Guide to Whole Grains: Why We Need Them and How to Cook Them at Home
Whole grains are such high quality forms of carbohydrates and honestly, I bet you don’t get enough of them!! I think we’re all a little too worried about fearing carbs when we should be more concerned with WHAT carbs we are eating and figuring out why we need them.
Carbohydrates give our bodies energy and support healthy digestive systems. What most people probably aren’t telling you that are on low carb diets is that they’re not pooping…like ever. When in reality we should be passing bowel movements 2-3 times per DAY. Quite a big difference. But this is the way proper and healthy digestion should work! Of course, there are other factors that contribute to this as well. But lack of carbohydrate intake can be a good place to start.
In addition to healthy digestion, we should all be shooting for our fiber goals each day. Women should be getting around 25 grams of fiber per day, while men should be getting more like 38 grams per day! That’s a huge number. And if you’re avoiding carbohydrates, chances are you’re not meeting your fiber goal. Why is fiber so important? More on that in a blog post soon to come!
So, what grains are best? That would be WHOLE grains. At least half of our grains should be whole grains every day. Whole grains include things like 100% whole wheat bread or Ezekiel bread (versus white bread, honey wheat bread, etc), brown rice (versus white rice), whole grain pasta (versus regular pasta or egg noodles), quinoa, blur, amaranth, oats (with steel cut being the least processed version and best option), etc. These are all packed with fiber and many other nutrients and typically contain more protein than their non-whole versions as well. Incorporating more of these whole grains can also prevent any blood sugar spikes that may occur with more refined grains, sweets, and desserts as well.
In an effort to consume more whole grains, I’ve tried to make my life (and your life) easier. We recently moved into our new home in Dallas and I’ve added even MORE glass jars to our pantry. For some reason it helps my mind feel at ease to look into a clean and organized pantry when I’m grabbing a snack or meal prepping. For me, that means disposing of all the packaging from the grains, nuts, seeds, and more I buy and placing all of the items in glass jars so I can visualize what I have without the ugly packaging. This also helps me notice what I have in my pantry much easier and how I can incorporate more of these whole grains and other items into my meals each week.
But this organization poses a small problem…the packaging often times have the cooking instructions on them! Previously I’ve just been googling “how to cook…..” each time I begin to cook one of the grain items in my glass jars. But instead, I decided to be even more organize and make myself a grain cooking guide. A pretty visual giving you instructions on how to cook the most nutrient-dense grains. Feel free to transfer your whole pantry into glass jars now! Download your copy of the Grain Cooking Guide below!