Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The main reasons for the inclusion of whole grains in your diet

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Top Reasons for Including Whole Grains in Your Diet LifeMojo LifeMojo Home|Invite|RSS|SMS|Help|Login / Register HomeMy JourneyMy Journey HomeGoalsPlanTrackMeasureReportsAnalysisBody AnalysisLifestyle AnalysisLifestyleLifestyle HomeTop RatedNutritionFitnessWellnessMotivationHealth GuidesHealth Guides HomeHealth TipsCalories BurntNutritional ValueHealthy RecipesGlossaryHealth InsuranceCommunityForumsRoutesHealth StoreHealth Store HomeShopping Cart LifestyleLifestyle > Top Reasons for Including Whole Grains in Your DietTop Reasons for Including Whole Grains in Your DietBy LifeMojo Team / January 20, 20110 CommentsWe are becoming increasingly health conscious and considering to give a try to every possible diet options. Yes! We have succeeded in making a transition to brown breads! But why don't we select the whole-wheat pasta or the whole-wheat pizza? It is not that you can keep on eating refined grain products with some extra fiber supplements in your diet. Studies indicate that different types of nutritional components present in the whole grains produce a combined effect on your health.

Top Reasons for Including Whole Grains in Your DietEating more whole grains is an easy way to make your diet healthier. A grain is considered whole when all three parts – bran, germ and endosperm – are present. This makes them a good sources of fiber - the part of plant-based foods that your body doesn't digest and makes you feel full longer. Most of the antioxidants and vitamins are also found in the germ and the bran of a grain. Whole grains are packed with nutrients including protein, B vitamins, vitamin E, antioxidants, and trace minerals (iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium). Examples of whole grain foods include wholegrain corn, popcorn, whole oats/oatmeal, brown rice, barley, wheat berries and flours such as whole wheat.

Let's have a quick look on the health benefits of whole grains:

Slow Digestion: Soluble fiber present in whole grain mixes with liquid to form a gel that helps slow down digestion and absorption. Additionally, whole grains contain complex carbohydrates (as compared to simple carbohydrates in refined food) that are broken down more slowly by the body than simple carbohydrates. Slow digestion of food leads to lower blood sugar and insulin levels. According to studies, the fasting insulin levels of men and women who ate more whole grains were found to be lower. The soluble fiber present in whole grains slows down the rate of absorption of glucose and in this way it contributes towards the stabilization of the blood sugar level.Fall in Mortality Rates: The University of Minnesota School of Public Health researchers conducted a study with 15,000 people between the ages 45 and 65. It was found that the total mortality rate fell down with an increase in the consumption of whole grains. The soluble and the insoluble fibers prevent the development of cancerous cells and heart diseases.Decrease in the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: According to the conclusions of the Nurses' Health Study, a daily intake of 5 grams of fiber from whole grain cereals reduces the chances of developing type 2 diabetes by around 30 percent. Improved insulin sensitivity and lower fasting insulin levels, especially among obese and hyperinsulinemic people, suggests that consumption of whole grains is an important component of reducing risk factors for type 2 diabetes.Control of Body Weight: A research established that consumption of three or more servings of whole grains per day was associated with lower body mass indexes in women. This applies to the men as well, but the changes were more noticeable in women. This can be attributed to the presence of high amount of fiber, which makes you feel full faster and for longer duration. This discourages you from overeating. Moreover, whole grain cereals are low in saturated fat.Reduction in the Risk of Heart Diseases: As many as 25 studies have concluded that consumption of whole grains can bring down the risk of developing heart diseases. An analysis of seven studies involving more than 285,000 people revealed that consuming an average of 2.5 servings of whole grains each day is associated with a 21 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to consuming only 0.2 servings. Researchers have found that the risk of heart attacks have fallen by 30 percent for every 10 gram rise in the intake of cereal fiber per day. The soluble fiber helps stabilize the cholesterol levels which reduces blood pressure and this in turn prevents heart diseases.Fall in Cholesterol Levels: Whole grains especially oats and barley have been found to be beneficial in lowering total and LDL ("bad" cholesterol) cholesterol levels. Lowering of cholesterol helps slow the progression of atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaque that narrows the vessels through which blood flows.Reduction of Blood Pressure: Studies on whole-grain foods have indicated that consumption of barley (rich source of beta-glucan, a type soluble fiber) has produced favorable effects on the blood pressure levels. High cholesterol also contributes toward high blood pressure. High cholesterol reduces the ability of the blood vessels to expand and contract normally. This raises the body's effort to move blood through the vascular system. Hence, blood pressure rises. It was found that individuals who consumed soluble fiber like oats and barley have experienced a fall in the cholesterol level by up to 21 percent.Fall in the Risk of Stroke: A study conducted by Harvard University researchers concluded that women who include large amounts of whole grains in their diet have lower risks of strokes. This can be attributed to the stabilization of blood pressure levels through the control of cholesterol contents of the body by the soluble fiber present in whole grains.Reduction in the Risk of Cancer Development: Around 40 researches have established that more than 20 types of cancers can be prevented by the consumption of whole grains. The antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamin E and fiber work together to prevent DNA damages and the formation of carcinogens. The insoluble fiber present in whole grains drive away the toxins from the digestive tract. Whole grains offer protection against the cancers of the stomach, colon, oral cavity, larynx, pharynx and esophagus.Now that you have made a plan to switch into a whole grain diet, make a plan to buy the grains from your nearest supermarket. You list should include barley, oats, millet, whole-wheat flour, brown rice, bulgur, rye flour, buckwheat and quinoa. Plan your diet beforehand and consider having whole-wheat pizzas and pastas as well!

Tags: Food, Benefits, Health, Wellness, Whole Grains, Fiber, Nutrition

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