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home : blogs : simply fit April 16, 2014

Simply Fit
By Pamela Liuzzo, Prescott Valley, AZ
Diets don't work! Breaking unhealthy habits does. Let me share with you how simple changes in your daily life can help improve your waistline and maybe even your entire life.
Saturday, August 25, 2012

Whole grains ~ what are the benefits?

 Pamela Liuzzo DTR, CDM, CFPP

Courtesy photo

Hello Simply Fit readers. Summer's end is quickly approaching, allowing autumn's cool nights and colorful foliage to make its debut. I can't wait. Autumn weather soothes my soul and calms my heart. Autumn is the time of year that nature begins to slow down, retreat into itself and then, eventually, when winter comes, stop in time only to be reborn stronger and more beautiful as spring rolls around.

Life is a lot like that sometimes. Sometimes we must let go of what we know, who we are and what we expected, so that we can transform into something stronger and more beautiful. God makes no mistakes. What you may call a failure or a disappointment, may ultimately be your autumn.

There has always been a big debate between my kids and I about the bread I choose to buy. They want the whitest, most processed bread on the shelf and I buy only whole grain bread. I am a woman of compromise but I can't bring myself to compromise on this particular subject.

So why is eating whole grains over processed grains such a big deal?

According to the Whole Grains Council:

The benefits of whole grains most documented by repeated studies include:

• stroke risk reduced 30-36%

• type 2 diabetes risk reduced 21-30%

• heart disease risk reduced 25-28%

• better weight maintenance

Other benefits indicated by recent studies include:

• reduced risk of asthma

• healthier carotid arteries

• reduction of inflammatory disease risk

• lower risk of colorectal cancer

• healthier blood pressure levels

• less gum disease and tooth loss

Examples of whole grains:

• Amaranth

• Barley

• Buckwheat

• Corn, including whole cornmeal and popcorn

• Millet

• Oats, including oatmeal

• Quinoa

• Rice, both brown rice and colored rice

• Rye

• Sorghum (also called milo)

• Teff

• Triticale

• Wheat, including varieties such as spelt, emmer, farro, einkorn, Kamut®, durum and forms such as bulgur, cracked wheat and wheatberries

• Wild rice

Whole grains or foods made from them contain all the essential parts and naturally-occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed. If the grain has been processed (e.g., cracked, crushed, rolled, extruded, and/or cooked), the food product should deliver approximately the same rich balance of nutrients that are found in the original grain seed.

This definition means that 100 percent of the original kernel - all of the bran, germ, and endosperm - must be present to qualify as a whole grain.


Spotting whole grain products is not always easy due to tricky and misleading advertising logos that the manufacturer uses on the front of the package. Luckily, all we have to do it turn the package over and look at the nutrition label. This is where you get the facts of what is truly in the product you're purchasing.

Here's a list of the most commonly used whole grains. You want the first ingredient of the nutrition label to say the following: (it is ok if water is listed as 1st ingredient)

• Whole grain

• Whole wheat

• Stoneground whole

• Brown rice

• Oats

• Wheatberries

You can also look for the "Whole Grain Stamp" on products. This will ensure that the product does contain 100 percent whole grain.


Related Links:
• Whole Grain Council

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Article comment by: Boy from Pennsyltucky

This article is very well written and contains excellent information. Not only does it provide practical insight, but it is laced with goodness in the kind words the author uses. It makes me look forward to the fall!

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