Shari Duncan


by on Mar.06, 2010, under General Nutrition, Recipes, Weight Loss

Add more whole grains to your diet…. They are far superior to refined and processed alternatives.

Grains are an essential part of a healthy diet. They can be broken down into 2 distinct types: WHOLE or REFINED.

Whole grains (brown rice and oatmeal) contain the entire grain kernel while refined grains (white rice and white bread) have been processed,. This means the bran and germ have been removed. ….along with much of the nutrients. The refinement process gives these foods a finer texture and prolongs their shelf life – But important nutrients such as B vitamins, fiber, and iron are lost.

Since whole grains haven’t had their bran and germ removed by milling, they are good sources of fiber — (the part of plant-based foods that your body doesn’t digest).  Because whole grains are high in fiber, they tend to satisfy and make you feel fuller longer. This in turn can prevent overeating and help you lose weight.

Although vitamins and minerals are added back into refined grains after the milling process, they still don’t have as many nutrients as whole grains do, and they don’t provide as much fiber naturally. Fiber unfortunately is not added back during the “enriching” process.

The best diets are those that are rich in whole foods and contain few processed foods.

Grains are a source of complex carbohydrates.Too often though, people shy away from carbohydrates when they diet, fearing that carbohydrates lead to weight gain; or is what is keeping them from losing weight.  The truth is that grains, in their “whole” form are nutritionally among the most powerful super foods and are a necessary part of any weight management plan.

With so many nutrients in one package, whole grains provide multiple health benefits, including protection from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, and some cancers. And they are naturally low in fat and cholesterol free.

Examples of whole grains:

§                                 Barley

§                                 Brown rice

§                                 Buckwheat

§                                 Bulgur (cracked wheat)

§                                 Millet

§                                 Oatmeal

§                                 Popcorn

§                                 Quinoa

§                                 Whole-wheat bread, pasta or crackers

§                                 Wild rice

– READ THE INGREDIENT LIST & Read between the lines!-

Look for foods that list a whole grain as the first ingredient.
Just because a product label “sounds” healthy doesn’t mean it is. For example, “multigrain” only means that the product contains more than one grain, not that whole grains were used. And “stone-ground” is a technique for grinding grains. Don’t assume these terms mean that the product was made from a whole grain—it’s still important to read the ingredient list.

Remember that the closer a food is to its natural state, the better for you. So whenever you can, choose whole grains over refined grains.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Barley Soup

Toss some barley into your homemade soup to add flavor, texture and fiber


3/4c pearled barley

1 small onion, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

2-3 red potatoes, diced

Mushrooms, Carrots sliced

1 can stewed or diced tomatoes, any flavor

Beef flavored bouillon / 6 cups water

Salt/Pepper, Thyme, Paprika, Parsley

1-2 TBSP Olive Oil


Beef shank or other soup bone

Beans, (ie: Navy beans)

In large soup pot or dutch oven, season and sear beef (if using) in olive oil. Brown well on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.  Lower heat to med, and sauté onion and celery in olive oil until just tender. Return meat to pan, add water with beef flavored broth. Bring to boil.

Add carrots, potatoes and tomatoes and season generously. Add barley (and beans, if using).

Reduce heat, and finally add the mushrooms last.

Cover and simmer 30 minutes or more, until vegetables and barley are tender and all flavors have a chance to blend.


BARLEY:  Good grain, Great Carb.

Barley’s soluble fiber content, along with its naturally low-fat content and zero cholesterol make this grain a wise choice for heart-smart dining. It is also high in protein and adds texture and a unique flavor to a variety of dishes.

Barley contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Unlike some other grains, barley contains fiber throughout the entire kernel and not just in the outer bran layer. This grain compares well to other grains in total dietary fiber content. For example, a ½-cup serving of cooked pearl barley contains 3 grams of dietary fiber. In comparison, a ½-cup serving of long-grain brown rice contains 1.75 grams dietary fiber and one-half-cup of white long-grain rice contains less than 1 gram of dietary fiber.

Barley contains several vitamins and minerals including niacin (Vitamin B3), thiamine  Vitamin B1), selenium, iron,barley magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and copper.

Barley also contains antioxidants and phytochemicals (natural plant based chemicals) which studies show may decrease the risk for certain diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer

Per 1 cup cooked pearl barley

Calories – 193
Protein – 3.5g
Fat – 0.7g
Cholesterol – 0
Carbohydrate – 44g
Total dietary fiber – 6g
Calcium – 17mg
Iron – 2mg
Magnesium – 35 mg
Phosphorus – 85 mg
Potassium -146 mg
Sodium – 5 mg
Zinc – 1.2 mg
Copper – 0.16 mg
Manganese – 0.4 mg
Selenium – 13.5 mcg
Vitamin C – 0
Thiamin – 0.13 mg
Riboflavin – 0.09 mg
Niacin – 3.23 mg
Pantothenic acid – 0.21 mg
Vitamin B6 – 0.18 mg
Folate – 25 mg
Vitamin B12 – 0
Vitamin A – 11 IU
Vitamin E – 0.01 mg
Vitamin K – 1.25mcg

:, , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!


A few highly recommended websites...