Research has shown that eating a lot of refined carbohydrates, especially white flour and having a low-fiber diet increases inflammation. Getting 25g or more of fiber in your diet may also reduce the risk of colon and other cancers, lower cholesterol and possibly help regulate blood sugar. Stocking up on whole-grains products are good for overall health as they naturally have plenty of vitamin B-6, vitamin E, magnesium, folic acid, copper, zinc, and manganese. And studies also show that people who eat three or more servings of whole grains a day lower their risk of heart disease. Because high-fiber foods can help you to feel full faster, eating the right amount may make it easier to achieve and maintain a healthy weight which is important for people with arthritis.
Have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity? Try high-fiber gluten-free grains such as amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat and cornmeal.
Smart Shopping Tips
Read the ingredient list. The package label may say “multigrain,” “seven-grain” or even “100-percent wheat,” but it’s not truly whole grain unless “whole wheat” or “whole grain” is the first ingredient. If another kind of grain is listed – wheat flour or enriched flour, for example, and whole grain is the second ingredient, the item could have as little as 1-percent whole grain. Also, whether it’s whole wheat or gluten free, check the sugar content, a hidden trap in some bread and pasta products.
Get enough servings. Look for breads with at least 3 grams of fiber or more per slice or pasta serving.
Beat boredom. Look for other ways to get whole grains besides the traditional sliced bread that may also be lower in calories. Try whole-grain English muffins, mini-bagels and sandwich thins.
Consider fresh. Many stores offer fresh-baked whole-grain breads in their bakery
section. Pros: Fewer preservatives and they may look and taste more appealing (and sometimes they’re still warm from the oven). Cons: They may not last as long as the loaves on the shelf.
Go hard. Vary your diet with mini breadsticks and crackers. Try whole-wheat Angonoa’s sesame whole wheat mini breadsticks or whole-grain Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers. But make sure to eat them in moderation.
Choose brown over green. Chose whole wheat over spinach pasta, which is just white flour
and a little spinach.
Watch for salty or sugary sauces. Want more a more flavorful pasta? Add squash, eggplant, and peppers instead of sauces and ramp up the nutrition.
Don’t forget that you can also get your fiber from fresh fruits and vegetables!
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