IN: Whole Grains
OUT: Refined Grains
Refined grains and whole grains may seem similar, but they are quite different. Whole grains are more than just starch, containing up to 25 percent of other goodies, including protein, fiber, and added healthy omega-3's, along with a complex mixture of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients. The refining process strips away much of what is best about grains and can leave a white product that may be up to 94 percent starch. This makeover changes the way grains are absorbed and used by the body and the effect they have on blood sugar, even though a few simple vitamins and iron are added back.
At a minimum, half of all grains we eat should be whole grains. Less than 5 percent of Americans are meeting this modest goal, according to the USDA. Start with starches. When it comes to pasta, sandwich breads, bagels, dinner rolls, or hamburger buns, opt for whole grain.