We get many questions daily about switching to whole grains instead of refined, white carbohydrates. The truth is white flour, white rice, and other processed carbohydrates have been stripped of all their nutritional value and are therefore empty calories that raise your blood glucose levels. Here are some more reasons to make the switch to healthier whole-grain varieties of food:
Why should I switch from white carbs to whole-wheat carbs?
There are two big differences: how they’re processed and how healthful they are.
- In a 10-year Harvard study completed in 1994, men and women who ate high-fiber breads had fewer heart attacks and strokes than those whose tastes ran to bagels and baguettes.
- Simply switching from white to whole wheat bread can lower heart disease risk by 20 percent, according to research from the University of Washington reported in the April 2, 2003 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
- Fiber has long been known to aid digestive health too.
- Fiber can help you lose or maintain weight because eating fiber-dense wheat bread helps you feel full.
- Whole grains are a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the body’s use of glucose and insulin secretion- thus they lower the risk of Diabetes Type II
How can I tell if bread is really whole wheat?
Color used to be a clue, but no more. Although white bread is white because it’s been bleached, some dark bread has just had caramel coloring added to it. Look for whole grain or whole wheat as the first ingredient on the label. If any other ingredient is first, put the loaf back and keep looking. Look for 100% whole wheat products!
Eat Whole Grains- Weigh Less
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition underscores the importance of choosing whole rather than refined wheat to maintain a healthy body weight. In this Harvard Medical School / Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, which collected data on over 74,000 female nurses aged 38-63 years over a 12 year period, weight gain was inversely associated with the intake of high-fiber, whole-grain foods, such as whole wheat, but positively related to the intake of refined-grain foods, such as products made from refined wheat. Not only did women who consumed more whole grains consistently weigh less than those who ate less of these fiber-rich foods, but those consuming the most dietary fiber from whole grains were 49% less likely to gain weight compared to those eating foods made from refined grains.