Advocating For a Balanced Approach to Heart Health


Whole Grains

Goal: No Target Amount But Always Choose Whole Grains Over Refined

Whole grains are the complete package from nature that includes lots of fiber, B vitamins, and antioxidants. Refined grains are stripped of the nutrient rich portions, leaving little behind but the carb laden core. Examples of whole grains include quinoa, oatmeal, barley, faro, and bulgur. Quinoa is distinguished by an especially high protein content.

Which Will Raise Your Blood Sugar Level More?

It’s the bagel! Surprisingly, many foods that are not sweet, yet made with refined grains, can make blood sugar levels rise higher than sweet foods. Bagels, white rice, and white potatoes are examples of foods that can make your blood sugar level soar.

Choose products that contain “100% whole grains”. Don’t be misled by foods advertised as “made with whole grains” or “contain whole grains” because they may be mostly refined, with a small amount of whole grains added to justify the label.

Even the method a whole grain is prepared can impact your health. Intact whole grains (steamed or boiled) are a better choice than products made from the flour of whole grains because grinding grains into flour increases their conversion into blood sugar. With oatmeal, avoid the “instant” preparations because they are processed in a way that leads to higher blood sugar levels than other types of oatmeal.