What are some common misconceptions about whole grains?
First, some people think eating whole grains will make them fat. Surprise, surprise, though: eating whole grains can actually lower belly fat and help you lose weight over time. Basically, as long as you stick with whole grains rather than refined grains, you’re doing your “body mass” a favor.
Next, some think that all whole grains are the same. That’s not true. Grains have different flavors and benefits. Take, for instance, quinoa– with its anti-inflammatory properties, it can lead to weight loss and improved brain cell activity. How about millet? It’s considered the alkalizing grain. With its sweet taste, it can actually help calm your sugar cravings while supporting your spleen and pancreas. Do a little research and you’ll discover the wonderful diversity of whole grains.
One popular misconception about whole grains is that they taste bland and/or boring. Maybe you just need to try some of the lesser-known grains, like bulgar or teff, and/or mix different grains together. Try adding grains to sauces. Season them with herbs and spices. You can pair grains with other flavors to help enhance the overall taste.
Are you going gluten-free? Certain whole grains are gluten-free, including amaranth, quinoa, millet, rice and teff. Which grains contain gluten? That would be semolina, malt, bulgur, couscous, faro, matzo meal, panko, udon, durum, rye and barley, so avoid those if you’re eating gluten-free.
If you think refined grains are the same as whole grains, they’re not. Whole grains are essentially seeds full of nutrients… while refined grains have been stripped of a percentage of their nutrients.
Do you think whole grains cause inflammation? Yes, they eventually turn into a form of sugar when consumed, but studies have shown eating whole grains actually reduces inflammation. How about your blood pressure? Have your heard eating too many whole grains in your diet will give you high blood pressure? If you’re eating unprocessed whole grains, you don’t have to worry– they won’t mess with your blood pressure. In fact, they might actually help lower it.
If you don’t already incorporate whole grains into your daily diet, try adding some. Look for whole grain foods at your local grocery store, including good old whole grain, air-popped popcorn, a low calorie/high fiber snack.