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Would You Give Whole Grains A Second Chance?

By Tom Herrin

It seems like we are inundated these days with abbreviations, initials, and inside scoops about foods.  That is not to say that they are without merit, but many seem like fads and are overused.  There are some people who are truly gluten intolerant and require changes in their diet.  Several other things cause people problems that are diet related.  One of the oldest standards of a healthy diet is whole grains.  And remember this, there are other whole grains besides wheat.  Just because you have a difficult time with some grains doesn’t mean you will with all.  Only a fraction of Americans have enough whole grains in their diet.

We Don’t Even Think Of Some As Whole Grains

While there are the classic whole grains many people avoid such as whole wheat, rye, barley, etc., there are many others we sometimes don’t even consider as whole grains.  We probably buy popcorn when we go to the movies not realizing it is a whole grain.  We may order brown rice with a meal, and sometimes eat oatmeal.  Both of these are whole grains and pretty good for you.  There is quite a list that is worth looking at.

How About The Benefits?

There is a pretty good list of reasons to include more whole grain in your diet.  It is important to do a little investigating to see what you want in a whole grain.  One of the most recognized components is fiber.  Soluble fiber, such as in oatmeal, has a great track record for helping to clean fatty materials out of our circulatory system.  That is pretty important.  Many people with cholesterol problems eat oatmeal to lower it.  Insoluble fiber, such as in popcorn, helps to clean out our intestines.  Researchers have found a direct correlation between the rise of colon cancer with the increased consumption of bread made with refined flour.  It is a striking relationship.

What If You Don’t Have Any Of Those Problems?

There are a lot other good reasons for consuming more whole grains.  Plenty of evidence suggests that whole grain consumption can help avoid or improve type 2 diabetes, which is now occurring in epidemic proportions in this country.  Another thing we find is a higher energy level when we eat more whole grains.  This may be due to some of the reasons already mentioned, as well as the fact that we may be getting more vitamins and other raw nutrients from the whole grains.  Try adding a couple more whole grains to your diet and see the difference.  As for me, I make popcorn in an old favorite pan using canola oil.  I think I’ll have some now, lightly salted please.

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