Whole grains or refined grains. Does it matter to you? Yes it does - in a very big way.
Generally referred to as cereals, both are seeds of grasses grown for food. They come in many shapes and sizes and are considered to be excellent sources of complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
Examples include: Corn, millet, oats, rice, sorghum and wheat. Others, although grouped together with cereals, such as amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa are not really true cereal grains as they do not belong to the same Poaceae botanical family of the true grasses.
However, they are regarded as "pseudo-grains" because their use, preparation and nutritional profiles bear a remarkable similarity to those of the true grasses.
1) Whole grains. Unrefined grains that contain all the naturally occurring nutrients and essential parts of the entire grain seed:
2) Refined grains. Processed grains that have had both the germ and the bran removed to give them a supposedly "smoother texture" and to prolong their shelf life.
The refining process removes up to 80% of a grain’s nutrients and fiber - ouch! Examples include white rice and white flour. White bread, desserts and pastries are some the products made with refined grains.
3) Enriched grains. Some of the nutrients, but not the lost fiber, removed during processing are added back in. They may also be fortified with nutrients that do not naturally occur in the grains such as iron and folic acid.
Very quick answer: The whole grains. Why? Well, all the original nutrients - including the fiber, remain intact. This is what you get:
Bottom line: You get the best deal nutrition, texture and flavor wise. Just the way nature intended.
Those who eat them as a part of a healthy balanced diet experience many benefits. It’s the whole package of the grain, all the nutrients intact and working together, that confer the following health benefits.
The above tips should more than help you increase your consumption of whole grains. There are many other ways you can integrate these healthy grains into your diet. The only limit is your imagination.
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