Whole Grains Month – what’s your new grain of choice?


It’s Whole Grains Month, a time to celebrate these nuggets of goodness. They’re not just delicious but they also offer a diverse array of weaponry to fight disease. Eating whole grains, rather refined ones, are linked to easier weight management, better blood sugar regulation, decreased blood cholesterol levels and a lower risk of heart disease and stroke along with reduced odds of developing certain cancers.

While nutrient labels of refined grain products may appear to packed with a long list of nutrients, there are a few things to keep in mind. For one, though some nutrients, such as folic acid, may be added back to the refined grain product, the additions don’t come near to replacing nature’s own grain package. Vitamins and minerals may sometimes be easily replaced or added back, the phytonutrients are not. Some have yet to be measured or even identified.

In a recent study, scientists investigated how the nutrients in corn are impacted as corn is processed into cornflakes breakfast cereal. They looked at various nutrients at 5 points throughout the process (whole kernel, flaked grit, cooked grit, baked grit, and toasted cornflake) and saw a large decrease in phenolic compounds (those substances with antioxidant action properties) after the whole kernel was milled into flaked grits and when the bran and germ were removed.

To keep abreast of the latest research on whole grains, check out the Oldways Whole Grains Council website Health Studies page. While you’re visiting the website, you can find information of how to cook new whole grain products you’re not familiar with. Then go the recipe section and choose a delicious way to prepare it.

Now some of you or your families may balk at the term delicious when talking about whole grains. Yes, it’s true that many refined grain products are quite bland and, as a result, may be more pleasing to some palates. But eating  whole grains on a regular basis, even just small amounts, can make a difference and actually lead to a preference for whole grains.

To help you change what’s on your plate (and your loved ones), the Oldways Whole Grains Council offers a dozen ways to celebrate Whole Grains Month. They have a list of “baby-steps” to post on your fridge, and try as many as possible this month.

A few examples include:

• I’ll buy three different loaves of whole-grain bread and taste all of them to see which one we like best.

• I’ll serve bulgur or brown rice instead of potatoes with dinner one night this month.

Here are more steps to consider.

Stay tuned as I’ll be offering more on whole grain goodness throughout the month.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Whole Foods

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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2 Comments on “Whole Grains Month – what’s your new grain of choice?”

  1. Linsa
    September 10, 2018 at 9:26 pm #

    I always have a container of mixed grains in my fridge. Favourites include Farro,black or red quinoa, barley. I use them to top salads or use in a grain bowl, or wrap, to stuff peppers or zucchini. I also love freekah especially as a base for Turkish olive, pomegranate grain salads.

    • September 11, 2018 at 6:10 pm #

      That grain mix sounds delicious, Linsa. I love the texture of all those grains but have not tried them together. Thanks for the ideas. Being prepared makes such a difference in providing meals with top notch nutrition and you certainly sound prepared!

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