When you eat brown rice, oatmeal or 100% whole wheat bread, you know it’s 100% whole grains. Choose pizza, wheat bread, or a breakfast cereal however, and it’s not always clear if you’re getting a whole grain food.
Research shows that whole grains are an important part of a cancer preventive diet. AICR’s continuous update report on colorectal cancer found that foods containing fiber, such as whole grains, help lower risk for this cancer. And whole grains boost health in other ways, including promoting heart health.
But how much whole wheat or oats, for example, do you need in a bread or cereal to say it is a whole grain?
That’s the problem, say experts. There isn’t a global standard definition for what makes a whole grain food for food labeling. Some countries in Europe have their own distinct label guidelines for whole grain foods, and the US doesn’t have one at all, so now a group of scientists is working to find a common definition. Defining what a whole grain food is can help you can more easily identify and compare foods that contain whole grains. Read more… “What is a whole grain food? Researchers have an idea”
Whole grains can add fantastic flavor and texture to your meals as well as support long-term health. Eating whole grains promotes healthy digestion, can aid in maintaining a healthy weight, and lower your risk of cancer and type 2 diabetes. Clearly, whole grains beat out refined grains for your family’s health any day of the week. Packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and plant compounds called phytochemicals you can feel good about including them in your family’s diet . So why choose white when you can get the whole health benefits!
For Cancer Prevention Month, why not challenge yourself to try a new whole grain recipe each week? Have your kids help you explore the endless variety of tasty whole grains!
Here are some ways to get started:
Choose whole grain mac-n-cheese over white flour pasta. You can also boost fiber by adding pureed sweet potato, chopped sautéed cauliflower or peas.
Memorial Day is right around the corner, making it the perfect time to start planning a cookout staple: pasta salad. Traditional pasta salad made with mayonnaise and white pasta is heavy and high in saturated fat and refined carbohydrates. But it’s actually an easy dish to lighten up — in calories and taste — with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Making the pasta whole wheat also adds fiber, which is known to reduce cancer risk and keep you full for longer.
The vibrant colorful ingredients make this Spring Pasta Salad pop and the flavor improves as it sits. You can store it in the fridge for 3 to 4 days and use for leftover lunches or dinners. It is hearty enough to be served as a main, but also pairs well with grilled shrimp or salmon.