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Grain Robbers
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Do you remember the old black and white western movies where a couple of bad guys would ride their horses beside a moving train? After jumping skillfully off their galloping horses onto the train they would proceed to rob everyone. There’s another robbery taking place in many kitchens and pantries every day. It’s the “grain robbers.” They steal the fiber and other nutritious parts of whole grains and make your body more vulnerable to diseases like cancer.

Whole grains are also called cereals or just grains and are the seeds of grasses cultivated for food. Whole grains have not been milled to take out the bran and/or germ. Refined grains go through a process that “robs” them of fiber and germ to give the flour a finer texture and lengthen its shelf life. But it also means nutrients are lost. Examples of refined grains include white flour, white rice, and de-germed corn. Lots of cereals, crackers, and pastries are made with refined grains.

When you remove the fiber from grain, you are taking away plant-chemicals that are essential to help reverse or stop diseases like cancer. Many people enjoy eating white bread or white pasta but don’t realize that grains have been “robbed” of fiber which is valuable in disease prevention. It’s been shown that oat fiber can help people with heart disease. Whole grains also help people with diabetes and gastrointestinal problems. Foods with fiber can assist people struggling to control their weight.

More Fiber

There are simple ways you can include more fiber and whole grains in your diet. Buy brown rice instead of white rice. Purchase whole wheat bread. Make sure the first ingredient on the label is “whole” wheat (and not refined flour with carmel coloring to make it look like whole wheat.) Other types of whole grains include barley, buckwheat, bulgur (cracked wheat), and popcorn.

Breakfast is a great time to eat whole grains. Try buckwheat pancakes or a whole-grain hot cereal like oatmeal. Eat whole-wheat toast or shredded wheat. Whole-grain bagels are better for you than plain white flour bagels. Or if you’re having a burrito for lunch, use the whole-wheat tortillas. There are also a growing number of healthy whole grains in the gluten-free section of your local grocery store.

The next time those “grain robbers” come galloping along to “steal” nutrition from your body, drive them away and keep that “whole” bag of grain. Your body will thank you for it!

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By Curtis Rittenour. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.


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