Why are "Whole Grains" important in our daily diets? Well, they are good for many reasons that are related to our health. Studies have shown that 3 to 5 servings daily help reduce the chances for stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. These chances are reduced by 21 to 36 percent depending on which one you are discussing. But the whole grains also help with asthma, carotid arteries, inflammatory disease, colorectal cancer, high blood pressure, gum disease and tooth loss.
A mistake many people make with whole grains is thinking that they are all "High in Fiber" and that is not necessarily true. The government requires 5 grams of fiber per serving to be considered a high fiber product or serving. Most whole grains average between .5 and 3 grams per serving. However, it is not just the fiber that make whole grains healthy. It's the whole complexity of the whole grain product that help us. So if they are not in your daily diet, get them in it.
Now you are not going to like every whole grain I put in my list last week. But find the whole grains that you like and get them incorporated into your meals. Speaking of the different types of whole grains, you can interchange change them in recipes. The three recipes last week and the three recipes this week each use a particular whole grain. If it is one you don't like, can't find or just turns you off, substitute another one. Recipes are written using specific products but you can change out one or more of them to give you what you like to eat. It may change the texture, consistency or taste so make the appropriate corrections in amounts or seasoning. Remember that cooking should be fun and adventurous.
I forgot to mention that a normal serving size for most whole grains is a half cup cooked. So that means the 3-5 servings per day should equal about 11/2 to 2 1/2 total cups in a day.
Last week the recipes were for salads. This week the whole grain recipes are for entrees. There is a Thai stir-fry with barley. Then there is breaded chicken finger with Quinoa. Lastly a recipe for pork with coconut milk and Quinoa. The Thai and coconut milk recipes can easily be adapted to "Vegan" dishes too.
You can find these whole grain products in health stores and grocery stores with a health food section. Some of you will have better access to these products then others just because of the communities where you live. So it may take a little planning on the part of many of you the find and buy the products. In this day and age, you can always find them on the internet and have them shipped.
Have a great week and do some cooking. Remember if you have questions or comments, please let me know.