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Despite the incriminating press grains have gotten in recent years, the current body of research shows that consumption of whole grains offers plenty of health rewards. For starters, this includes decreased risks of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
Refined grains, on the other hand, have been processed to remove both the fiber-filled and nutrient-rich components, leaving primarily the starch. In other words, when whole grains are refined, they offer only a fraction of the health-promoting compounds.
Whole grains are made from the whole kernel of grain. This includes the kernel’s three edible parts:
When looking for whole grains in packaged products, like bread, pasta, or cereal, your best bet is to narrow in on the ingredient list. Look specifically for the word “whole” right before the name of the grain — for example, “whole oats” or “whole wheat.”
Aside from packaged products, whole grains can be found in a variety of forms such as amaranth, barley, buckwheat, farro, millet, oats, quinoa, and brown and wild rice.
Below are a few ideas for serving up whole grains in some of your favorite recipes:
Nutrient-rich whole grains come in a variety of shapes and forms, with even more ways to prepare them. Try any of the recipes above or experiment with your favorite dishes, and reap all the health benefits that whole grains have to offer.
McKenzie JonesMcKenzie is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for NutriBullet who aims to make the world a healthier, happier place. She believes that living a healthy lifestyle and eating for your health isn't meant to be complicated -- it's meant to be simple, enjoyable, and judgment-free (with room for dessert). When she’s not dishing out nutrition tidbits, you can find McKenzie running after her energetic toddler, hiking along her favorite trails, visiting her local farmers market, or cooking in her sunny kitchen.