Health & Food

Understanding The Whole Grain

Well, it’s another start to another week. But it’s not just any old week, it’s my birthday week!! I’m such a nerd, I’m actually excited about turning 27. Probably because I’m still 4 years younger than Nick, muahaha.

Updates since last time

– The house hunt continues. We’ve found some perfect houses, but Nick works all day on Sundays so we have yet to be inside any of them. Plus we have the small problem that I’m not full time yet, which may come to haunt us when asking for a loan.

– I have decided to post more often (maybe 4-5 times a week) but make my posts shorter. I find that I enjoy reading other blogger’s posts when they are shorter, therefore I should make posts how I like them, right? I guess I figure if I prefer shorter posts, other bloggers do too!

– We saw the movie “Doubt” on Saturday, and at first I doubted I’d like it (haha) but it ended up being a pretty great movie. Sort of somber and slow (which I normally can’t stand) but overall worth the 3 dollars we paid to rent it.

– Check out a fantastic giveaway from Kristen @EatingRD. And also check out her new blog!

Nutrition Tidbit
Whole Grains

This, my friends, is a whole grain.Whole Grain 1

Picture Source: The Backing Association of Canada

Endosperm: Surrounds the embryo and provides nutrition in the form of starch, and contains some fat and protein.

Bran: Hard outer layer of the grain. Rich in dietary fiber (soluble mainly), protein, omegas, B vitamins, and minerals.

Germ: The reproductive part of the grain, which germinates to eventually grow into a plant. Contains essential fatty acids, vitamin E, folate, zinc, iron, magnesium, thiamin, and phosphorus.

Notice anything about the above definitions? The least nutritionally beneficial part of the whole grain is the endosperm. It just so happens that the endosperm is all that is left after grains are refined. When you see “enriched flour” or “wheat flour” or “refined flour”,
that means the company has refined the grain (taken out the bran and germ) and then added back the nutrients that were lost (called enrichment). The flour gets enriched with riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and iron. But what about the healthy fats, the vitamin E, the magnesium, and the phosphorus? Sorry, most products won’t be enriched with those beneficial nutrients. What should you look for on labels? WHOLE GRAIN OR WHOLE WHEAT, which means it’s whole and includes the germ and bran!

Other Benefits of Whole Grains

You’ve seen more and more “fiber” popping up in stores everywhere. Sometimes even in your drinks! Read a great post by Nicole to learn more about this so-called “fiber”. Basically, the “fiber” in many of these new products are isolated, not intact. WHAT?! Well to explain it in easy to understand terms, real dietary fiber is the indigestible (“intact”) portion of plant foods. One of the problems with all this “nonintact fiber” being added to foods, in my opinion, is that people will resort to these products (yogurts, ice creams, juices, sweeteners) for their fiber, rather than whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. So you could drink a juice, or eat a cup of yogurt, or even a pack of Splenda with “maltodextrin or inulin”, but you’re missing out on some huge benefits if that’s how you are getting most of your “fiber”. There are helpful phytonutrients/antioxidants found only in whole fruits and vegetables, and especially in whole grains, on which you will be missing out.
Phytonutrients/Antioxidants and Whole Grains

  • Studies suggest whole grain products have strong antioxidant activity
  • Studies show that on average higher in antioxidants than products from refined rice or corn ingredients.
  • Studies show whole grain breakfast cereals have been found to be equal, or higher, in antioxidants than many fruits or vegetables!
  • There are also several phytonutrients found in whole grains, which have been shown to aid in healthy immune function and heart health. ***I will add to this by saying Inulin, an “isolated fiber”, also has some of these beneficial phytonutrients.**

**For more information about whole grains visit the Grain blog or the Whole Grains Council**

Coming Up

I may do a post tomorrow, or I may not. I’ve been trying to keep up with commenting on other blogs, and that’s the most difficult thing for me when it comes to writing a post every day, I get behind. So tomorrow you may see a post from me, which will include some new eats and eventually a soup made FROM SCRATCH! Melinda is doing “From Scratch Weekends”, but I turned it into “From Scratch Weekdays” haha.

About author


Hi, my name is Rebecca Houston and I am a writer. I write about health, healthy food and daily meal plan for various websites.
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