Monday, September 6, 2010
Whole Wheat/Grain? Is it really THAT much better, why?
Well the most simple answer I can say is YES. But there is so much about whole wheat and whole grain products that can be explained to help you understand why it is so crucial to choose whole grains (and real ones at that).
Bread: Number one rule: Just because it is brown, does not mean it is whole wheat. Many bread manufacturers use caramel coloring to enhance the appearance of regular bread to make it look "healthier" and like real wheat. There are a significant amount of fake wheat products in existence. Unfortunately the words "whole wheat" or "whole grain" on the front isn't sufficient. You want to see the words "100% whole wheat" or "100% whole grain" and "Natural" helps also. Now turn it over and look at the ingredients. You want the first ingredient to read either "whole wheat flour" or "whole grain flour". After that, if this is determined, you want to make sure there are not too many ingredients following. 5 Ingredients or less is ideal. If you are buying the fake wheat bread, the ingredients will start with "bleached enriched..bla bla bla". So now that you know how to decipher between fake wheat vs. real wheat, I am ready to explain the health benefits of them.
Ok, most white breads tend to be forms of simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates tend to be less filling, more fattening, and just in general, not as healthy. So what is the difference? Whole grains and whole wheats often include a good amount of fiber. Many include about 3 grams of fiber per slice. What is fiber? Fiber is a virtually indigestible substance, so why would you want it in your diet? Because it helps bind to the intestines, carry out waste, and it also keeps you fuller, longer. Who wouldn't want fiber?
Whole grains and whole wheat are not only for your bread. I, personally, have switched to whole grain pastas and whole grain brown rice in my house. Your HDL(high density lipoprotein) level (a.k.a your "good cholesterol"), is a number that is good to be higher, and sadly, Americans average HDL is between 30 and 40, and ideal is 45 and above. The more whole grains incorporated into the diet will help raise this good cholesterol and is heart healthy in general! After I switched to whole grains in a matter of 6 months my HDL went from 58 to 66, but we will get into cholesterol another day.
So go get yourself some 100% whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta, and brown rice! And enjoy it!
Don't forget, if you have any questions, leave a comment and I will answer them in my next blog! Please follow me and tell your friends too!
Posted by Living Healthy with Jillian - Private Pilates . Fitness Consultant . Future RD . Nutrition Enthusiast at 10:14 AM