Myth or truth: Grain products make me fat
A grain product is any food that is made from wheat, rice, oats, barley, or another grain. Grains are divided into two subgroups: whole grains and refined grains. Whole grains contain the entire germ of the seed—the bran, the germ, and the endosperm.
Some examples are brown rice and whole wheat bread, cereals, and pasta. The refined grains have been ground, a process through which the bran and the germ are removed. This is done to give the grains a finer texture and increase the shelf life of perishables, however, it does remove dietary fiber, iron, and many of the B vitamins.
People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet may lower their chances of developing some chronic diseases. The government’s dietary guidelines suggest that half of the grains you eat should be whole grains. For example, select bread that has 100 percent whole-wheat flour instead of white bread, and brown rice instead of white rice.
Tip: To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories and increase the amount of exercise or physical activity you get each day. Establish and follow a healthy eating plan that replaces less healthy options with a mix of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein foods, and low-fat dairy:
- Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and dairy products.
- Limit added sugars, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and saturated fats, also known as “solid fats,” which are the fats that come from fatty meats and high-fat dairy products like butter.
- Eat proteins that are low in fat like beans, eggs, fish, lean meats, nuts, and chicken or turkey.
Eat vegetables and fruits of all colors!
When you fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, choose foods with a variety of rich colors. This way you will get a variety of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
- Red bell peppers, cherries, cranberries, red onions, beets, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon
- Green avocados, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, dark lettuce, grapes, honeydew melon, kale, kiwis, spinach, Italian green squash (“zuchinni”)
- Orange and yellow apricots, plantains or bananas, melons, papaya, carrots, mangoes, oranges, peaches or peaches, pumpkins, sweet potatoes (sweet potatoes)
- Blue and purple berries, blueberries, grapes, plums, purple cabbage, purple carrots, purple potatoes