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Live Healthier with Whole Grains

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Live Healthier with Whole Grains

Not all grains are nutritionally equal. Wholegrains can be part of a healthy diet.The wholegrain contains the entire seed, which consists of the germ, bran and endosperm. All three of these parts together offer fiber, protein, starch, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and antioxidants. Processed enriched grains, such as white bread and white pasta, only contain the inner part of the seed that provides mostly starch and minimal protein, vitamins and minerals. Most of the fiber is stripped from the processed grains as well. By following a diet that restricts whole grains, you might miss out on some important nutrients. Try eating wholegrains as part of a healthy balanced diet.

There have been numerous studies that have determined the health benefits of whole grain foods. Some of the findings have determined that consuming whole grains can reduce rates of diabetes, heart disease and help with weight maintenance.

Whole Grains to Fight Diabetes:

  • The fiber in whole grains can slow digestion that will help prevent a spike in blood sugar.
  • Consuming three to five servings per day can reduce risk of diabetes by about 26 percent.
    • One serving is one slice of whole-wheat bread, ½ cup of brown rice, ½ cup of oatmeal or three cups of popcorn.
  • Whole grains may reduce fasting insulin levels by 10 percent.

Whole Grains to Reduce Rates of Heart Disease:

  • Whole grain foods can help reduce the risk of heart disease by about 21 percent.
  • Consuming whole grains has shown to decrease abdominal fat; while higher intakes of processed grains can lead to an increase in abdominal fat.
  • Dietary fiber from whole grains, such as oats, can help lower cholesterol levels and promote a healthier heart.

Whole Grains for Weight Maintenance:

  • People consuming whole grain-rich diets have shown to weigh less with a lower body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio.
  • Whole grains can help prevent weight gain in middle-aged women.
  • Consuming whole grains, as part of a healthy diet, has shown to slow down weight gain over time.

Simple Ways to Add Whole Grains Everyday:

  • 100% whole grain cereal such as oatmeal or Cheerios for breakfast.
  • 100% whole grain breads, bagels or sandwich rolls as part of your sandwich at lunch.
  • 100% whole grain pasta, quinoa, brown rice or corn as a side dish with dinner.
  • Popcorn as a healthy whole grain snack.


Article provided by Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services.