Eat more whole grains and love it
Getting more whole grains into your diet is easy, and believe it or not, they taste great too! Eating more whole grains will provide specific vitamins and key minerals to ward off illness such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and even obesity. You need to eat three or more servings of whole grains per day for optimum health. But, it can be tricky if you don’t know how. Here are some tips to help you get there and love it.
Read Labels — The words, “Whole Grain” or “Whole Wheat” must be on the ingredients label. Also, for added benefit try not to buy any item that has sugars before the third ingredient. Ingredients are listed in order of amount and “Whole” should be first. In addition there are some seals to look for on the packaging such as the Whole Grain seal, and a statement about whole grains reducing the risk of heart disease. These are not allowed to be on anything that is not made with Whole Grain but having said that, still read the label and check for added sugars and chemicals. You want the most pure product you can find.
Start Eating — It’s simplest to start with cereal if you eat cereal for breakfast. If you don’t, there is a way to eat cereal that will keep you full longer. Try mixing the types of cereals. Some oats, some granola, some mini wheat’s, add in a whole banana, or other fruits and raisins. The trick is, do not use added sugar cereals even if it is “whole grain”. Use honey to sweeten it, or you can use already sweetened Almond Milk which makes the cereal taste great and has more calcium than cow’s milk.
Be Sneaky — A lot of kids will turn up their noses at anything you tell them is healthy. It doesn’t have to be this way. You can sneak in whole grains to any food. Try adding freshly ground flax seeds to casseroles, spaghetti sauce, soups and stews, meatballs, and even salads. It will add a lovely nutty flavor as a garnish and mixed in, more than likely no one will even taste the difference.
Start Replacing — You don’t have to start over night but start replacing anything you eat now such as rice, breads, pasta, flours, with the whole grain equivalent. You can even use oatmeal flour instead of regular flour for a tasty alternative in baking. Believe it or not, after a couple of months, if you try to go back to the white versions, you won’t like them. Whole Grain actually tastes a lot better.
Change Techniques — You may need to learn new cooking techniques to ensure the best taste of your healthy food. For instance, the best way to cook brown rice is to cook it the same way you do pasta. Place 2 cups of rice in 8 cups of boiling water. Boil for 30 minutes, drain, place back in the empty pot, cover with a lid for 10 minutes for the best rice anywhere, perfect and fluffy, every single time. Rice cookers can make brown rice (and white) mushy and tasteless, this method makes it wonderful.