In recent years, consumer demands for healthier foods have been undergoing monumental changes, swinging from low-carb, high-protein products to nutrient-rich food with easy-to-understand ingredient panels. Consumers want to know the source and ingredients of the foods and how these items can positively impact their health.
With greater knowledge of the nutrition profile of food products and ill effects of overly processed foods, consumers are recognizing whole grains can play a significant part in a complete healthy diet. Moreover, the evolving food landscape has led to increased use of whole grains in a wide range of food products.
Whole Grains vs. Refined Grains – Make the Right Choice
Refined grains are widely used in various food products, owing to soft and easy-to-digest attributes. However, these grains are highly processed and stripped of valuable nutrients in the refining process. As researchers have begun to look more closely at the lack of nutrients in refined grains, they are learning that whole grains provide a ‘complete package’ of health benefits.
With an increasing amount of studies showing various advantages of whole grains and possible detrimental effects of their refined counterparts, consumers are recommended to choose whole grains for a healthy diet. Research has also shown that eating whole grains instead of refined variants substantially lower bad cholesterol and risk of type 2 diabetes.
Rich Source of Fiber
One of the key advantages of whole grains is their fiber content. While protein-rich foods continue to invade the routine dietary practices of a large number of people, a huge ‘fiber gap’ is still left. The bran of whole grains, otherwise stripped in refined grains, is a rich source of fiber. When included in a healthy eating pattern, the fiber in whole grains may reduce the risk of constipation and coronary disease. Scientific research has also linked the intake of fiber with the prevention of various lifestyle diseases.
Aid in Digestion
Packed with dietary fiber, whole grains help promote a healthy digestive system and keep the bowel moving regularly. Studies have shown that the consumption of whole grains has modest positive effects on the gut microbiota and boosts the production of short-chain fatty acids. These effects are important for digestive health as well as the functioning of the immune system. Further, the fiber moves through the entire digestive tract which adds bulk to the stool and results in bowel regularity and lower incidence of constipation.
Better Weight Management
Another advantage of whole grains is that it helps reduce the calories extracted from foods and slightly boosts the metabolic rate. In the view of spiking cases of obesity and subsequent health consciousness among the world’s population, the inclusion of whole grains in the human diet has been on a significant rise. Moreover, whole grain products are more filling than products made from refined grains which not only helps in weight management but also lowers the risk of obesity.
New Trend In Immune-Boosting – Don’t Miss Key Advantages Of Whole Grains
Keep Blood Sugar in Check
Over the recent past, diabetes or high blood sugar level has become a significant health problem in various geographies. Increasing prevalence of such lifestyle diseases has been prompting a need for changes in dietary habits. Studies have linked whole grain intake to improved insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. It is important to note that milled or refined grains have a higher glycemic index than minimally processed whole grains that helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. The fiber in whole grains is harder to break down and stabilizes the blood sugar.
In the wake of the gluten-free era, whole grains in general and wheat-free flour in particular are advancing in both daily diets and the food industry. Apart from fiber, whole grains and products like wheat-free flour are rich in nutrients including antioxidants, proteins, vitamins, and minerals which are essential for overall health.