Cereal Grains are an integral part of Indian diet and different grains form staple diets of people in different parts of the country. The commonly consumed grains in India include wheat, rice, bajra, jowar, etc.1
Have you ever wondered about the difference between whole grains and refined grains?
Whole grains contain all 3 parts of the grain- the bran, the endosperm and the germ. The ‘bran’ and ‘germ’ sections of the grain contain soluble fibre, multiple vitamins, and iron. Whole grain foods retain these nutritious stores of the grain, while refined grains are milled to remove the bran and germ to give the grain a finer texture which makes refined grains devoid of nutrients present in bran & germ.
Figure: Cross section of a wholegrain
One should aim to consume at least half of the total grains consumed as wholegrains. It is recommended to consume 6 servings of any grain products. Hence you need to make at least 3 serves (1serve=16g) as whole grains2 .What’s great though, is that finding your wholegrain fix is rather easy. Here are just a few ways to do so:-
Breakfast: Instead of white bread or drinking just a glass of milk or juice, consume a bowl of Quaker Oats porridge. One serve of Quaker Oats (35g) helps to meet 73% of your daily wholegrain requirement.
Lunch: Instead of consuming white rice, you can choose brown rice. You can also improve the soluble fibre content of your whole wheat rotis (Indian flat bread) by inclusion of Quaker Oats. Grind Quaker Oats and use the Quaker Oats flour in addition to wheat flour to make your rotis.
Evening Snack: You can make Poha, Upma, using Quaker Oats or go for quick & simple snacking with Quaker Flavoured Oats(sweet or savory options).
Dinner: Make a heart healthy salad with inclusion of whole grains. Roast Quaker Oats & add to your salad vegetables with little dressing. This would not only give you crunchy taste but help you get the whole grain serve that you truly need.
Oats power your life with more protein and soluble dietary fibre content (Beta Glucan)than other common whole grains, in every gram.
These supergrains are often considered the powerhouse of nutrition because they contain all three parts of the grain.
How do whole grains benefit me? Lowers the risk of developing heart disease.
Diets that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol and rich in whole grain foods, like Quaker Oats, may reduce the risk of heart disease. Eat at least 3 servings of whole grains daily.
Promotes satiety, which is important for weight management.
Since whole grains are high in complex carbohydrates and fibre, they promote a feeling of fullness. Filling up on nutritious foods like whole grains is a smart thing to do when you're trying to watch your weight.
Whole Grains and Type 2 Diabetes.
Researchers continue to evaluate the effect of diets rich in whole grain foods and their effects on risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Helps keep you regular.
Whole grain foods can help keep you regular and promote a healthy digestive system. The fibre in whole grains help increase stool weight and decreases the amount of time it takes for it to pass through your intestines. This helps promote regularity.
Reduces your risk of developing certain types of cancer.
The substances in whole grains that help protect against heart disease may also help prevent certain kinds of cancer, including cancers of the colon, stomach, and prostate. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, the outer layer of whole grains contains high amounts of cancer-fighting phytochemicals, including lignans and phenols.
Whole grains and blood pressure.
The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a dietary pattern recommended by health professionals to help promote healthy blood pressure. The diet includes rich amounts of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and plenty of whole grains. Research shows that whole grains in the DASH diet make important contributions to the overall nutrient intake, as well as, specific nutrients associated with positive effects on blood pressure.
2.Satya S. Jonnalagadda, Lisa Harnack, Rui Hai Liu, Nicola Mc Keown, Chris Seal,Simin Liu, and George C. Fahey (2011).Putting the Whole Grain Puzzle Together: Health Benefits Associated with Whole Grains.Journal of Nutrition
The Fibre Factor
We all know that fibre is vital for our health. However, what’s little known is the fact that dietary fibre that comes from plants isn’t really digested or absorbed by our bodies.
There are two main types of fibre – insoluble & soluble. Both have health benefits but only soluble fibre reduces the risk of heart disease by helping to lower LDL cholesterol.
What differentiates the two is the path they take through the digestive tract. Insoluble fibre goes through it undissolved. Soluble fibre dissolves into a gel-like substance in the intestine. The substance helps block cholesterol and fats from being absorbed into the blood stream.1
Research has shown that foods high in fibre are good for digestive tract. Eating foods rich in fibre can help you feel full on fewer calories, which makes it a good choice if you need to lose weight. The National cholesterol educational program for cholesterol treatment & guidelines have recognized inclusion of soluble fibre as a treatment option to drop blood cholesterol levels.1
Contains Beta Glucan Fibre that helps reduce cholesterol¤
May help reduce the risk of high Blood Pressure**
Helps maintain weight*
+ Whole grains provide energy & are a source of dietary fibre.
¤ 3g of soluble fibre daily from Oats, in a diet low in saturated fat & cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. As part of a balanced diet low in saturated fat & cholesterol and accompanied by a healthy & active lifestyle. (USFDA Guidelines)
** Diets low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure (BP), a disease associated with many factors. Individuals with high blood pressure should consult their physician (USFDA Guidelines)
* Oats are a rich source of dietary fibre. Diets rich in fibre may help maintain weight. (USDA Dietary Guidelines 2010)
ǂ As per CODEX Alimentarius Commission Guidelines.
What Is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat like substance found in the walls of cells in all parts of the body. The body uses cholesterol to make hormones, bile acids, vitamin D and other substances. The body makes all the cholesterol that it needs. Cholesterol circulates in the bloodstream but cannot travel by itself. So cholesterol travels in packages called lipoproteins, which have fat (lipid) inside & protein outside.
The Hearty Tale
Research has shown that every 1 percent decrease in total cholesterol is associated with a 2 percent reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease.*