Whole Grains: A Must For
A Heart Healthy Lifestyle

Your Heart Needs Whole Grains

When it comes to grains don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. One of the best investments we ever made was buying a bread maker. We brought it home and started making bread, whole grain bread, delicious bread, heart healthy bread. We made the investment for several reasons…

  • There are eight of us so we go through quite a few loaves of bread every week. Making our own is cheaper.
  • We also wanted to control what goes in our bread. Now we can put some fresh ingredients in the bread maker, set the timer and have fresh, warm, healthy bread whenever we want.

The best part of the investment has little to do with the money we save buying bread. Nor is it the fact that our bread tastes better than anything we have found in the stores. The greatest investment is in our health. We started reading about bread and grains. Here is what we are learning.

First The Bad News

Refined white flour has been denatured and bleached. On a scale from one to ten it has a nutritional value of about a negative two. To digest it our bodies have to use stored vitamins. What do we get in return?

Nothing!

Well technically that isn't true. Our bodies are leached of calcium leaving the bones and teeth without the nutrition necessary for proper development. We get constipated and set up to develop any number of chronic diseases. We get a bunch of useless calories that will cling to us in the most unflattering ways. If this is the type of bread my family has to eat then I will gladly support the low carb craze. 

During refining, grain is cleansed of all perishable components in order to promote machine processing and to prolong shelf life. Unfortunately it is the heart healthy components (the germ and the bran) that are lost in the cleansing. 

What remains is flour depleted of most of the original healthy components. In order to put something of value in the flour that remains it must be chemically fortified. Therefore we read the word 'fortified' on the label and believe we are getting a high quality heart healthy product. Guess again.

Whole Grains Are A Different Story

All grains are high in carbohydrates that are necessary for energy. These are not the simple carbohydrates of candy and other products made from processed sugar.

These are complex carbohydrates, which are fuel for the body.

Beside carbohydrates whole grains are replete with…

  • Protein
  • Fiber
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals

These valuable components are largely contained in the germ (the inner most part) and the bran (the outer part). During processing the germ and the bran are lost, and with them most of the nutrition. Contrary to popular belief whole grains are not fattening. They are, however, more filling because they contain fiber. 

Grains contain a good serving of insoluble fiber, which keeps the intestinal flora healthy and increases stool volume considerably. Waste products spend less time in the intestinal tract decreasing the risk of chronic intestinal diseases including cancer.

Sounds a bit healthier than chemical laxatives to me.

So whole grains are the best. But let's go one step further. If they are organically grown they are better still. They are raised without the intrusion of pesticides and other chemicals harmful to the body. I believe it will still be some time before we realize the full impact of the way we are manipulating and poisoning our food. 

So eat plenty of whole grains. Making your own bread from organically grown whole grain flours is not only healthy it is fun and tasty. And it's easy. A good quality bread maker will do all the work for you. If you really want to go crazy buy the grains and grind them yourself just prior to making the bread. Your neighbors might talk, but not while they are trying to keep up with you on the exercise trail. 


Return from Grains to Healthy Diet page.

A Challenge For You!

People are making great improvements in their heart health.

How... are they doing it? By challenging themselves to change the way they eat. Really!

I have a challenge for you. It is my double dog dare.

Click here to learn about the 30_Day Challenge.

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