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Why should I eat whole grain foods every day?

In the past, whole grains were thought to provide mostly fiber that promoted digestive health. Newer research has revealed that whole grains provide additional vitamins and minerals, plus high levels of antioxidants and other healthy plant-based nutrients.

Recently, studies have shown that eating more whole grains may help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, as well as lower triglycerides, improve insulin control, help with weight management and slow the build-up of plaque in arteries.

Try to include at least three servings of whole grains every day.
Ruth Frechman
Nutrition & Dietetics

Whole grain foods, such as brown rice, oatmeal, popcorn, and whole grain bread can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. All of your grains don't half to be whole grains, but try to choose half of your grains whole. To start, you can choose oatmeal for breakfast, whole grain bread in a sandwich for lunch, quinoa for dinner, or popcorn for snack. There are many delicious, healthy whole grains. Enjoy!

Pierre Dukan
Nutrition & Dietetics
Eating a whole grain food such as oat bran can help you lower your cholesterol levels. Oat bran contains soluble fiber, which reduces the low-density lipoprotein (LDL), otherwise known as the "bad" cholesterol. The soluble fiber reduces the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. When compared to oatmeal, on average oat bran has a lot more fiber and soluble fiber, making it much more efficient.

Oat bran creates a feeling of fullness and once consumed, oat bran enters the digestive tract where its soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel-like substance, creating a feeling of fullness.

Oat bran absorbs on average 25 times its volume in liquid. A tablespoon of oat bran, about half an ounce, forms a 13 ounce ball in the stomach. 

The feeling of fullness and being less hungry leads to much less frustration while dieting.

Oat bran slows down sugar and fat absorption and once ingested, the bolus (the gel-like substance created by the oat bran and water) passes through the gastric acid, bile, and finally the pancreatic juices. This turns the bolus into pulp and reduces it to a mix of elementary chains, fatty acids, amino acids and glucose. This process both slows down the sugar assimilation and removes calories from the body by reducing the absorption of dietary fat, while keeping your blood sugar levels low and stable.

Look for oat bran that uses the M2bisM6 milling & sifting technology such as the Dukan Diet Organic Oat Bran.

You can find it at http://www.shopdukandiet.com/oat-bran
 
Jessica Crandall
Nutrition & Dietetics

Whole grains play a vital role in our health. They should be consumed daily mainly because of the high amounts of fiber in these foods. Fiber helps bulk and solidfy stool (keeping your colon healthy), keeps you fuller longer (which aids in digestion and not overeating), and naturally reduces your cholesterol. Remember that we not only eat cholesterol but our bodies make cholesterol too! Try to make 1/2 of your daily grains to be whole. The more whole grains the better.

Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics
Whole grains offer fiber and help prevent constipation! They are also a good source of B vitamins and minerals and studies show they can help prevent heart disease and stroke. They are also satisfying and keep us full.
Ann Partlow
Nutrition & Dietetics
Whole grain is defined as any product where the entire grain has been used to make the product. This includes all the bran, the endosperm & germ.
Christie Parsons, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
Whole grain foods are a better choice than refined grains because they contain higher values of fiber and vitamins and minerals.

Whole grains contain fiber, which helps slow digestion, making you feel full longer and also helps keep your digestive tract healthy. Fiber can also help lower blood cholesterol, which in turn, helps keep your heart healthy too.

Also, whole grains contain natural vitamins and minerals. Refined grains, because of the refining process, lose vitamins and minerals that our bodies need. Although some of those vitamins and minerals are returned again, they are not returned completely.

For these reasons, you should choose whole grain foods every day. The USDA's MyPlate recommends "make at least half of your grains whole grains." In other words half of all of the grains you eat for the day should be whole grains. Even better, choose whole grain foods anywhere you can make the change.

When choosing whole grain foods, be sure to look at the label, especially with bread. Though a food may appear whole grain, to be sure, look at the first ingredient on the food label under INGREDIENTS. If the first ingredient is not "100% whole grain or whole grain" the food is NOT a whole grain. If it is not whole grain, that does not mean it is bad for you, but there are choices that are healthier for you.

Some examples of great whole grains would be oatmeal, brown rice, 100% whole grain bread, whole grain cereals, quinoa, and popcorn.
 
For more ideas and information about whole grains, visit choosemyplate.gov

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.