Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Don’t Fear Grains

Have you ever found yourself confused on what to eat or what not to eat? You should know you are not alone. We are heavily influenced by society and bombarded by media headlines on the latest diet or food obsession. It’s easy for influencers or the media to create a message that grabs attention, but only tells half the story. Carbohydrates, specifically in grains, have been accused of everything from causing weight gain to diabetes. 

Substantial scientific evidence supports that grains can and should be part of a balanced diet to provide us with energy, fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (which are like tiny super heroes that fight oxidative stress). Spending time to learn about the best grain options in the store when you shop is time well spent. Keep in mind, when you design your weekly meal plans try to include half of your grains as whole grains. While look over your product to see if it is wholegrain for the word “WHOLE” as the first ingredient. Experiment with adding a whole new side of whole grains such as quinoa, barley, millet, spelt and amaranth. Trying a new way to eat whole grains can be fun, interesting and a nutrition-boost for the whole family.

How much you need should be tailored to your age, sex and activity level to appropriately fuel your body and your mind. MyPlate has some excellent resources, like this GRAINS TABLE that will help you tailor your servings to your actual needs.

Whether it’s improving your pancake game by including whole grain flour or choosing a whole grain tortilla to make tacos, remember “don’t fear the grain aisle!” Grains aren’t the enemy. Keep half your grains as whole grains and you’ll be well on your way to a happier, healthier you!

This blog post is in collaboration with Ultragrain White Whole Wheat Flour.  Thank you for supporting the products that allow me to do what I love as a professional triathlete and dietitian!  The views expressed here are my own!    

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