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Is Whole Grains Really Healthy? Let’s Find Out

Updated: Jun 20, 2023



Whole grains are the entire grain that contains all the three natural parts – the fibre-rich bran,

the nutrient-packed germ and the starchy endosperm. They are more nutritious because they contain more dietary fibre and several other nutrients and phytonutrients.




Bran contains: dietary fibre, B vitamins, iron, zinc, and other minerals

Endosperm contains: mainly carbohydrates, some proteins, small amounts of vitamins and minerals, and phytonutrients

Germ contains: B vitamins, vitamin E, unsaturated fatty acids and phytonutrients




Refined grains are refined white grains to make white products, such as white rice, white bread, refined flour, the bran and germ are removed, leaving only the endosperm. Thus, they don’t contain as much nutrients as whole grains.


Benefits



1. Maintain healthy body weight

- Dietary fibre in whole grains helps to promote a feeling of fullness, thus eating whole grains regularly may decrease the risk of obesity and weight gain



2. Promote regular bowel movement & gut health

- Attributable to high dietary fibre content which helps to regulate bowel movements, prevent constipation and promote healthy gut microbiota.




3. Lower blood cholesterol & stabilise blood sugar level

- Whole grains have valuable antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamin E, trace minerals and dietary fibre that help to reduce risk of some diet-related chronic diseases e.g. cardiovascular disease, diabetes & cancers


Make the switch!



Refined wheat pasta > Whole wheat pasta

Crackers > Whole grain crackers

White rice > Brown rice

White bread > Wholemeal bread

White flour > Whole wheat flour



How to incorporate whole grains in diet?



1. Breakfast

- 1 cup wholegrain cereals / oats with milk

- 1 slice of wholemeal bread toast with eggs




2. Lunch/ Dinner

- make sandwiches using wholemeal bread

- mix brown rice with white rice for your chap fan rice

- Try whole wheat pasta or brown rice mee hoon, replacing the usual pasta & noodles




3. Baking/ Cooking own meal

- Use whole grain flour when cooking / baking with your favourite breads, muffins or cookies

- Add oats to thicken gravy & stews



In Summary:


Incorporating whole grains into your diet can have numerous health benefits, including maintaining a healthy body weight, promoting regular bowel movement and gut health, and lowering blood cholesterol and stabilizing blood sugar levels. It is recommended to consume at least half of your daily cereals and cereal-based products from whole grains. Making simple switches like choosing wholemeal bread over white bread can help increase your intake of whole grains. Additionally, incorporating whole grains into your meals can be as simple as having whole grain cereals or oats with milk for breakfast or making sandwiches with wholemeal bread for lunch or dinner.

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