October 18, 2022
4 Benefits of Adding Whole Grains to Your Diet
While they all fall under the definition of carbohydrates, you’ll want to make sure that you are filling your diet with whole grains (complex carbohydrates) instead of refined grains (simple carbohydrates).
Grain products are foods made from wheat, rice, oats, barley, and other cereal grains. You’ll want to look for “whole grains” on the package. If terms like multigrain, 100% wheat, or other terms are used, they could be made from refined grains. Refined grains include white bread, white pasta, white rice, and some cereals.
CHC has a look at four benefits of sticking with whole grains for the carb portion of your diet.
- Improves Digestion
Whole grains are high in fiber, which lower your risk of constipation and keeps the digestive system regular. It also keeps the gut healthy because many types of fiber in grains act as prebiotics, which is a key component of overall digestive health.
- Reduces Inflammation
A diet high in simple—or refined—carbohydrates will lead to chronic inflammation in the body, which is the root cause of many conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. But studies show that replacing refined carbs with whole-grain products leads to a reduction in inflammation throughout the body.
- Lowers Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Besides switching from refined grains to whole grains, a whole-grain diet can help lower your risk of type 2 diabetes on its own. Scientists believe the magnesium in whole grains leads to lower baseline blood sugar levels and also improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
- Reduces Obesity
Whole grains are filled with more vitamins and nutrients than refined ones, and the fiber contained in them help you feel fuller. A study containing research ranging 45 years found that switching to whole-grain cereal with added bran can help lower obesity levels, and eating three servings of whole grains daily can also lead to a reduction in BMI (body mass index).