Are you selecting whole grains?

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Pro
  • By selecting whole grains you consume more nutrient dense foods that provide higher fiber content . . . all of which equals a heart healthy choice. Whole grain products contain all layers of the whole grain – the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. When it comes to selecting whole grains, you have many more options than just being sure to grab 100% whole wheat bread when grocery shopping. There are many whole grain varieties available to you.




    Oats almost never having the bran or germ removed during processing. This means when you read a food label and see oats or oat flour listed as an ingredient, it’s safe to know this is a whole grain ingredient. Oatmeal has been linked to lower cholesterol levels.

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    Quinoa is not technically a grain, but the seed of a large plant called Chenoposium quinoa or Goosefoot plant. The seed is packed with protein – 8 grams per cup - which makes it a good addition to salads, baked goods, and soup. The low sodium content of quinoa makes it a great diet staple if you are working to control blood pressure levels.




    White rice is a refined product consisting of only the endosperm. The bran and germ of the grain have been removed. That doesn’t mean you are limited to selecting brown rice only. Rice comes in many varieties – black, purple, or red. Rice is a great grain choice for those who may be gluten intolerant.




    Buckwheat contains high levels of the antioxidant rutin and is also a rich source of protein. A diet high in antioxidants is important to combat the inflammation associated with heart disease.




    Out of all the grains, barley provides the highest level of fiber with 32 grams per cup of hulled barley. Barley can be used in soups, side dishes, and flour for baked goods.




    Sorghum, also known as milo, has recently received recognition for its gluten free benefits. Sorghum flour can be used as a substitute for wheat flour in pastas, casseroles, and baked goods. (FYI – Sorghum is most commonly used as livestock feed.)




    Corn is actually a whole grain and not a vegetable like we typically think. You can consume this whole grain in many forms – popcorn, corn on the cob, tortillas, and polenta.


    Be sure to access the free ecourse How to Lower Cholesterol in 8 Simple Steps at


Published On: June 19, 2012