Sunday, September 28, 2008

Whole Grains and Fiber

In the grocery store many boxes and packages now display "whole-grains" in large, eye catching print. So why are whole-grains so important to your diet and why should you eat them?

Whole-grains are processed through a process called refining;therefore, the bran and germ is still attached. White flour and white rice have had these two pieces removed. Bran and germ hold important nutrients. Although nutrients are added back into white flour and white rice,they do not have the same quality of nutrition as whole-grains.

Whole-grain have good nutrients such as, B vitamins, iron, selenium, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants. Certain whole wheat products may hold large amounts of fiber. Fiber, usually located in the bran, helps to control hunger, lower cholesterol and maintain digestive health.

Experts recommend the consumption 20-30 grams of fiber per day but most Americans only consume half that amount. Experts recommend you replace 1/2 the grains you eat with whole-grain to fix the problem. Wheat and oats are good alternatives but can also try quinoa, bulgur, and barley.

There are numerous others ways to improve your fiber intake. Eat high-fiber cereal in the morning (In today's market there are more options besides just bran cereals.). Make your next sandwich using whole-grain bread. For burritos ans wraps use whole-wheat tortillas with a side of brown rice. Try whole-wheat pasta; if you don't like the texture, mix whole-wheat pasta with regular. For a quick snack, make yourself a whole-wheat bagel topped with peanut butter. If you like to eat yogurt for snake, add some granola. For your home-cooked meals, exchange half the white flour from the recipe with whole-wheat flour.

It's now easier than ever to put more fiber in your diet. Just a few changes to your life can help you become a healthier person.

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