Whole grains are an essential component of every diet, but are you getting enough of the essential nutrients you need?
Whole grains are loaded with many nutrients such as fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium and multiple B vitamins. These are critical to health and well being, playing roles in the body from maintaining a healthy immune system to oxygen transport and nerve conduction, as well as protein synthesis which helps with cellular growth and repair.
The majority of the population requires between 3-5 (or more) servings of WHOLE GRAIN every day. However, processed foods try to trick the general public into believing their products contain all these essential nutrients, when in fact they do not.
“Enriched whole grains” sounds very similar in not better, so don’t be fooled! These enriched or fortified whole grains are very deceiving. The enrichment process uses chemical to strip out many essential vitamins and minerals, then fortified with folic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and zinc. When a consumers read foods are fortified with these foods they believe them to be better, but this is not the case. While some of the necessary vitamins and minerals are added back to the chemical concoction, not all the essential nutrients are. These practices may increase shelf life, but will lead to deficiencies if not corrected. Additionally, often times when a food becomes enriched, there are more fats, sugars, and sodium added back along with the vitamins and minerals.
Beware! If you are eating enriched whole grains you are eating more of the bad stuff and less of the good stuff… Don’t be fooled any longer!!
For references and more information about the benefits of whole grains and detrimental effects of lack thereof check out the whole grains council’s website at:
-Jonah van Garderen