REFINED GRAINS VS. INTACT GRAINS

Webster’s defines the word refined as “free from impurities.” That certainly applies to grains. Unfortunately, the “impurities” removed by refining include fiber, vitamins, minerals, and a variety of other micronutrients and phytochemicals. Let’s look at wheat as an example. Wheat is a gigantic relative of the grass that grows in yards and parks all across America. The hollow stem supports a seed head that’s tightly packed with many individual wheat grains. Our ancestors often used these grains as they came from the plant, and many people still use these “wheat berries”

In this article from the Food Properties section, we take a look at all the necessary information about this topic. Stay with 4teenweightloss .

GRAINS

with meals or in breakfast porridges. Today, though, most wheat is processed and refined. The milling process first cracks the wheat grains, then pulverizes them with a series of rollers. In this way the starchy, carbohydrate-rich center, called the endosperm, is separated from both the dark, fibrous bran and the wheat embryo, called the wheat germ.
At each stage of milling, something is lost. Removing the wheat germ pulls out vitamins and unsaturated fats. Whacking away the branny outer layer removes fiber, magnesium, and more vitamins. By the time whole-wheat grains have been turned into white flour, the final product is a pale shadow of the original, literally and nutritionally.

learn more: Carbohydrates for Better and Worse

If intact grains are so healthy, why did we stop eating them and shift to highly refined grains? It’s partly a function of perception. Once it became possible to refine wheat, it was marketed as being purer than whole-grain flour. At first, white flour was a novelty for the upper classes. The bread and pastries it made were lighter and airier than their whole-grain cousins. In time, buying white flour became a symbol of moving up in the world. The shift was also driven by the reality of storage—white flour, with almost none of the healthy oils found in whole-grain flour, keeps longer. Whole-grain flours must be used more quickly and/or refrigerated.

REFINED GRAINS VS. INTACT GRAINS

For the past decade my colleagues and I have been studying the health effects of refined and intact grain foods with the dedicated help of the men and women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study. The result of this work is compelling—compared with a diet high in refined carbohydrates, eating intact grain foods is clearly better for sustained good health and offers protection against a variety of chronic diseases. Other research around the world points to the same conclusion.

learn more: Building a Better Pyramid

WHOLE GRAINS PROTECT AGAINST DIABETES

Eating whole grain products helps keep the body’s sugar control system on track. In both the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, participants who ate the most cereal fiber from grains (about 7.5 grams per day, the equivalent of a bowl of oatmeal and two pieces of whole-wheat bread) were 30 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who ate the least grain fiber . The combination of low cereal fiber and high glycemic load more than doubled the risk of developing diabetes.  In these studies, eating high-fiber cold breakfast cereal seemed to have a protective effect on the development of diabetes, while soft drinks, white bread, white rice, French fries, and cooked potatoes were all associated with increased risk of diabetes.

source: www.chicagotribune.com

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