While many people steer clear of whole grains, they’d do well to give them a second look. The average person eats refined grain products like white flour and white rice and avoids whole grains like the plague. Meanwhile low-carb dieters swear off whole grains in favor of high protein options like meat and poultry under the false belief that all grains are evil to the dieter (whole grains actually help stabilize blood sugar — critical to the success of any weight loss regime). And many other people simply avoid whole grains because they don’t know what to do with them or how to prepare them. There are many delicious and highly nutritious whole grains to choose from, so adding whole grains to your diet needn’t be daunting.
There are many options, here are seven whole grains to get you started:
Used as far back as the Stone Age for currency, food, and medicine, barley is a great addition to a healthy diet. Because barley contains plentiful amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber, it helps aid bowel regularity. It contains 96 calories, 22 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of fiber per half-cup of cooked barley. Unrefined barley contains abundant amounts of potassium. It also has lots of magnesium, manganese, vitamin E, B-complex vitamins, zinc, copper, iron, calcium, protein, sulfur, and phosphorus. This versatile ingredient can be added to soups, stews, cereal, salads, pilaf, or ground into flour for baked goods or desserts.
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