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All about whole grains in the diet

After a long boycott, carbohydrates returned to a healthy diet and trendy diets in the form of whole grains, confirming popular wisdom that the new is a well-forgotten old.

On the wave of popularity, whole grains were brought out immediately after the Atkins diet and its derivatives (we also have a lot of popular protein diets, among which the Kremlin is best known) failed and began to slowly but surely lose supporters both among nutritionists and those who managed to be disappointed in the results.

The popularity of protein, low carbohydrate diets also dealt a serious blow to the food industry — sales of carbohydrate foods did not grow.

Then the need for a new direction in nutrition was ripe.

But macronutrients, on which you can build a new direction, there are only three groups — proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

The protein direction has just discredited itself, to build a diet on fats is somehow incorrect, and no one has raised a hand. It remained to rehabilitate carbohydrates. Vegetables and fruits were already on the rumor, and they are all good, and they are simply irreplaceable in nutrition, but they have one small drawback — they do not provide a lasting feeling of satiety.

High consumption of flour and sweet, refined products characteristic of the food of civilized countries, played a negative role — was one of the causes of the epidemic of overweight and increased morbidity.

Then it was necessary, what is called, to scrape the bottom of the barrel — to pay attention to the food of different ethnic groups and to recall the well-forgotten old.

And it turned out that whole unrefined grains and cereals are significantly undervalued in Western dietetics.

Why could such a half-detective story happen to porridges we are used to since childhood?

Yes, because the average American can live life and the usual porridge and not try — because of the prevailing food culture.

Nevertheless, a new wave of the popularity of cereals has spread to Russia, despite the fact that, traditionally, in the Russian food culture, cereals occupied a very important and significant place.

That is why Elson Haas in his book Staying healthy with nutrition ("Keep healthy while eating" — Ed. gastronom.ru) called the Russian food traditions one of the healthiest.

True, he wrote his book before the onset of our era of abundance, fast food and ready-made breakfasts.

First you need to understand the term itself. "whole grains".

Here it is more appropriate to talk not even about cereals, but about whole grains, because a new dietary wave was born in the USA, where these products are called whole grains, which refers to grain crops in general, and not only to the family of cereals (cereals in English are called cereals ). The difference in definitions, at first glance, is insignificant, but in some cases it is significant, and this will be clear later. For example, buckwheat does not belong to cereals, and, nevertheless, often it is part of the foodstuffs with the mention of whole or just cereals on the label.

But the concept of GRAIN most fully describes the entire category of products in question.

Another difficulty for the consumer (and sometimes for nutrition consultants too) is the very definition of PERSONAL.

Moreover, in Russian it is often used as the antonym of the notion "crushed".

The term whole grains, or whole grains, was introduced in the United States not so much for the consumer as for the food industry and the bodies that control the quality and safety of food.

And now the Americans themselves admit that such a name does not help the consumer to understand what it is, or to choose the right food.

Whole are called cereals and grains — intact, ground, crushed or turned into flakes — which contain all the main natural components: starchy endosperm, germ and bran, and in quantities corresponding to the content of these components in natural grain.

At the same time, naturally, whole grains can be used in different forms — ground into flour, processed into flakes, subjected to culinary processing — their nutritional value is not lost.

Numerous studies have shown that eating whole grains reduces the risk of many chronic diseases.

According to Dr. Joan Slavin from the University of Minnesota (University of Minnesota), who reviewed the scientific publications on whole grains in the diet, eating them on an ongoing basis reduces the risk of the onset of an infarction state by 30-36% cardiovascular diseases — by 25-28%, diabetes of the second type — by 21-30%, and also makes it much easier to control weight.

Whole grains contain up to 85% carbohydrates, with up to one quarter of them in dietary fiber, up to 7% of fats, of which only 10% are saturated (with no cholesterol in them), and up to 17% of proteins, which In some cereals, they are complete and balanced (contain essential amino acids).

Nevertheless, we should not forget that cereals are not the lowest calorie product, their average energy value is 360-390 kcal / 100 g of dry product, therefore whole grains are useful not in addition to refined grain products, but instead.

And since the products are still carbohydrate, do not forget that such food should be balanced in time with physical activity.

Americans approached the matter seriously.

First of all, they created the Whole Grains Council, and then included whole grains, as one of the most relevant areas, in the official nutrition recommendations published in early 2005, which prescribed daily consumption of about 90 grams in terms of dry whole grains products.

The Whole Grain Diet Miracle book of the same name was also called to open the eyes of the population to the miracle of the whole-grain diet."Miracle Whole Grain Diet" — Ed. gastronom.ru), written by family doctor Darwin Deen (Darwin Deen) and nutritionist Lisa Hark (Lisa Hark) — they tried to teach Americans to use whole grains in their daily diet.

As a result, sales of food from whole grains, mainly pasta and bread, increased by 18–20%, but population polls showed that only 3% of Americans follow dietary guidelines on the number and frequency of consumption of these products.

In connection with this, in the summer of 2006 a campaign was launched with the code name "whole grains"which is planned to be implemented jointly by nutrition specialists, food quality and safety inspectors, marketers and food industry representatives.

The top managers understood perfectly well that it’s not just the cost of whole-grain products, but mainly that Americans will not cook porridge for sure, as they are not persuaded and do not tell about its wonderful benefits.

Therefore, within the framework of national standards (to get everything chewed and with detailed instructions) it is planned to offer something like a special menu of whole grains, which will include ready-made fast food dishes under the slogans "eat right out of the bag", "warm up and eat" and "getting ready fast".

So the food industry plans to help people write healthy foods into their usual lifestyle.

And in order to make it easier for consumers to navigate in abundance of products in supermarkets, they introduced a special sign, which shows an ear.

This label has already been awarded 600 food products that actually contain whole grains or flour from them.

"Wonderful grains" Also included in the list of products that combine health benefits and exotic tastes.

According to the Center for Culinary Development, which includes 80 of the most famous and qualified chefs in the United States, this is what is causing the greatest interest of consumers.

This group of experts is known for its most accurate and reliable forecasts, which trends will be approved by the masses and will become mainstream, which means that products will appear both in any mini-market and in fast food chains.

"High" culinary experts predict a great future not only for their usual crops, but also for exotic ones.

In this list, quinoa, rich in proteins, iron and vitamins, amaranth, predicted a great future in the nutrition of children and people experiencing increased physical exertion, and Peruvian corn choklo, which exists in 55 varieties of any possible color, are leading.

"High" culinary specialists also believe that for the introduction of whole grains, the trend of growing interest in food produced not by large food enterprises, but practically by hand is favorable — for example, bread from small bakeries, where it is baked in the old fashioned way, using traditional recipes and exclusively natural ingredients.

Whole grains themselves are certainly good for everyone.

But not all for everyone.

First, cereals are a fairly common allergen, and the reaction is caused not only by their pollen, but also by their proteins. In this regard, whole grains have no advantages over refined ones.

However, this does not mean that allergy sufferers should stay away from healthy products — there are crops among the crops that do not belong to the family of cereals — buckwheat, quinoa and wild rice.

Secondly, recently the disease of celiac disease, which is expressed in intolerance to gluten, wheat protein, has been spreading rather quickly.

Celiac disease should not be confused with allergies, because it is a disease of the small intestine, where the villi atrophy under the action of gluten, which leads to a number of severe symptoms.

In the United States alone, about 3 million people suffer from celiac disease, which is slightly less than 1% of the population. At the same time, 97% of patients do not have an established diagnosis and, accordingly, do not take any measures to maintain a gluten-free diet, the only way to combat celiac disease.

And according to some forecasts, the incidence of celiac disease will increase — up to a tenfold increase in the number of patients.

Only gluten-free crops are relevant for this category of the population.

In the United States, the development of documents that will regulate the quality and safety of gluten-free products has begun, and this work is planned to be completed by 2008, although even then the labeling of information on the gluten content or its absence in food products will be a purely voluntary matter.

Currently, the majority of gluten-free products are sold in the United States through health food and nutrition stores, such as the General Nutritional Center, Whole Foods, and Wild Oats.

About 20% of sales are made through specialized websites and catalogs, while the share of supermarkets accounts for about 14% of sales.

The main group of consumers, of course, remains patients with celiac disease, but very often the family of the patient switches to gluten-free products. This is not only more practical, but also useful for prevention purposes — it has already been established that celiac disease is a hereditary disease,
and direct relatives may suffer from the same disease, even if it is not confirmed by the diagnosis.

This group of consumers is joined by a group of suspicious people who, having heard of a rather new disease, assume that they also have symptoms of gluten intolerance.

Also, gluten-free products have recently been switched by those who were previously faithful to organic and natural products. These are mainly white race consumers with a rather high educational qualification and in terms of income belonging to the middle and upper classes.

Their gluten-free addictions are due to the fact that they assume that such an allergen, even if it does not cause celiac disease, may be to blame for a number of other ailments.

Some consumers are switching to gluten-free products in order to prevent the health of their children, including those that are still planned.

However, gluten-free products are quite expensive, and not everyone can afford them. This factor does not allow many patients to strictly follow the diet.

Although, of course, a gluten-free diet can be observed without these special products.

True, it is more laborious, since everything has to be prepared independently, and less diverse — the diet in this case is limited to only natural products that do not contain gluten in nature.

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