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The Great Grain Debate

As a Registered Dietitian, one of the most common questions we get asked is "should I be eating carbs and grains?"

You've seen the media spots about grains and choosing whole grains and you've also see the influences on social media talking about ditching carbs and grains and losing drastic amounts of weight.

Let's settle the years long debate here: grains are an essential part of a healthy diet. In fact, a recent study noted that most Americans AREN'T getting enough whole grains in their diets, meaning they are at risk for nutrient deficiencies like B vitamins, fiber and more.

Increasing whole grain intake in your diet may also help with making weight loss easier for you because when you swap out your grains for whole grains, you increase the nutrient density which aids in fullness.

A whole grain item has the entire grain intact, meaning it has the bran, endosperm and germ. With most processing, grains lose their bran and germ which contain fiber, heart healthy fats, protein and vitamins and minerals. The fiber in whole grains helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer as it helps with digestion and hangs out in your GI tract for longer, keeping blood sugar levels stable and preventing cravings.

When we increase our fiber, protein and heart healthy fat intake, we tend to be more in control of our blood sugars, energy levels are more stable with a slower release into your bloodstream over time, with that, less cravings occur and can aid in keeping you fuller for longer which helps with weight loss.

The easiest way to tell if a product is whole grain is by looking at the ingredients list. To ensure you're having a whole grain product, the first ingredient will be whole wheat flour or whole grain flour.

Ideally, half of our grains should be whole grains to get more vitamins and minerals .

Try swapping out your white rice for brown rice, your regular pasta for whole grain pasta and incorporating more quinoa, barley and oatmeal into your meals.


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