Diana MirkinDiana Mirkin has taught thousands of people how to make healthful foods taste delicious. She is co-author of four books with her husband, Dr. Gabe Mirkin: The Healthy Heart Miracle; The Good Food Book; The 20/30 Fat and Fiber Diet Plan; and Fat Free, Flavor Full. Each of these books includes 100 or more of her recipes featuring whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits. For many years Diana co-hosted The Dr. Gabe Mirkin Show, a syndicated radio show taking call-in questions on health, nutrition and fitness. Although the show is not in production at this time, it is still widely aired via their web site, www.drmirkin.com . She co-writes their weekly newspaper column, eZine, and blog covering the same topics. Diana is a graduate of Vassar College and has an MBA from Loyola College. When she's not writing or inventing tasty new recipes, she's usually out riding her bicycle, gardening or exercising her dogs.
Diana Mirkin: I am Diana Mirkin and I would like to explain to you why you should be eating whole grain. Remember, whole grains are seeds. They are the seeds of grasses and all of the seeds of whole grains are built essentially the same way and it really is the key to why they are so good for you. A seed has a hard outer coating that is made of fiber and you have probably heard that you should be adding fiber to your diet. Fiber has lots of benefits. It keeps contents of your intestines bulky, so they move along quickly and you dont get constipated. It also helps to lower the bad LDL cholesterol. Fiber is found in lots of different foods, all of the plants that you can eat, but it is particularly abundant in whole grains, as long as that outer fiber coating hasnt been milled away. When they make flour, the first thing they do is remove the outer coating from the seed. So, when you eat whole grains you can be sure that you are getting all of the fiber. Now, the other part of that seed that you need to be concerned about for your health is called the germ. The germ is the little baby plant. When you have a piece of corn, sometimes you will see a little nubbin at the bottom of a corn cornel. Well, that is the germ and everyone of the seeds you eat, whether it is wheat, or rye or barley or wild rice also has that little tiny piece of the seed called the germ and since that is the baby plant thats where natures stores all of the nutrients that it can pack in to a tiny little spot, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, everything that is necessary for the plant to grow and also essential for you and the digestion of your food. When you eat whole grains that have had the minerals and the vitamins and the other fiber chemicals taken away. Your body may not be able to use the calories that it is getting from the grain.
Now, if you look at the diagram of the grain, I have explained to you that outer coating is the fiber. I have explained to you the germ and all of the rest of the seed is called the endosperm and thats the starchy part. Now, that is a big store house of calories that the baby plant needs to put out its roots and its leaves and also the starchy part that provide you with calories. Those starchy calories are the reason why whole grains have become the staple of virtually every culture in the world because grains are easy to harvest, they are easy to store, and they have this power house of calories available when you need it. So, as long as you have the grains you are not going to go hungry. Unfortunately, in the abundant society as we have today too many calories is more of a problem than to few. So, you want to eat whole grains that have all of the nutrients that you need rather than the stripped away components that you get when you eat just flour or white rice. Whole grains gives you all of the nutrients that your body needs to digest the starch they give you the fiber to keep your intestinal contents healthy and to keep your cholesterol low and when your are eating whole grains, you are getting all of the nutrients that nature packages in these wonderful little power house.
Next, I am going to show you a one more recipe for using whole grain and hopefully that will set you on a lifetime of habits of eating whole grains everyday.