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Whole Grains: Don't Leave The Grocery Store Without Them

Armen Hareyan's picture

(NC) - One key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be as easy as heading to your grocery store and picking up some whole grains.

Whole grains contain all three parts of the grain kernel: the bran, the endosperm and the germ. Each layer is packed with important nutrients, and together, they work to help lower blood cholesterol, manage your weight and reduce your risk of developing heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Therefore, how do you know if a food contains whole grains? Sue Mah, registered dietitian and sports nutritionist suggests taking a closer look at the ingredient list to get the "whole" truth, "Look for the words "whole" or "whole grain" at the top of the ingredient list. For example, a product made with whole wheat or whole grain oats is a whole grain food."

As part of healthy eating, a diet rich in whole grains helps you maintain a healthy heart, a healthy body weight, and research suggests it may help to reduce the risk of disease. Health Canada recommends Canadians eat 5-12 servings of grains per day and emphasizes whole grain choices.

According to Mah, whole grains can be incorporated into everyday meals quickly and inexpensively. "I encourage consumers to start with some familiar foods and then gradually try some of the more exotic whole grains. A bowl of whole grain cereal for breakfast is an easy way to pack in the goodness of whole grains. Brown rice or whole wheat flour can be mixed in or substituted for white rice and white flour."

Here are some other easy ways to add whole grains to your grocery cart:

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. Pick up a variety of whole grain breakfast cereals - for example, 100% of General Mills cereals will contain whole grains - available to Canadians this summer.

. Try whole grain pasta in dishes that call for spaghetti, macaroni or pasta.

. Look for whole grain breads, bagels, tortillas, pita breads and crackers.

. Be adventurous with less common whole grains such as barley, bulgur, amaranth, quinoa and whole wheat couscous - they taste great in salads and soups.


- News Canada