Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Down & Dirty on True Whole Grain

As you all painstakingly know by my anti-chicken fingers movement recipes, I'm a nut for feeding my body with healthy foods.  So, I love researching and learning about what is truly healthy as they come out with new items every day we are supposed to ax from our families diets.

I will tell you one thing: if you are swapping whole grain for refined flour products, healthy fat (such as avocados or nuts in place of potato chips), fresh foods rather than processed foods, you are already on the right track.  Throw in leaner proteins, milk and cheeses, etc, you will be doing great.

So, to hone in on one of these items - what truly is whole grain?  Well, the first ingredient should say "whole".  Avoid or deeply scrutinize products that show multi-grain - loose regulations by the FDA mean  the product doesn't necessarily contain much whole grain.

So why whole grain and what is refined flour?  Refined flour is made from grains that have been stripped of their fiber-rich outer bran and nutrient-dense inner germ.  So...basically, most of the nutritional value has been removed.

Be sure a whole grain (e.g., whole wheat, oats, whole barley, whole rye) heads the ingredient list.  Skip those that list wheat, unbleached wheat, wheat farina, rice, corn or rye flour, as all are refined.  Look for at least three grams of fiber per 100 calories.

I don't know about you, but I'd rather be feeding my body, and my children's body, with as many nutrients as possible.  More articles to follow on healthy eating!  ~ Trina