Research shows that eating whole grains each and every day in reasonable servings can reduce risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Go for the whole grains

Whole Grain Wheat

There is much discussion these days about which grains to eat, and whether wheat is a healthy grain or not. The sale of gluten-free foods is at an all-time high with approximately $4.2 billion in sales yearly.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley that a few folks with celiac disease are unable to digest. But for those who can digest grains –and that means most of us - there are a wonderful variety of whole grains to enjoy. They can be part of a meal as a side dish or the feature of a meatless meal. Here is more about grains.

Research shows that eating whole grains each and every day in reasonable servings can reduce risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Whole grains include:

  • Oats
  • Buckwheat
  • Brown rice
  • Wheat and spelt
  • Barley

Whole grains provide dietary fiber, the minerals iron and magnesium, and the B-vitamin folate. These are all essential nutrients that we need every single day to stay well.   

From a health perspective, it is important for the entire family to eat whole grains every day in modest servings. Don’t be afraid of them. It is great to start your children out on whole grains so that they are accustomed to eating them at a young age For the most part, they will eat what you eat, and what is available in your home.

Bump up the whole grains. You might start the day with a cooked oat-quinoa cereal or select one of many whole-grain cold cereals. Lunch-time sandwich can be on whole wheat or multi-grain bread, rolls or wraps. As we head into cooler weather, plan meatless meals such as a meatless white bean and brown rice soup or bell peppers stuffed with barley.

Healthy recipes to try:

__

About the Author

Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.