What Makes Whole Grains More Beneficial Than Refined Grains?

Many health columns now suggest consuming whole grains. Have you ever thought why whole grains are better for you than refined grains? Whole grain foods contain more fiber as compared to the refined grains like white bread, which is the main reason why consuming whole grains is better for you.

Fiber is helpful in limiting blood glucose, hence consuming whole grain helps to keep blood glucose in control. Also it offers satiety and manages blood sugar levels, so you don’t feel hungry easily. Fiber is also known to improve insulin resistance. Even though the overall carbs in refined grained products and whole grain products is almost same, consuming whole grains in optimal amount is more beneficial.

Benefits of Whole Grain Food

What are Grains?

Grains are small seeds which are hard and dry, they are available without hull. Legumes and cereals are two different kinds of grains which are cultivated for human consumption. You can find varying types of foods produced from grains for example oatmeal, tortillas, bread and pasta etc. These food items are made of varying grains such as barley, wheat, corn, rice or a combination of many. Grains are essential for human health as they are a rich source of carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins and minerals.

Benefits of Whole Grain Food

Whole grain food usually includes every part of the grain kernel, the germ, the endosperm and the bran. Whole grains are known to source healthy nutrients such as vitamin E, B and different kinds of minerals like copper, magnesium and selenium and zinc, which helps to maintain health.

It is believed that whole grains are a better food alternative than the refined food as natural ingredients are not taken away. Whole grains offer benefits like

  • Controlling blood sugar
  • Reduce blood cholesterol
  • Maintaining blood pressure
  • Managing weight and body fat
  • Maintaining steady source of energy
  • Regularizing bowel movements and relief from gastric troubles.

Food items like brown rice, whole wheat, oats and multigrain products offer benefits of whole grains, which are better for you than refined grains. Unprocessed starches are also rich in whole grains such as sweet potatoes, squash, potatoes and corn. These items are having little to no fat. When these vegetables are consumed with the skin on them, they offer more fiber and nutrients.

On the other hand, refined grains, they are milled and processed differently. During the milling process the germ and bran is removed together with varying other nutrients. When refined grains are fortified, few nutrients are added back but replacing all the lost ones are practically not possible and the natural element is not there. Hence refined foods are having less nutrient resources. They are usually low in fiber and only able to offer short lived energy.

What Makes Whole Grains More Beneficial Than Refined Grains?

A number of health benefits inevitably confirm that whole grains are more beneficial than refined grains. After learning about the facts and benefits of whole grains, people have started consuming whole grains instead of refined grains.

  • Whole grains contain all parts of the grain, which makes whole grains a rich source of important fiber and proteins. Fiber is one important element which helps one feeling full and also controls fluctuations of blood sugar. Sometime digested food suddenly increases the sugar level and an empty stomach may cause low blood sugar level. But whole grain prevents this and helps to regulate blood sugar levels at all times. Fiber also helps in improving insulin resistance.
  • As whole grains are not stripped off all those essential nutrients and vitamins, they are an important source of essential proteins, vitamins and minerals. This not only helps to maintain good health, but also helps to fight diseases with the protective role of vitamins and minerals. This makes whole grains more beneficial than refined grains.
  • People who regularly have whole grains are seen to have body fat lesser than those who consume refined fiber. Consuming whole grains can help control belly fat and promote being more energetic and agile.
  • Whole grain is known to have an ingredient which is known to prevent angiotensin II. This is a protein which can control rise in the blood pressure. Consuming whole grains is better and more beneficial than refine grains for all. Particularly, those with high blood pressure should consume whole grains in regular diet to minimize the chances of developing blood pressure.
  • Whole grains can make you feel less bloated as against refined grain, which when consumed more can lead to a bloated feeling, as refined grain can take more time to digest.
  • Whole grains help in preventing destruction and damage of DNA, thereby reducing inflammation that occurs in body invisibly. This helps to protect you from various illnesses and inflammatory conditions. Also, due to its anti-oxidant properties, whole grains can help to reduce the risk of some cancers.

You may feel uncomfortable in getting habituated with whole grain food initially but once you get used to it, you will feel more energetic and healthy. With regular consumption, you can experience the benefits of whole grains and realize why whole grains are more beneficial for you than refined grains.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 7, 2017

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