You guys know I'm always preaching to stay on the perimeter of the grocery store for fruits and veggies and proteins, and stay away from those middle aisles... there lurks trouble! However, what if you're venturing down one of those middle aisles in the hopes of purchasing a healthy whole-grain? Right? Brown rice, quinoa… Those are pretty easy to spot and buy. But what about more packaged and processed “whole grains”?
I advocate whole real foods that are unprocessed and are in the most natural state but every once in a while we want to have a treat maybe a pizza made with a whole grain brown rice crust or a healthier version of white refined pasta. Trying to decipher all those labels and pretty packages in those aisles can become a little confusing. Companies can get quite creative in attempting to lure customers to their products, using terms like whole grains to make them more appealing to the health-conscious. Or everything has stamped on it gluten-free. Many people buy into it thinking they're getting something that can help them lose weight while benefiting their health.
The reality is that whole grains are one of the most heavily marketed foods on the market. I know what you're thinking “aren't whole grains good for you?” The answer isn't all that cut and dry.
Often times the product labeled as such actually contains refined flour as the first ingredient. Check out those gluten-free products. Often times the first ingredient is potato starch or tapioca flour which skyrockets our blood sugar levels as much as refined white flour! Also, if you're purchasing a packaged food then odds are it's highly processed which means it might contain all sorts of additives and preservatives and chemicals that are bad for your health and thus harm your weight-loss efforts. Even if it does contain whole-grain wheat our modern-day wheat is known to contribute to inflammation, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity. Many experts believe that wheat is actually a big factor in the skyrocketing rate of chronic illness.
So what do you do when you're trying to do the right thing for your body?
First of all avoid processed foods as often as you can no matter what the label says. Second there are products out there that are a much better option than modern wheat. Brown rice pasta is a great tasty swap for refined white flour. And Ezekiel bread is a sprouted wheat bread but because it is sprouted, the germination process has already started and our body digests it more as a vegetable than as a grain.
So if you're in the mood for a piece of toast, try the Ezekiel bread. In the mood for pasta? Try whole grain brown rice pasta. In the mood for pizza? Whole grain brown rice crust is yummy and hits the spot! Your waistline, your mood, and your health will all thank you:)