Your body needs some fat. Not lots of unhealthy fat from doughnuts, fries, butter, or steak. Just the right amount of the essential fats in whole grains and other whole plant foods.
Whole grains have more fibre - refined grains have the fibre removed. For example, brown rice has more than 3 times the fibre of white.
This makes your food
- Slower to chew
- More filling in your stomach
- Cleansing to your digestive and circulatory systems
Vitamins and minerals
When grains are refined, nutrients leave too. If you think iron, magnesium, and essential fatty acids are important, think hard about whole grains.
Refined grains? Stripped grains, more like! You're being cheated - the majority of grain foods for sale are stripped grains.
Here's a great primer: Whole Grains 101
For more data, you can't go past the fully searchable USDA Nutrient Database.
We hate whole grains! What do we do?
Many of us were raised eating stripped grains or just envied those that were. Your mouth may be telling you that white bread and white rice just taste nicer.
That's a natural body response to a richer calorie source. So is gaining weight.
If (like me) you don't need richer calorie sources, you can gradually increase whole grains in your family's diet.
Add 1/4 whole grains to your usual serving of grains.
Whole grains have more flavour and adding just a bit is a great way to introduce that taste to the family palate.
A bit of whole wheat plus a lot of white flour is a very popular standard loaf. Make your own or buy it.
Learn how to cook brown rice and mix it into the white rice dish before serving. If you usually flavour your rice, you will hardly notice the change.
If you enjoy a hot cereal like cream of wheat (semolina), add 1/4 the amount of natural oatmeal when cooking.
If you already like oatmeal, replace 100% of it!
If you make cookies or cakes, replace 1/4 of the flour with whole grain flour. Fresh baked foods are softer and you might even be able to use 1/2 whole grain flour right away.
This vegan pudding was made with breadcrumbs from 30% wholewheat bread.
After a month or two of enjoying better nutrition, try adding 1/2 whole grains. (Mark it in your calendar.) Your taste will have adjusted - enjoy your success!
Real Food Part 2
Coming up: Learn some practical ways to enjoy sweetness with less refined sugar.