Knowledge is power! And knowledge about proper nutrition is a powerful tool for staying healthy. While food is one of life’s pleasures, it also affects your health, your appearance — even your mental attitude. So, eating delicious foods that are good for you will help you feel good and stay healthy.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers nutrition guidance
through its 2010
Dietary Guidelines for Americans and its MyPlate.
MyPlate can help you make healthy food choices. The plate is divided into four sections—vegetables, grains, fruits, and protein—and there’s a second, smaller plate for dairy.
MyPlate shows that carbohydrates should fill more than three-fourths of your plate, and grains are a significant portion of that. Foods made with grains include breads, pastas, cereals, rice, and tortillas.
The USDA recommends adults eat 6 ounces of grains every day, with at least half being whole grains. It defines one ounce of grain as equivalent to a one ounce slice of bread. To be sure you are selecting foods high in whole grains, look for those with at least 8 grams of whole grains per ounce-equivalent. (Experts recommend eating 48 grams of whole grain a day.) If you eat two pieces of toast made with Nature’s Own 100% Whole Grain Bread for breakfast and a sandwich made with two slices of Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Rounds for lunch, you’ve met that daily whole grain recommendation. Read more about whole grains and fiber.
Meeting the USDA guidelines for whole grain is easy with Nature’s Own!
Eat two slices of toast made with Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat bread plus a sandwich made with Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Rounds and you’ve met your whole grain recommendation for the day!
Grain-based foods, especially whole grain foods, are rich in complex carbohydrates and are a good source of fiber and valuable antioxidants. Below find information on why carbohydrates are so important for good health.
- Grain fiber is more health-enhancing than fiber from other sources
In a 2011 study, researchers at the National Cancer Institute found that fiber from grains—not other sources—significantly reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and respiratory diseases in both men and women.
- Whole grains provide significant health benefits
Whole grains play an important role in lowering the risk of chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, according to a 2011 report by The American Society for Nutrition. Whole grains also contribute to weight management and gastrointestinal health. The essential nutrients in whole grains work together with phytonutrients to create significant health benefits.
- Eating whole grains can help reduce blood pressure
Researchers at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland found that 3 servings of whole grain foods a day can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, mainly by lowering blood pressure. In a separate study, researchers at the University of Surry in England found that adults who consumed two whole grain rolls (48 grams of whole wheat) a day had decreased systolic blood pressure.
- Whole grains are linked to lower body fat
After analyzing data from the Framingham Heart Study, researchers at Tufts University found that people who consumed at least 3 whole grain servings per day had less fat under their skin and around their organs (which has been linked to higher risk for diabetes and heart disease).
- Breads are enriched and fortified with many important nutrients
Many varieties of bread are enriched with iron and B vitamins, including niacin, thiamin and riboflavin. Enrichment has helped to nearly eliminate nutrition-related diseases, such as beriberi, pellagra, and severe nutritional anemia. Many breads also are fortified with folic acid to reduce the risk of neural tube birth defects (NTDs) in pregnancies. In a 2010 study, experts found that mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid has successfully reduced the prevalence of NTDs.