Eating a diet that includes high fiber whole grains can lower the risk of numerous chronic health conditions including obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes; all excellent reasons to switch from processed (refined) grains, aka the “white” foods that have had the bran and wheat germ stripped away. Whole grains on the other hand retain all of the essential fiber and nutrients. The bottom line is that switching to whole grains like the following is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
Brown rice is unrefined, low in fat and an excellent source of protein and dietary fiber. In contrast to white rice, brown rice has a hearty, chewy texture and is a beneficial source of absorbable iron, including vitamins B12 which also help absorb the iron.
This whole grain food hails from the Middle East and is made of boiled, dried and cracked whole wheat kernels. Bulgur is high in fiber and also contains important vitamins and minerals including manganese, niacin, magnesium, foliate, iron and thiamine.
Steel Cut Oats
According to the American Heart Association, steel cut oats are high in phytonutrients that help maintain a healthy immune system and reduce LDL cholesterol. While the steel cut oat version may take longer to cook, it’s time well spent and delivers a satisfying heartiness and flavor that whole grain cereal lovers will appreciate.
Additional whole grains that are loaded with health benefits include wheat berries, rye, wild rice and amaranth, all worth experimenting with and easy to fit into a healthy lifestyle.
Fiber features a long list of health benefits and the majority of Americans’ diets are sadly deficient in this life giving carbohydrate. Whether your goals are improving heart health, better weight control or reducing your risk of colon cancer or type 2 diabetes, fiber is beneficial. Just by making the simple dietary change to high fiber whole grains, you’ll increase your mortality rate by at least 15% so it just makes sense to choose whole grains over nutrient drained, refined, processed foods.