Whole grains, product claims and FIBER!

Last week, I wrote an article for examiner.com on whole grain goodness to simply explain just what exactly whole grains are and how best to obtain them. There are a lot of product claims but sadly not all ring true. I recently came across an article that explains just what product claims mean and how to effectively make healthier choices.

Photo by Bruce A Stockwell

Whole grain foods and fiber:
Whole grain foods are rich in fiber. And fiber is  important in your daily diet. Fiber-rich foods not only help keep you full and satisfied longer, especially when you are trying to lose weight, these foods are especially good for your digestive and heart health.
  1. Fiber keeps things moving. Be sure to have plenty of water along with fiber-rich foods to improve your regularity.
  2. Fiber helps keep your blood cholesterol in check. A fiber rich diet may actually lower your cholesterol, decreasing your risk for heart disease.
  3. Fiber helps regulate blood sugar levels. Because fiber is not broken down in the body, it does not raise blood sugar levels. Sugars and highly processed carbohydrates, on the other hand, digest quickly – breaking down into glucose in the blood stream raising your blood sugar. Therefore, Include fiber into your meals and snacks can help maintain normal blood sugar levels.
Fiber can be obtained from whole grain foods. These are foods in which the grain (it’s endosperm, germ and seed) are intact. They include millet, buckwheat groats, quinoa and oats. Processed whole grains such as wheat breads, pastas and white rice may contain some good healthy fiber, but lack some essential nutrients as the germ has been removed. So be sure to include intact whole grains for optimal nutritional benefit.
Other ways to include more fiber into your diet:
Be sure to  include more fruits and vegetables into your diet! Apples, for example, contain pectin, a fiber that helps lower blood fat. The fiber combined with other nutrients in the apple can help prevent cholesterol build up.
Some of the highest fiber fruits and vegetables include:
  • avocado
  • broccoli
  • brussel sprouts
  • eggplant
  • collard greens
  • apples
  • bananas
  • berries
  • prunes
Nuts and legumes such as lentils, beans and peas are also great sources for getting more fiber.
What fiber-rich foods do you enjoy?
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