Lebanon Reporter

Commentary

March 25, 2010

The whole grain truth

Lebanon — So, how are you coming on your resolutions? We’re nearly 90 days into the New Year and if you’re like most people, you’ve broken your resolutions already. Losing weight has always been my go-to resolution, and year-after-year when December 31 rolled around I would find myself a few pounds heavier than on the previous Jan. 1. After years of failure, I decided not to make a resolution for 2010 and guess what has happened, I’ve dropped 20 pounds since Jan. 1.

No secret diet, just the tried-and-true formula of eating less and moving more. As for eating habits, I’m trying to stick to fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. The whole grains, I’m confident, have been a key component of my weight loss.

Unless you’re completely oblivious to the media the last few years, you know that whole grains are better for us than refined grains. They include many more nutrients than their more-refined versions, and most also contain a substantial amount of fiber. When reducing calories, the more nutritional bang for your caloric buck is important and the extra fiber helps you feel fuller longer.

A whole host of products are boasting that they contain whole grains. Even Pop Tarts now come in a whole wheat option. It’s important to read labels carefully. Some of these products only “contain” whole grains along with more processed grains. And some foods, like many cereals, may have whole grains, but they also have high levels of sugar or other sweeteners.

For the last three months, I’ve banned white flour almost entirely from my diet. My family has always used whole wheat sandwich bread, but I was still eating plenty of white flour — in desserts, burger buns and melt-in-your-mouth dinner rolls — when eating out.

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