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Cooking with Whole Grains

simply-wholegrainsUsing whole grains in cooking is an essential piece of eating a diet based on whole foods. You can add whole grains to your meals without cooking, simply by choosing breads, breakfast cereals, and other prepared whole grain foods. They're also quite simple to cook; here are some guidelines for cooking them from scratch.
 
Cooking most grains is very similar to cooking rice. You put the dry grain in a pan with water or broth; bring it to a boil, then simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Pasta is generally cooked in a larger amount of water; the excess is drained away after cooking.

Grains can vary in cooking time depending on the age of the grain, the variety, and the pans you're using to cook. When you decide they’re tender and tasty, they’re done! If the grain is not as tender as you like when "time is up," simply add more water and continue cooking. Or, if everything seems fine before the liquid is all absorbed, simply drain the excess.

 

What are the Health Benefits of Whole Grains?

 

simply-wholegrainhealthStudies show that eating whole grains instead of refined grains lowers the risk of many chronic diseases. While benefits are most pronounced for those consuming at least 3 servings daily, some studies show reduced risks from as little as one serving daily. The message: every whole grain in your diet helps! 
 
Of course, these benefits are most noticeable in the context of an overall healthy diet. No one food will guarantee good health. It's also important to remember that some whole grain foods are healthier than others.

 

BENEFITS OF WHOLE GRAINS

 

The benefits of whole grains most documented by repeated studies include:

 

  • stroke risk reduced 30-36%
  • type 2 diabetes risk reduced 21-30%
  • heart disease risk reduced 25-28%
  • better weight maintenance

 

Other benefits include:

 

  • reduced risk of asthma
  • healthier carotid arteries
  • reduction of inflammatory disease risk
  • lower risk of colorectal cancer
  • healthier blood pressure levels
  • less gum disease and tooth loss