debate any time.


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