2014 was the year of the Paleo Diet here in Australia and I have met countless people who have eschewed grains in search of better health. It is time to put to rest the myth that grains are bad for our health. In order to promote better health I pronounce 2015 to be the year of Whole Grains!
Why whole grains? Most people know grains are a source of energy, fibre and B vitamins. And many people believe they can get all the fibre and B vitamins they need from vegetables so eliminate grains entirely. However, whole grains have a whole lot more going for them than just fibre and B vitamins. They are nutritional powerhouses and have been associated with lower risks of Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, Inflammation and even weight gain.
So what are whole grains? Examples include wheat, oats, barley, brown rice, maize (corn), rye, millet, sorghum, teff, triticale, amaranth, buckwheat, farro, freekah, bulgar, emmet, spelt, Kamut and quinoa. Whole grains, according to the American Association of Cereal Chemists International and the FDA in the US, consist of “the intact, ground, cracked or flaked fruit of the grain whose principal components, the starchy endosperm, germ and bran, are present in the same relative proportions as they exist in the intact grain.” Here is an illustration detailing the different components of a whole grain:
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