Nutrition & Dieting/Nutrition in grains

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Question
Hello Mr. Santoro

I have another question about grains.  I have been looking at the nutrition facts of items such as steel cut oats and brown rice just to see what kind of benefits they offer and I have to say that I have not seen much.  I know grains are always touted as being very good for one's health but I do not see a whole lot of nutrition in them, aside from a bit of fiber and perhaps in some cases a small amount of protein.

I have been trying to live without them but that has become difficult lately and I am considering adding them back in though this has been weighing on my mind.

Is there more to grains than what I am seeing on the nutrition labels?

Thank you.

Answer
Hi Chris, grains are good because the label says they are...just kidding.

Grains have a variety of health benefits.
Grains provide several of the B vitamin family as well as minerals like iron and selenium.
Grains can also be a good source of dietary fiber which is vital for digestion. Most low carb diets or sedentary type diets (fast food/processed food) contain very little or no fiber.

Grains are also good because they are a good carbohydrate source. Contrary to what popular media says carbs are not evil. You have to be aware of carb tolerance and make sure you avoid sugars and processed carbs but good carbs like whole grains, oats, and more should be included in your diet.

Different grains have different health benefits too.
For instance oats are rich in fiber and help maintain a healthy cholesterol levels.
Barley contains essential amino acids
Quinoa is one of the best grains out there. It is one of the few plant based complete proteins, its rich in finer and iron as well as magnesium.

Now you did mention protein, keep in mind that most grains are incomplete proteins meaning they don't contain all of the essential amino acids.  Other protein sources like milk contain all 9 essential amino acids. By essential this means that the body can't synthesize or make them it self. It has to consume them from food sources.  

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Tim Santoro

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I can answer questions regarding the following. Confusion about basic nutrition, explain how to improve diet, when and how to eat better, eating for weight loss, eating for health, eating for fitness. I will answer questions about nutritional and workout supplements. I will not endorse any fad diets, however I can explain the draw backs to them and explain why they are the wrong way to go. I will not give advice relating to medications and/or their interactions with food and supplements.

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