How many types of grains do we eat daily?
One or two – wheat (as part of roti, chapati, sooji, biscuits, bread, noodles) and rice (cooked as pulao or biryani, idli, poha, bhel). Occasionally, we may consume sabudana, corn, soya. Broadly there are two types of grains we eat – whole and refined.
The key difference is whole wheat foods provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories, whereas, refined foods are stripped of natural fibers, vitamins and minerals. Thus, the later pass through our body without adding any value to us. We come across enough dose of information telling us eating whole grains or multi-grain items is more beneficial than eating refined grains. However, time, convenience, cost often does not allow us to ensure we eat the right thing. Especially, when eating out or buying ready-to-eat items.
However, the growing awareness and consciousness around healthy eating is encouraging responsible vendors and eating places to come up with options that make us feeling satisfied and full (without emptying our wallets).
Stores are nowadays stocking variety of multi-grain slice breads, whole-wheat pasta and brown rice.
Restaurants are offering sandwiches made of multi-grain bread and even pizza made of multi-grain crust is not so unheard of today.
Ideally, any grain product needs to be consumed fresh, and not contain preservatives or additives to make it last longer. Further, at least half of all the grains eaten should be whole grains. These healthy options do not have sound boring at all. Incorporate whole grains into your healthy eating plan by adding whole-wheat cereals or sandwich on whole-wheat bread to breakfast, a multi-grain pizza at lunch or whole-wheat pasta or whole-wheat pita bread at dinner. You could also try popcorn (without added butter, caramel or cheese) for a mid-meal snack. Sounds interesting? Try out for a month and see the difference how active and energized you feel.
On a serious note, did you know that eating a diet rich in whole grains could lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes? Whole grains contain fiber, vitamin E, and healthy fats. They help keep your blood sugar steady and your arteries clear.
You’d think it’d be simple. Eating grains is as old as… well, agriculture. But within the last century the industrialized grains we eat have become quite corrupt.
Refined flours have invaded their way into just about every baked good: breads, cereals, biscuits, desserts, you name it. But even whole grains — the so-called “healthy” alternative — are dangerously devoid of nutrients thanks to our modern methods of grain preparation.
In tight economic times, you want to squeeze every bit of nutrition out of your food as you possibly can. So, if you eat grains, consider what you have read on this page as the most nutritious way to extracting the best from your basic food – anaaj.