Opt for the “Whole!”

Carbohydrates are always scrutinized when weight loss and fitness is at the top of mind. The truth remains, carbohydrates (the proper, energy boosting carbohydrates) are your body’s main energy source. They will help you feel better in your workout, have more energy throughout the day, decrease food cravings and lose weight! Think of putting gas in your car – you car will not run on lower quality gas. Your body has the same function – if you provide your body with low quality fuel, it will function at a lower level as well! Choosing the healthiest carbohydrate can be confusing. The BEST source of healthy fiber and energy is GRAINS. (Whole grains to be exact!) Finding a whole grain in the long, confusing grocery store aisles can be a chore in itself. Here is a guide to choosing the healthiest grains – with the WHOLE nutritional punch!

The information needed to find a whole grain can be found directly on the food label. The wording and marketing claims on the front of a product can be misleading! If a box of sugary cereal says “contains whole grain”, it may CONTAIN whole grain, but is likely not a WHOLE grain. You can find all the necessary information about the WHOLE grains on the nutritional food label. The first thing you should do when searching for a whole grain is to look down to the ingredients label. The first ingredient should always be listed as a WHOLE grain. There should be minimal ingredients present. If there added sugars or other “enriched” ingredients – it is likely not a whole grain. The only exception to this rule is bran – bran is a whole grain – it is actually the outer coating on a wheat kernel. If you see bran, it is still a good choice. Bran cereal can be a filling choice for breakfast with some fruit and fat free milk!

The second place to search on the label is under the carbohydrate section of the label. The actually nutrient composition of a whole grain is 10 grams of carbohydrate for 1 gram of fiber. If you see a product with 40 grams of carbohydrate with 1 gram of fiber –it is likely not a whole grain. If you see a product with 20 grams of total carbohydrate and 2 grams of fiber – it could be a whole grain. Check the ingredients! Remember – companies will try to trick you into purchasing products that are not WHOLE grain by making them look more appealing and healthy! By increasing your knowledge of common and healthful grains, you can make a healthier choice for your family. You should aim to eat most of your grains coming from WHOLE grains – at least 3-5 servings per day!

Below is a list of the most common whole grains to look for at the grocery store:

  • Quinoa
  • Wheat Berries
  • Oats
  • Brown Rice
  • Whole Grain Breads and Products (Including Cracked Wheat, Bulgur)
  • Whole Wheat Pasta
  • Amaranth
  • Barley
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn – Cornmeal and Popcorn
  • Millet
  • Rye
  • Sorghum
  • Teff



If you are in need of assistance with meal planning to incorporate more whole grains, please call to set up a FREE nutrition consult with our RD! (330) 702-1311, or visit our website at www.FTYoungstown.com

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Posted by on April 15, 2013. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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