Grains play an important role to a healthy, balanced diet. It is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, and is packed with minerals and vitamins. However, not all grains are made equal. There are a few key ways to identify the healthier options.
The healthiest option is whole grains. They are unrefined and have not been milled or stripped of their nutrients. It also is a good source of fiber, magnesium, potassium, selenium and other important nutrients. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, that we should, “Consume at least half of all grains as whole grains. Increase whole-grain intake by replacing refined grains with whole grains.”
In order to meet this requirement, eat various breads, pastas and cereals. The market is loaded with tons of products that can become confusing. The first step to choosing the correct grains is by reading the nutrition label. As vegetarians and vegans, we should already be used to checking this before purchasing.
When we look at the nutrition label, the ingredients will appear in descending order based on volume. The most prevalent ingredient will be listed first. With that said, the first ingredient on the label should be whole grain. Also, look out breads that contain whole-wheat flour or 100 percent whole-wheat flour.
The ingredients should not include the following:
• Wheat flour
• Enriched bleached flour
• Unbleached flour
• Stone-ground wheat flour
If the bread is brown and has wheat in the ingredients, this does not always meal it is healthy, high-fiber, whole-grain selection.
Packages are loaded with marketing, which can become confusing for the consumers. Keep in mind there are misleading nutritional claims. It does not matter if the package reads...