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More to Gain from Whole Grain…

Study:  Whole Grain Foods Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels for Hours

Whole Grain Go down any aisle at your local grocery store, and you’re likely to see a bevy of food choices that are now whole grain.  While it would be better if these food choices were also organic, I suppose beggars can’t be choosy.  That said, this trend toward whole grain is indeed encouraging.

Though you likely know that whole grain foods are healthier than their refined contemporaries, you may not know why they’re healthier. 

The list is long, so I’ll give you three good reasons:

  • Whole grains contain fiber, which help keep to keep you “regular,” they reduce cholesterol levels and contribute to weight loss, as foods high in fiber are filling.
  • Whole grains contain essential complex carbohydrates that provide your body with the energy it needs.  Simple carbohydrates, while they too provide the body with energy, burn quickly, thus leaving you without the energy you need to exercise, think, or work at your level best.
  • Whole grains contain quality essential vitamins and minerals.  These include minerals like magnesium, which gives our bones the ability to remain strong and maintain their structure; and vitamins like niacin and riboflavin, which help our bodies convert nutrients into energy.

Again, this is a partial list, so permit me to headline one more reason to eat whole grain that you may not know about.

A study conducted by researchers from Lund University in Sweden has found that eating whole grains—particularly those low on the glycemic index—can help stabilize blood sugar levels for up to 10 hours.  This provides more evidence regarding the importance of eating a quality breakfast.   

Now, the idea of regulating blood sugar levels for 10 hours or more might not seem like a big deal, nor may it seem like it’s much of a persuader to eat more whole grains.  But trust me:  it is a big deal. 

There are lots of foods out there that spike blood sugar levels, foods like pretzels, instant rice, the majority of cold cereals and red skin potatoes.  Whenever blood sugar levels are fluctuating with abandon—either spiked or very low—the body reacts in an adverse way.  Dizziness, headaches, “the shakes,” rapid heart rate, even seizures are common reactions to imbalanced blood sugar levels.  And these are just the short-term side effects.  Some of the potential long-term side effects include an increased chance of acquiring type II diabetes; weight gain, as people often look to food to alleviate the short-term symptoms their experiencing (and their food choices are typically the wrong ones); low HDL cholesterol levels (the “good” kind); even increasing signs of aging, according to a study conducted by researchers from UCLA.

The importance of maintaining blood sugar levels are real.  Familiarize yourself with the glycemic index and begin consuming those foods that have low scores.  Doing so will not only make you feel better, but make you think better, as the researchers from Lund University can attest.

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