5 Small Food Swaps To Make You Instantly Healthier
Swap Out: Refined Grains
Swap In: Whole Grains
Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and sugary sweets, may be just as bad for your heart and arteries as cream and butter—that’s one reason to limit them. But there are also reasons to pick whole grains over refined grains: people who eat plenty of whole grains tend to be leaner and have a lower risk of heart disease than those who don’t. What’s more, whole grains—like brown rice and bulgur—have their bran intact and thus have more fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and other nutrients.
Appealingly brown-colored bread or crackers labeled “multi-grain” or “cracked wheat” are sometimes made mostly from refined white flour. The only reliable guide to ensuring that your choice is a true whole grain is to check the ingredients list: the term “whole” or “whole-grain” should precede the grain's name, such as “whole-grain rye.”
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