Enjoying the Benefits of Whole Grain Foods

Have you heard the commercials that tout the importance of eating whole grain foods?  Or, perhaps you have been reading about how to eat a healthy and have regularly read that you should include more whole grains in your diet.  Either way, you may be wondering just what whole grains are and why they are such an important part of your diet. 

Understanding the Benefits of Whole Grains

Whole grain foods offer a number of benefits when included in your diet.  First of all, eating whole grain foods can help keep your blood pressure as well as your cholesterol down.  In addition, whole grain foods help to regulate blood glucose levels, making them an important part of your diet if you are trying to follow the glycemic index.  The fact that whole grains are a great source of fiber is also beneficial to the digestive system, as it helps to keep your bowel movements regular.

Choosing Whole Grain Foods

There are several foods that you can add to your diet that will help you with increasing the amount of whole grains you consume.  Some of these include:

· Barley
· Corn
· Millet
· Quinoa
· Oats
· Wheat
· Wild Rice

Each of these foods contains the entire grain seed and is minimally processed, hence the term “whole grain.”  These grains include germ, bran and endosperm.  It is important to note that there are many terms used in order to fool you into thinking the food is whole grain when it really is not.  Terms commonly used include multi-grain, cracked wheat and bran.  While these foods may still be healthy, they are not truly whole grain unless they actually have a whole grain label or specifically use the word “whole” in the listed ingredients.