Wednesday, November 12, 2008
30 Days to a Greener Diet - Day 22
Your carbs need some color
We’re talking grains. Pick a shade, any shade — taupe, tan, beige. The grain group — members include wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal and barley — is an essential slice of the familiar USDA food pyramid. They’re naturally low in fat and high in vitamins.
But there are two types of grains: whole (think whole wheat bread, oatmeal and brown rice) and refined (think white bread, corn flakes and macaroni). Refined grains have gone through a milling process to, among other things, extend their shelf life. Milling removes the grain’s bran and germ, stripping the nutritious seeds of iron, fiber and other nutrients. (Enriched grains have had iron and vitamins but not fiber added back after milling.) Whole grains have not been processed and therefore have their bran and germ intact, complete with all the nutritional bonuses.
It’s easy to incorporate whole grains into your diet: Use whole grain bread for your sandwiches, order brown rice with that Chinese takeout, try whole wheat pasta for your next Italian night, and stick to high-fiber cereals. Nutty whole grains can be a change of pace in the kitchen.