Their appealing chewy texture and nutty sweet taste make unrefined whole grains a welcome addition to your meals. But these grains are more than a delicious food experience: They deliver a powerful nutritional punch.
Switching from refined to whole grains can help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. What’s more, if you eat whole and not refined grains, you’re more apt to maintain a normal weight, say health experts.
Here are some whole grains you’ll find in supermarkets or natural food stores along with a flavor preview. When buying food products, read the ingredients to make sure whole grains are prominently listed. Don’t make your selection based solely on the darker color of the bread.
Amaranth: fresh, slightly grassy-tasting tiny seed
Barley: meaty, nutty-tasting grain
Buckwheat: earthy, slightly grassy-tasting relative of rhubarb
Corn (note that fresh corn, popcorn and cornmeal are all considered whole grains): sweet, herbal or nutty taste
Oats: mild, sweet, earthy taste
Quinoa: slightly herbal to grassy taste
Rice (brown or more exotic colors): sweet, nutty or meaty taste
Wheat (including bulgur, cracked wheat, wheatberries, spelt, Kamut): earthy and rich tasting
Wild rice (actually a grass): nutty and earthy flavor