The Whole Grains

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 Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.  Base your meals on food as nature originally produced (i.e. avoid things in packets), have good quality whole-grain cereals, veggies (for the record, potatoes don’t count as veggies for nutrition purposes – they’re just starch), some seasonal fruit, plenty of berries, some nuts and seeds and use sweeteners like raw honey.  By eating this way you will feel satisfied, lose cravings and reach an ideal weight. It’s not a fad, it’s how you were designed to eat.  Eat and enjoy!
 
 
 
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People whole eat grains reduce serious health risk also. The risk of heart disease drops 25-36% Risk of type 2 diabetes drops 21-27% Risk of digestive cancers drops 21-43% Risk of stroke drops 37%
Eating whole grains regularly has been found to reduce dangerous belly fat that is a great contributor to heart problems and other diseases, and drop blood pressure.  Kids who consume whole grains regularly have a lower risk of obesity and diabetes, have lower cholesterol levels, reduce their risk of asthma, feel fuller and more satisfied, and may have a significant decrease in acne. 
 
Why are whole grains so healthy?
Whole grains contain 3-5 times the vitamins and minerals found in refined grains. Corn has almost twice the antioxidants of apples, and wheat and oats almost equal the antioxidants of broccoli. Whole grain products offer a high amount of fiber ranging from 1g to 4g per serving. They provide you with long lasting energy, which helps to curb cravings throughout the day.
 
In a 100% whole grain food, the following counts as one serving:
½ cup of cooked pasta ½ cup of cooked rice 1 slice of bread 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal ½ cup of cooked cereal
Depending on age and activity level, the USDA recommends 6-11 servings of grain per day.  Most Americans consume enough grains, but at least ½ of those grains need to be whole grains.
 
Barley
One of the oldest cultivated grains. Has a tough hull, which is difficult to remove with out losing some bran. Pearled barely is not technically a whole grain, but is still high in fiber. Look for hulled barely or one of the new varieties of hull-less barely. The fiber in barely is especially healthy, and may lower cholesterol levels.
*Cooking Tip* Simmer 1 part barley in 4 parts water for 30 to 40 minutes
Buckwheat
Buckwheat is not considered a grain, but has been adopted into the whole grain family due to its nutrients, nutty flavor, and appearance. Buckwheat is the only grain with high levels of the antioxidant rutin. Studies have shown that rutin improves circulation and prevents LDL (bad) cholesterol from blocking blood vessels.
*Cooking Tip* Simmer 1 part buckwheat in 2 parts water for 15 minutes.
Bulgur
Bulgur is created when wheat kernels are dried, cracked, then sorted by size. Often used as a base for many Middle Eastern dishes. Convenient because it only takes approximately ten minutes to cook. The speedy cook time makes it ideal for creating side dishes or salads. Contains more fiber than corn, quinoa, oats, millet, and buckwheat. It has a mild flavor which makes it ideal for those new to whole grain use.
*Cooking Tip* Pour 1 ½ cups boiling water over 1 cup bulgur and let stand for 30 minutes.
Oats
Oats have a natural sweetness, which makes them a popular whole grain Ideal for a breakfast cereal Unlike most other grains, the bran and germ of oats are almost never removed during processing. Most oats in the US are flattened and steamed to create “Old Fashioned,” quick, or instant oats. For those who enjoy chewier nuttier texture, steel-cut oats will be more delightful. Studies have shown that oats contain a special fiber called beta-glucan, which is especially effective in lowering cholesterol. Research has also found that oats contain a unique antioxidant that protects blood vessels from the damaging effects of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
*Cooking Tip* Simmer 1 part oats in 2 parts water for 10 minutes and let stand for 2 minutes.
Rice
The removal of the bran and germ during refinement causes white rice to be removed from the whole grain category. Wholegrain rice is usually brown, but can also be found in a variety of colors. Brown rice is lower in fiber than most other whole grains, but is rich in other nutrients. Rice is one of the most easily digested grains, which makes it ideal for those on a restricted diet who are gluten-intolerant.
*Cooking Tip* Simmer 1 part rice in 2 parts water for 15 to 20 minutes.
Rye
Rye is an unusual grain because of the high level of fiber in the endosperm In other grains, typically, high levels of fiber will be found in the bran. Because of this, bran is a great choice for diabetics. The type of fiber in rye provides a rapid feeling of fullness, making it a great choice for those who are trying to lose weight.
*Cooking Tip for Rye Berries* Soak overnight, then simmer 1 part rye berries in 4 parts water for 1 hour.
Corn
Corn is often dismissed at a nutrient poor starch and a second rate grain/vegetable. However, research is now finding that corn is the most antioxidant-rich grain. Corn has twice the antioxidant activity of apples To find whole grain cornmeal, avoid labels that say “de-germinated”.
*Cooking Tip for Cornmeal* Simmer 1 part cornmeal in 4 parts water for 30 minutes.
Wheat
This is the grain that dominates the grain scene, due to its high level of gluten. Gluten is the stretchy protein that allows bakers to give rise to their products. Therefore, without some wheat, it would be nearly impossible to give a satisfying rise to bread dough. This grain is widely used in pasta and breads, but can also be cooked as a breakfast cereal, or used as an excellent side dish.
*Cooking Tips* Wheat berries:  Soak overnight, then simmer 1 part wheat berries in 3 parts water for 2 hours.
Wheat, cracked:  Simmer 1 part cracked wheat in 2 parts water for 25 minutes.
Wild Rice
Tends to be high price and strong flavor. Because of this, wild rice is usually mixed with other rice or grains. Wild rice has twice the protein and fiber of brown rice, but less iron and calcium.
*Cooking Tip* Simmer 1 part rice in 3 parts water for 45 minutes to 60 minutes.
 
Amaranth
This whole grain was a staple of the Aztec culture, and is becoming more popular in today’s culture. Has a peppery taste At 16%, has a  higher level of protein than most other grains It is popular in cereal, breads, muffins, crackers, bread, and pancakes
*Cooking Tips* Simmer 1 part amaranth in 3 parts water for 20 to 25 minutes.
Farro/Emmer
Emmer is an ancient strand of wheat that is especially popular in gourmet cooking. Semolina flour, made from emmer, is used  for special soups and other dishes. This whole grain has also been known for making the best pasta. Can be found at your local Italian grocer.
Millet
This grain is not common in the United States. Commonly served in India, China, South America, Russia, and the Himalayas. This grain is often toasted or mixed with other grains before used in cooking. Can be white, gray, yellow, or red.
*Cooking Tips* Simmer 1 part millet in 2 parts water for 25 to 30 minutes.
Quinoa
Quinoa comes from the Incas in the Andes. It cooks in approximately 10-12 minutes, making it a great fluffy side dish It is ideal for incorporating into soups, salads, and baked goods such as processed cereal flakes. Most quinoa should be rinsed before use to avoid a slightly bitter taste. Quinoa is abundant in complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own.
*Cooking Tip* Rinse before using.  Simmer 1 part quinoa in 2 parts water for 30 to 40 minutes.
Spelt
Spelt was widely cultivated until the use of fertilizers and mechanical harvesting became more prevalent. This whole grain can be used to replace common wheat in most recipes. The health benefit is that it contains more protein than most forms of wheat.
Teff
Teff grains are extremely small and are approximately 1/150 of the size of wheat kernels. All teff is whole grain because it is simply too small to mill. This grain is widely popular in Ethiopia, India, and Australia, but is now becoming more well known for its sweet molasses-like flavor and for versatility. Teff has over twice the iron of other grains and three times the calcium.
Triticale
Triticale is a hybrid of durum wheat and rye. Today, about 80% of triticale is grown in Europe, and is able to be grown without commercial fertilizers and pesticides, making it ideal for organic and sustainable farming.
 
 
      “For breakfast, choose whole-grain cereals such as Wheaties, oatmeal or whole-grain toast. For lunch, make your sandwich with whole-grain bread, and at dinner choose a brown rice pilaf or whole-grain pasta. And in the end of day you can choose popcorn for a tasty whole-grain snack” said Kathleen Poore, registered dietitian and a program specialist with the Ann Arbor VA Health System.
 
 
 
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