Wednesday, January 18, 2012
I keep seeing all these commercials for "whole grains" and how they're healthier. This seems to me to be another advertising word that doesn't really mean much, like "natural" or "improved." General Mills has been pushing this so hard that they created a game, contest and site just for whole grains. They also redesigned all of their packaging to reflect their dedication to whole grains. While the whole grains may be better than the overly processed flour they were using prior to their switch, it still isn't providing much fiber. Most of their kids cereal only have 5-10% of the RDA for fiber. This isn't enough fiber to keep someone full after breakfast.
Instead of looking for whole grains on your food labels, you should look at the fiber content. Fiber will keep you full longer and will help you lose weight. One of the best cereals you can have for breakfast is Kashi GoLean Crunch. It has 8 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein per cup serving. This will fill you up for hours. Quaker High Fiber Instant Oatmeal is also really good with 10 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein. Regular oats have 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein, so you can cut the sugar of the pre-packaged instant varieties.
Fiber can be found in sources other than grains, so be aware when choosing what to eat for other meals, too. Fiber doesn't just help with controlling weight, it also helps with regularity, blood pressure, blood sugar and may help prevent colon cancer. I have seen information about consuming too much fiber, but it's more about increasing fiber consumption too quickly, not about a total consumption figure being too high. If you increase your fiber too much, too soon, you may experience some gastro-intestinal discomfort. Take it slow and steady and you'll probably be just fine.