Go for Whole Grains

Update: 1/21/2013 - View: 19694
Did you know that whole grains can offer many different benefits not only for your growing kids, but for you as well? A grain is the edible portion of the seed of a plant that is made up of three different parts: the bran, endosperm and germ. A whole grain consists of all three parts of the grain.

Polish/Unpolished Grain

Whole grains are important in your family’s diet as they are rich sources of vitamins B (B1, B2 & B3) and E, minerals (e.g. magnesium, zinc and selenium), dietary fibre and numerous phytochemicals that possess antioxidant properties and has the possibility of reducing risk of some chronic diseases.

Many of the grains we consume today have been processed and refined. In the process of refining grains, valuable outer layers like the bran and germ are removed leaving only the endosperm. This is done to give the grains a finer texture and to it’s improve shelf life but it also removes dietary fibre, iron, and many B vitamins that are in the bran and germ. Most of the rice we consume today is refined or polished rice.

Here are some of the most common types of whole grains that you can find at supermarkets:

Brown Rice
Unpolished (brown) rice
Whole Wheat
Whole wheat
Goodness of whole grains
Whole grains have been widely researched for its numerous health benefits. Research shows that high consumption of whole grains has been associated to reduce risk of several chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and certain types of cancer.

In addition, the high dietary fibre in whole grains also plays an important role to your overall gastrointestinal health by helping to regulate the movement of stools and prevent constipation.

Studies have also indicated that consuming whole grains can reduce the risk of obesity and weight gain thereby helping you to manage your weight.
Make whole grains a part of your daily diet!
It is recommended that you and your family eat an adequate amount of rice and other cereal products (preferably whole grain) and tubers (4 - 8 servings a day). Try and choose at least half of your grain products from whole grains.
Identifying whole grain products
Here are some tips to help you to identify whole grains products.
  • Look at the product name for words like “whole grain”, “wholemeal” or “whole” that comes before the grain’s name. Descriptive words such as “softmeal”, “7 grain”, “multi-grain” or “enriched” do not necessarily mean the product is whole grain.
  • Check the ingredient list and make sure that whole grain is listed as an ingredient (for example, whole-wheat flour or whole oats).
  • Be aware of products that are highlighted with high fibre. They do not necessarily mean that they are whole grain foods. For example, foods that contain wheat bran or oat bran may be high in dietary fibre but they are not whole grain products as they only have bran.

  • Don’t be fooled by colours. For e.g. brown coloured bread doesn’t mean it’s made of whole meal flour. Actually, many whole grain cereals and whole grain food products are lighter in colour.
  • Look for special logo. Some products have logo indicating that they are whole grain foods.
Incorporate whole grains in every meal!
It is easy to incorporate whole grains into part of your everyday dishes. Here are some tips to help you achieve a wholesome whole grain diet.
  • Cook white rice mixed with brown rice.
  • Choose whole grain alternatives for breads, biscuits & cereal products.
  • Use wholemeal flour when cooking or baking breads, muffins or cookies.
  • Use whole grains such as oats and barley to thicken soups and gravies instead of corn flour.
  • Coat chicken or fish with wholegrain cereals, wholemeal bread crumbs or oats.
  • Divide your food types equally in each meal to achieve the guideline of eating half of your grains daily from whole grains; for example:
Breakfast Lunch/Dinner Morning/Afternoon Snack
  • Consume wholegrain bread instead of white bread
  • Choose wholegrain breakfast cereals
  • Take oatmeal porridge with fruits
  • Mix brown rice with white rice
  • Choose wholegrain pasta or noodles
  • Mix brown rice with white rice
  • Choose wholegrain pasta, mee-hoon or noodles

Eating more whole grains is an easy way to make your family’s diet healthier. So starts eating whole grain products everyday to reap all the benefits it has to offer.