For long life eating, whole grains are definitely the way to go. But change... is hard. We all know that. But sometime with some little tricks and tips, things can go a lot easier trying to convince ourselves that the change is a good one. Here are some of mine for you.
Say a permanent good-bye to white bread
Don’t give yourself or your loved ones a choice. When your current bag of white bread is finished, don’t buy another one. Use Whole-Wheat bread in all the same ways you’d use white. For French Toast, with eggs, for a sandwich, and with dinner, whole-wheat bread can replace all the white bread you’ve used in the past. It’s that simple. Even if you love crusty French Bread loaves or baguettes, there are whole-wheat alternatives that have a lovely texture and mix well with Mediterranean foods.
Create a bakery habit
You and your family deserve individually made, freshly baked bread. So why settle for a loaf made on an assembly line at a distant bread factory? Make it a habit: Stop at a good-quality bakery, say hello to the proprietor, and pick up healthy, whole-grain bread. Eat if over the next two days, then head back for a new loaf. Make it a never-ending cycle.
If you buy packaged bread, study the label. Look for whole-wheat flour as the first ingredient, then check the nutrition facts label for the fiber content. Your goal: buy a loaf with at least 3 grams of fiber per slice. This also goes for Breakfast cereal.
Another clue: Look for products that display this health claim: “Diets rich in whole-grain foods and other plant foods and low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol may reduce the risk for heart disease and certain cancers.” Products displaying this health claim must contain at least 51 percent whole grain by weight.
What if the fiber’s high but the bread’s not made from whole grain? Put it back and keep looking. Many High-fiber, “light” breads contain mostly refined white flour to which manufacturers have added highly processed cottonseed, oat or soy fiber. While the fiber can help with digestion (and prevent constipation), the loaf won’t have the phytochemicals and nutrients of real whole-grain versions.
Try double-fiber whole-grain bread. Just as tender as regular whole-wheat bead, two slices of double-fiber bread can net you a whopping 10 grams of fiber.
Look for whole-grain crackers that supply at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Choose a lower-fat, low sodium variety, such as Scandinavian-style flatbread that taste great with bean dip or nut butter or as a bread substitute for open-faced sandwiches. Five or six crackers count as one grain serving.
Make your own
Replace the white flour in bread, muffin, and quick-bread recipes with whole-wheat flour. Start with half whole wheat and half white. If you totally replace white with wheat, use 7/8 cup whole wheat for every cup of white you remove, since wheat flour has a heavier texture. In bread recipes, use a tablespoon to transfer the whole-wheat flour to the measuring cup instead of scooping or dumping; this introduces extra air into the flour, which makes loaves lighter. You can also replace some of the liquid in baked goods recipes with orange juice to temper the sharper, tannic-acid taste of wheat flour. Or try “white whole-wheat flour, “ which is milled from hard, white winter-wheat berries rather than the hard, red, spring-wheat berries of traditional whole-wheat flours. It has a fiber and nutrient profile similar to that of standard whole-wheat flour.
But wait.. Isn’t wheat bad for me? Everyone is going Gluten Free.
It is true that some people cannot tolerate wheat in their diet (Celiac Disease) and this is why there is now Gluten Free in almost everything you can think of. This really only effects a small number of people. For the majority of people wheat is still the best and most nutritious choice for Long Life eating.
Here is a helpful article if you are unsure if you should be eating Gluten Free.
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