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The benefits of whole grains in your diet

The benefits of whole grains in your diet

The benefits of whole grains in your diet

Scandinavian countries have long been celebrated for their culture, equality, and design, but in celebration of Whole Grain Week (18-24 June), health experts are suggesting we eat like the Danes, who enjoy more than triple the amount of whole grains than most Australians.

With the help of the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council (GLNC) of Australia, we serve up some simple ideas that will give you more whole grains in your diet.

“Whole grain foods like brown rice, pasta, wholemeal bread and whole grain cereals are packed with nutrition and people who eat them regularly are less likely to develop heart disease, type 2 diabetes, even bowel cancer,” says Felicity Curtain, Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutrition Manager at GLNC.

While refined grain foods like white pasta and rice still offer benefits, it’s the whole grain options that make the difference, being packed with more than 26 nutrients, including fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

But unfortunately, few Australians eat enough whole grains; 59% of us choose refined grains, eating an average of 21g whole grain per day – less than half the recommended 48g daily intake.

Dietitians Alex Parker and Anna Debenham from The Biting Truth are jumping on board to spread the word this Whole Grain Week, saying grainy foods are a great step towards a healthier lifestyle.  “Let’s do it like the Danes this Whole Grain Week: a few simple swaps will mean you’re boosting your health, without compromising on taste or time.”

Try out these simple food swaps to get in more whole grain food:

  • Try wholemeal/whole grain bread in place of white
  • Look out for whole grain breakfast cereals, or warm up with porridge oats
  • Swap your usual white rice for brown, black, even red rice
  • Did you know pasta, couscous, and noodles are all available in wholemeal varieties
  • Try a new grain: quinoa, freekeh, buckwheat, amaranth, and teff are all available in the supermarket
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