Oats are especially beneficial, having been shown to reduce cholesterol. They also may help regulate blood sugar levels and can aid in weight control.
To make sure you're getting true unrefined products, choose foods that name one of the following whole-grain ingredients first on the label: whole oats, whole wheat, brown rice, bulgur, oatmeal, whole-grain corn. Don't be fooled by a healthy-sounding product name, especially on breads: Terms like "stone-ground," "100% wheat,'' "cracked wheat," "multi grain," or "bran" do not necessarily mean the product is made from a whole grain.
Here are some easy ways to get more whole grains into your diet:
- Use brown rice instead of white rice - make sure the first ingredient is "brown rice."
- Eat bread with "whole oats," whole rye," or "whole wheat " as the first ingredient.
- Make sure cereal with oats in the name actually has "whole grain oats" as the first ingredient.
- Use whole wheat flour instead of white flour in recipes.