Friday Fit Tip: choose whole grains over refined

Living a healthy lifestyle is all about small choices that add up over time. One of the first small switches I made was choosing whole grains over refined grains.

Let’s start with the basics- what are whole grains and refined grains?

Refined grains: “have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ. This is done to give grains a finer texture and improve their shelf life, but it also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins. Some examples of refined grain products are white flour, white bread, and white rice,” according to

Whole grains: “whole grains contain all three parts of the kernel. Refining normally removes the bran and the germ, leaving only the endosperm. Without the bran and germ, about 25% of a grain’s protein is lost, and are greatly reduced in at least seventeen key nutrients. Processors add back some vitamins and minerals to enrich refined grains, so refined products still contribute valuable nutrients. But whole grains are healthier, providing more protein, more fiber and many important vitamins and minerals,” according to Whole Grains Council.

Now that you know the difference, choosing whole grains over refined grains, should be easy! Grabbing whole wheat noodles is second nature to me now. And I wouldn’t even think about grabbing a loaf of white bread!

Though there are many fad diets that eliminate gluten, the USDA still recommends eating whole grains daily. There are many benefits of eating whole grains including:

  1. High fiber content.
  2. Assist in maintaining a healthy weight.
  3. Aid in digestion.
  4. They make you feel full!
  5. Assist in lowering cholesterol.

Start by swapping out your regular your refined grain choices for whole grain choices. These simple swaps are much better for your body, and your family won’t even notice!

Some of my favorite healthy whole grains are: oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa and obviously popcorn! What are your favorite whole grains?

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