Are Healthy Whole Grains…Healthy??

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Grains are foods including bread, pasta, cereals, oats, bran, and barley. While these foods are generally recommended and touted as heart healthy and full of fiber, there may be better options in this area. Although these foods are staples in the American diet, they don’t quite pack as powerful of a nutritional punch as fruits and vegetables. When compared side by side, a diet high in fruits and vegetables to one high in grains fairs much better in the fiber and mineral department.

Another major factor is the ratio of fatty acids in our diet. There are inflammation causing omega 6 fatty acids and inflammation reducing omega 3 fatty acids. Grains, legumes, and dairy products make up large portions of our diet which means a lot of omega 6 fatty acids and subsequent inflammation. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in healthy fats, some fruits like avocado, cold water fish, grass fed chicken and beef. A diet higher in these quality foods can promote a systemic anti-inflammatory effect in the body. When the ratio of Omega 6 fats far outweighs Omega 3, seen in the standard American diet, inflammation runs rampant.

Although it may seem hard to give up bagels, bread, and pasta, you can start by replacing a half a portion with green fibrous vegetables or a serving of protein. Minor changes in your choice of snacks can make a big difference in your overall health and maybe even your waistline.

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