Whole Grains and Their Importance as you get older

Your body obviously begins to react differently as you get older.  It's a fact that we all must face and prepare for.  In this post, we're going to talk a little about why whole grains are so important as you age.

Tastes change and you really can no longer eat what you want without heartburn or indigestion.  Your diet must change in order for you to fend off illness.   That is one of the reasons why the consumption of whole grains versus white flour or refined products is essential to reducing your chances of illness and disease.  That old adage that "you are what you eat" is certainly important.  I don't want to go on a rant here, but it is certainly important to share information that will help people.

The fact is, refined products are more likely to lead you to problems such as heart disease and even diabetes.  Most refined products are turned into sugar in the body which is a no-no for diabetics.  Instead of subjecting your body and health to refined or processed foods, reach for whole grain products instead.

It all boils down to how the body processes the food that you eat.  As mentioned above, refined products can cause problems with blood sugar and you can gain weight in your belly area which contributes to the susceptibility of a variety of illnesses like high blood pressure.

By consuming whole grains, your body burns more calories to process them, thereby keeping unnecessary weight off and reducing your chances of diabetes and other health risks.  Whole grains are chock full of important minerals, fiber and vitamins, things that are often removed in the refining process.

If you start eating these whole grains at an early age, chances are that you will not experience higher cholesterol or heart disease.  In fact, whole grains coupled with other healthy eating habits will help you burn more calories. It’s a great weight motivator.

There are many ways to cut down on refined products and introduce whole grains into the picture.  Here are some helpful hints to get you started:

1.  Read food labels.  Some bread products say whole wheat bread or whole grain bread.  However, when you read the food labels, it is full of white flour with just a hint of grains.  You want to find products that are at least 75% to 100% whole grains.

2.  Substitutions for your favorite foods.  If you are a pasta lover, you can still indulge in your favorite spaghetti or pasta salad.  Just choose whole wheat or vegetable based pasta in place of the white version.  The switch will boost the flavor of your food and you will not likely notice too much of a difference anyway, especially if you put a sauce on the pasta.

3.  Substitutions also include those in recipes.  If you are baking a cake, muffins or even cookies, try and substitute whole wheat flour for the white flour.  Using whole wheat flour will take some redesigning of recipes but your health will thank you for them.

To thoroughly understand what whole grain means, the FDA published guidelines that define what they really are.  Simply put, whole grains consist of the ground, unrefined or cracked “fruit” part of the grains which include bran, germ and endosperm parts of the grain.  During a refining process like white flour, those “fruit” parts get taken out and that is what makes whole grains so healthy in the first place!