Protect your heart
Numerous studies indicate that adding more whole grains to your diet may provide important protection from chronic diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. A recent meta-analysis was published in the American Journal of Cardiology which summarized the results from 18 individual studies on whole grain consumption and risk for coronary heart disease. The researchers concluded that those who consumed the most whole grains had a lower risk for coronary heart disease when compared to those who consumed the least. As heart disease is the leading cause of death in America with over 614,000 deaths per year, these findings must be taken into strong consideration when choosing foods which promote health and prevent early death.
The protective role of whole grains is attributed to their nutrient-rich profiles. When compared to refined grains like white bread, whole grains retain all or most of their natural fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are destroyed in the refining process. Along with these nutrients, they are naturally low in fat and provide excellent sources of complex carbohydrates and protein to help fuel your day. The human body is better equipped to digest plant foods higher in complex carbohydrates (starches) when consumed in their unrefined, fiber-rich state. The more complete nutrient package found in whole grains helps to increase satiety and promote a slower rise in blood sugar as digestion occurs. This helps to prevent a quick blood sugar spike followed by a crash which otherwise encourages frequent snacking or overeating to counteract hunger and fatigue.
Americans have increased whole grain consumption over the past five years, particularly for the health benefits. According to the 2015 Whole Grains Consumer Insights Survey, nearly 2 out 3 Americans make at least half of their daily grains whole. This is in line with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans to consumeat least half of total grains per day as whole grains.. A few key points and suggestions to help individuals meet this recommendation:
v Whole grains are readily available and affordable all year long in nearly every grocery store.
v Choose comfort foods like whole wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat cereal, whole corn, and whole grain pasta.
v Less familiar ingredients like quinoa, barley, millet, amaranth, and buckwheat offer flavorful twists to meals and impressive nutrition in even small amounts.
v Look carefully for the words “Whole Grains” on food packaging.
v Ideally, the words “Whole Wheat,” “Whole Corn,” or “Whole Oats” should be listed as the first ingredient on a nutrition label containing multiple ingredients.
v “100% Wheat” or “Multigrain” may or may not actually contain whole wheat or whole grains.
Many of the weekly entrees available from EatandEvolve include plentiful amounts of whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, or whole grain pastas prepared with herbs and seasoning to enhance flavor. Too, breakfast items and pastries are prepared with organic gluten-free whole grain flours such as oat and brown rice. This offers the convenience of increasing whole grain consumption with a variety of hearty and tasty meal options. Yum!
 http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm. Accessed August 15, 2016.
 http://www.veghealthguide.com/whole-grains/. Accessed August 16, 2016.
 Tang G, Wang D, Long J, Yang F, Si L. Meta-analysis of the association between whole grain intake and coronary heart disease risk. Am J Cardiol. 2015;115:625-629. Accessed August 16, 2016.
 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
8th Edition. December 2015. Available at http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/. Accessed August 14, 2016.