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Healthy Lifestyle And The Importance Of Whole Grains

Updated on July 9, 2013
ladydeonne profile image

Deonne Anderson is a retired Child and Family Therapist, Free Lance Writer, and Motivational Speaker who lives in Florence, SC.

"For Amber Waves Of Grain"

Wheat growing in the field
Wheat growing in the field | Source

Healthy Lifestyle And The Value Of Whole Grains In Your Diet

Chances are that you're aware that you need to eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. However, in all probability, you may not know the vital role whole grains play and the many benefits they provide. This article explains how whole grains play a vital role in your leading a healthy life style by enhancing your bodily functions and lowering your risks of certain diseases and conditions.

If it’s your desire to live to a ripe old age, there are three things you must surely do. You will need to get plenty of exercise, including strength and weight training, eat a healthy diet, and have a positive attitude. You will also need to drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. You will need to stop smoking.

Do you know the difference between a grain, a multi grain, a whole grain or whole wheat? In order to make an informed decision as to what grains you should buy to ensure the healthiest foods for you and your family, you should be aware of the differences.


WHOLE GRAIN ANATOMY

The whole grain contains the whole kernel, the bran, the germ and the endosperm.
The whole grain contains the whole kernel, the bran, the germ and the endosperm. | Source

Whole Grain Comparison Chart

Which one will you choose?
Which one will you choose? | Source

Whole Wheat and Whole Grain Differs

All grains start out as whole grains. Some grains that are consumed here in America are, wheat, barley, oats, rice, corn, millet, rye and sorghum. These grains can be consumed as whole grains or refined grains. Whole grains contain the entire kernel that consists of three components, the bran or outer protective layer, the germ or the part of the seed that sprouts and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids, and the endosperm that is the starchy white inner core.

Many individuals don’t know the difference between whole wheat and whole grain. Whole wheat has the bran and germ removed during the refining process and is left containing only the enosperm. So what you’re really eating when you eat white bread is a glob of starchy stuff.

Refined grains have been milled. This means that the bran and the germ is removed. This gives them a finer texture and improves their shelf life. It also removes dietary fiber and other nutrients the body needs to remain healthy. Refined grains are said to cause weight gain. They are not filling and cause us to eat more than we should. White rice, white bread, white pasta and white flour products are examples of refined grains.

Multi grains and whole grains are not the same. Multi grains mean that a food contains more than one type of grain but not necessarily even one whole grain. Multi grains are simply more than one or two different grains.





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Whole Grain Breads

Use whole grain breads on your sandwiches
Use whole grain breads on your sandwiches | Source

Salad with Whole Grain

It's easy to add whole grains to any dish!
It's easy to add whole grains to any dish! | Source

Whole Wheat Carrot Cake

Refined sugar free!
Refined sugar free! | Source

Whole Grain Benefits For Your Body

Some benefits that whole grains provide for your body include:

reduces your risk for constipation and colon cancer

• reduces your risk for high blood pressure

• reduces your risk for type 2 diabetes

• reduces your risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures

• reduces your risk for heart disease

• reduces your risk for or prevents neural tube defects in pregnant women

• reduces your risk for stroke


Some things you can do to get more whole grains in your diet include:


• substitute whole grain bread for white bread

• substitute brown rice for white rice

• substitute whole grain pasta for white or regular pasta

• substitute whole wheat macaroni for regular macaroni

• use whole grains or oats in soups, stews, casseroles or meat loaves

• use whole grains to make bread crumb toppings

• use popcorn and unsweetened cereal for healthy snacks

• use one-half whole grain and one-half white flour for baking

• eat a serving of oatmeal for breakfast

• eat whole grain bread on your sandwich at lunch time

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for America recommend that we eat (6) servings of grains per day, with at least (3) of those servings being whole grains. Whole-grain foods are a healthy choice because they contain nutrients such as B vitamins, riboflavin, niacin, folate, iron, magnesium, and selenium. They also contain fiber and other healthy plant compounds.

Living a healthy lifestyle involves taking care of and keeping your body fit. The best way to do this is with regular exercise, including weight and strength training, a positive attitude, and a healthy diet with plenty of whole fruits, fresh vegetables, low or no-fat diary, lean meats, and whole grains. Whole grains are key to your living a healthy lifestyle and living to a ripe old age because they prevent or reduce your risk for certain life threatening diseases and health conditions.


ladydonne

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    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Very informative hub. I must eat a gluten free diet due to celiac disease. For a long time i just gave up baking because of the wheat in flour, then Betty Crocker started making bisquick gluten free baking mix. I love it. I do eat lots of fruit and veggies and eat gluten free oatmeal every morning. I must say that the worst thing is not getting to eat Sara Lee's buns..Yummy...Enjoyed reading your hub. Thank you...

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bev makes sure I eat whole wheat....before her I had no clue about nutrition, or I didn't want to know about it. :) Great information here and right on!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 3 years ago

      I also have to eat a gluten-free diet. I have never been tested for celiac disease, but I am wheat sensitive in that after giving up glutens, I no longer have heartburn, body swelling and bloating and unexplained intestinal problems. I suppose it could be celiac, but after seeing a friend almost die of celiac, I am grateful that my problem is not as extreme. But I don’t eat wheat, barley or hops. Thank goodness I’ve found a good brand of gluten-free beer. I do enjoy a cold one once in a while. Red Bridge is pretty mild, but it has a good flavor.

      We are experimenting with various gluten free flours and many are whole grain. I have found several types and brands that I like, Bob’s Red Mill and Pamelas, and one or two that I find unpalatable. For the first time in my life, I threw a whole coffee cake in the trash. I am glad to know that Betty Crocker is now making a gluten-free Bisquick. (Thanks, Always Exploring) And I find it hard to give up any brand of honey buns. My favorite bread is Udi’s Millet and Chia. I love crunching on those little seeds in and on the bread. Never knew Chia pets were edible.

      I think this hub was originally about eating whole grains. I just hope we’ve helped steer gluten-sensitive people toward some. Voted up and useful for a good hub.

    • ladydeonne profile image
      Author

      Deonne Anderson 3 years ago from Florence, SC

      MizBejabbers,

      You are blessed that your celiac symptoms do not require meds or a physician's care. It's great that you have found a gluten free beer. I also love a cold one, but had to stop drinking because of my allergies. I will do an addendum to my hub listing some gluten free whole grains, i.e., whole cornmeal, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, organic coconut flour, etc. Though it's difficult for us to give up some of the foods we really love for health reasons, we are so blessed to be alive and well. I considered adding a discussion re glutens to this hub but decided that readers with celiac disease already knew to avoid wheat. However, it is important that they know that there are some whole grains they can eat. Thanks for your useful comments.

    • ladydeonne profile image
      Author

      Deonne Anderson 3 years ago from Florence, SC

      There are several gluten free products you can buy for baking on Amazon. Bob's Red Mill makes whole grain corn flour, pan cake mix, pizza crust mix, Betty Crocker also makes a chocolate chip cookie mix, Pamela makes breads...all of these products are gluten free ...so get on over there girl! Amazon.com gluten-free-flours. Some gluten free whole grains are, whole corn meal, brown rice, buck wheat, organic coconut flour, bean flour, etc. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • ladydeonne profile image
      Author

      Deonne Anderson 3 years ago from Florence, SC

      I appreciate your honesty. LOL My daughter just hates it when I learn about or try something new to keep us healthy. I do my best to prepare and buy the healthiest foods that don't taste as good. My dear deceased husband used to say to me, "Stop reading so damn much. I like unhealthy stuff! Thanks for reading my hub.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

      I think most of us can include more whole grains in our diet. I appreciate your information on the difference between whole wheat and whole grains. Quinoa is very common here in Peru, so we eat daily and try to include other grains in our diet. Thank you for this valuable reminder!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Whole grain help in reducing the risk of so many diseases that it is imperative we include them in place of the unhealthy refined grains. Thanks for the thumbs up.

      voted up, useful and shared.

    • ladydeonne profile image
      Author

      Deonne Anderson 3 years ago from Florence, SC

      You are right! Whole gains play an important role in keeping us healthy and well. Thanks for reading my hub and for your comment.

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 3 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Great article. Very informative. I do bake a lot and your suggestion to use 1/2 whole grain flour and 1/2 white flour is an excellent suggestion.

      I am glad you specified the difference between whole wheat and whole grain - this will make me more conscious of what i buy.

    • ladydeonne profile image
      Author

      Deonne Anderson 3 years ago from Florence, SC

      Thank you for reading and commenting on my hub. I am happy that you found the information useful. I have had much success in my baking by using one half whole grain flour and one half white flour. People are not able to tell the difference in the taste.

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