Pick whole grains!
Eat Clean Tip #25: When checking ingredients lists, avoid products that list the words “enriched flour” or “bleached flour”.
Eat clean action step: When making pasta, choose whole grain pasta options such as those made from spelt or kamut flour. Cook your pasta el dente (under cook by 2-3 minutes). By doing so, you lower the glycemic response, preserve the fiber and avoid a blood sugar spike.
Selecting whole grains is a much healthier option for overall health and weight loss. In short, a whole grain kernel consists of three parts, which include;
1) The bran – the bran is the outer layer of the kernel and contains anti-oxidants, B vitamins and fiber.
2) The germ – The germ is the embryo that has the potential to sprout. It also contains B vitamins, various minerals, healthy fats and proteins.
3) The endosperm – The endosperm is the largest part of the whole grain and contains a lot of starch, protein and a small amount of minerals.
During the refining process, the bran and the germ are removed, leaving the starchy part of the kernel, the endosperm. This makes the bread “fluffier” to eat, but also eliminates a significant amount of nutrition that is found in the whole grain itself. Processed grains also spike blood sugar, which can lead to weight gain and belly fat storage. In an attempt to boost nutrition, food manufacturers often try to fortify processed grain options with B vitamins and/or fiber, however, it is not as good as eating the whole grain itself.
When grocery shopping, a darker color (i.e. brown vs. white pasta or bread) does not necessarily mean it is whole grain. Also – do not be fooled by words such as “multi-grain” or “wheat” – these are often white bread in disguise. Look for words 100% whole grain or 100% whole wheat when checking the package.
A list of whole grains also includes;
- Brown rice
Photo by Erik Putz
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