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LGLWSM Newsletter 047 - Beneficial Whole Grains - Best for Your Health
July 01, 2011

How many times a week do you eat white rice? Would it surprise you to know that every time you consume white rice, you increase your risk of type 2 diabetes? The problem with white rice is that it’s refined, which means that the bran (outside hull) has been removed. It’s the hull of the rice that contains vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Stripped of this nutritional roughage, consuming white rice elevates blood sugar levels too quickly. This over-reaction stimulates the pancreas to produce too much insulin, which can cause it to become sluggish over time.

Whole grains are a much better source of fiber, and eating brown or whole grain rice is the perfect way to ensure you’re getting enough! Besides the fiber content, brown rice has more ‘texture’ and tastes much better than white rice. If you add some of your own seasonings, herbs, beans, stir-fried bell pepper, onions, or mushrooms, you can turn a simple dish into an extraordinary dish! Adding more vegetables to your whole grains provides for even more fiber and nutritional value from the foods you eat.

In a June 2010 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine from the Harvard Medical School, researchers found that when brown rice was substituted for white rice regularly, it decreased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 16 percent.

The researchers also found that the more white rice the participants consumed, the higher their risk of type 2 diabetes. Subjects who ate five servings or more of white rice (1 serving = about 1/2-cup cooked rice) in a week increased their risk of type 2 diabetes by 17 percent, compared to those who consumed less than one serving of white rice per month.

The Harvard study further found that if you replace that half-cup of cooked white rice with 1/2 cup of cooked whole barley or two slices of whole-wheat bread, you slash your risk for type 2 diabetes by 36 percent!

Although this study doesn't prove that whole grains was solely responsible for lowering the study participants' risk of type 2 diabetes, its highly suggestive. It’s just one more piece of evidence telling us that we should be limiting our consumption of white refined foods like white rice, white bread, and other ‘white’ processed foods. Opt more often for whole grains and 100 percent whole wheat for your health’s sake!

Tips for Getting More Whole Grains

  • Avoid products that have 'enriched' flour among their ingredients. Try some whole grains like quinoa. Also, look for cereals made from barley.

  • Most people need 25-30 grams of fiber a day for healthy digestion and elimination.
  • Try and get at least three whole-grain foods per day with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.

  • Eat at least four to five fresh fruits and vegetables a day to help you get enough fiber, vitamins, and essential minerals.

  • Consume raspberries and strawberries for highest fiber content, and blueberries and dark colored grapes for the most antioxidant power.

  • Consuming more fiber is a great way to lose more weight since you can't absorb the calories found in it. You also feel full longer after meals when more fiber is included in your meals.

  • Try ‘lite’ versions of breads. These have twice as much fiber as the regular whole wheat breads.

  • Drink lots of fresh water and limit caffeine and alcohol. When you urinate, your ‘pee’ should be clear and not smell funny. Yellow urine or foul smells are a good sign you’re not flushing your body of toxins. Drinking plenty of water also helps flush fiber out of your body and contributes to your overall health and energy.

    Note: Brightly colored vegetables are nutritionally a better choice! Consider bell peppers to make this point. Red peppers’ beta carotene (as Vitamin A) levels are nine times greater than green peppers and red peppers have twice as much vitamin C as green peppers. (One large red bell pepper contains 209 mg of vitamin C, which is close to three times more Vitamin C than an orange.)

    Thanks for all the feedback for last months newsletter. It is truly an important subject! Hope you all have a Happy 4th of July! Be safe but have a blast!

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    Until Next Time!

    Stay Sweet and Be Beautiful!


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