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Kristen Schiener
No White or Wheat ... Now What?PDFPrintE-mail
When it comes to choosing grain products, it’s a jungle out there. Claims of “multi-grain, stone ground and 100% wheat” can make one’s head to spin. Throw in additional claims or “source of fibre, fat-free, all-natural and organic” and product labels become a labyrinth of marketing terms. The MOST important factor when consuming grains is that they are whole. When choosing a grain product, from cereal bars to bread, flip the package over and check the ingredients list. If you see the words, “Whole grain rye, spelt, rice, etc.”, then you are on the right track.


You gotta love rye bread. Only 5 slices weighs about 20lbs and you can use a loaf as a weapon if ever accosted in the kitchen! But seriously, is it just me, or does a nice slice of rye bread not make you nostalgic for your grandparents’ kitchen? High in the amino acid lycine, rye is one of the few grains that offers a well-rounded protein. Dark rye bread has some of the highest fiber per slice around! Check at your deli counter for good European style rye or use rye flakes to make granola.


Who wouldn’t like this very cool grain? Spelt flour acts like wheat flour in baking and can be substituted 1:1. It contains less gluten than wheat so is easier on the digestive tract. Loaded with B-complex vitamins and containing a phytonutrient (plant compound) that enhances the immune system, spelt is an energizing grain. Although spelt has not hit the mainstream to the extent wheat has, just about all of your favorite wheat products have a spelt counter-part in the health food section of your grocery store. Look for breakfast cereals, pasta noodles, breads and cookies.


Closely related to wheat, Kamut shares a similar nutritional profile with the extra benefits of healthy fats and vitamin E. Kamut is slightly lower in fibre than spelt and may cause sensitivity in those allergic to wheat; however, 70% of people intolerant to wheat can enjoy Kamut without any negative outcomes. Commonly found as noodles, breakfast cereals, crackers and cookies, Kamut creates wonderful dense flour that will produce excellent pasta and heavier breads.


Gluten-Free Grains


As a whole grain, Quinoa’s tiny pearl shape resembles Barley. An easy side dish, Quinoa cooks just like rice (1 cup grain to 2 cups water) but in half the time. Milled into flakes or ground into flour, Quinoa is a delicious oatmeal-like hot cereal and works well when baking high-protein muffins and cookies. Ideal for vegetarians, quinoa contains the highest and most complete protein of all grains, is lower than average in carbohydrates, offers a healthy serving of fibre and has absolutely no gluten. Dress it up with some rice milk, stevia and cinnamon and you have a yummy hot breakfast cereal. Steam with veggies and seasonings and you have a nutritious side dish at dinner! Versatile and delicious, now you know why I say, “I love Quinoa!”


Popular in many parts of the world, Buckwheat is used to make Soba noodles in Asian cuisine and Kasha in Europe. The whole grain can be ground into pleasant tasting flour that makes delicious pancakes and biscuits. Buckwheat groats can be toasted and made into cereal, or boiled until soft and eaten like rice. Although low in protein, Buckwheat provides a variety of B vitamins, minerals (including iron) and essential fats, making it a nutritious addition to any meal plan.


Rich in polyunsaturated fats, B vitamins and minerals, millet is nutrient-dense and versatile. When cooked, millet’s texture resembles that of brown rice and can be substituted in recipes as a savory side dish or sweetened and served as high energy breakfast porridge. Although not a good source of protein, millet is an excellent option for anyone suffering with a wheat allergy.


A potent health-promoting grain, Amaranth contains phytosterols (plant-compounds) that play an important role in fortifying the immune system and guarding against disease. Rich in many vitamins and minerals, Amaranth is also an excellent source of protein, making this grain ideal for vegetarians. Because of a compound in raw Amaranth that inhibits digestion, all Amaranth must be cooked before eating. Whole grain Amaranth can be boiled and eaten as breakfast porridge. Ground into flour Amaranth can be used in baking or added to soups and stews as a thickening agent.

Even More!

Nutritious whole grains make up an important part of a balanced diet and are necessary for energy, mental focus and healthy digestive function. To keep your waist line looking as yummy as your nutritious meals, limit processed grain products (granola bars, commercial cereal, crackers, and cookies) and consume more grains in their natural state, or bake your own goodies to ensure the quality of ingredients they contain.


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Did you know?...

Laboratory tests show that Krill Oil has 48x the antioxidant power of regular fish oil! Learn about the many anti-inflammatory benefits of this amazing omega-3. Read More...


“Cinnamon has been used for centuries as a natural folk remedy for the treatment of diabetes in Russia, China, Korea and India,” explains Dr. Maggie Laidlaw, PhD. “The health benefits of cinnamon and its blood glucose lowering abilities have been well-documented.” Read More...


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Healthy Tidbits

In this century, the world will have more people living into their 80s and 90s than ever before, with the number of people 80+ set to quadruple between 2000 and 2050.


Increased life expectancy is largely due to improvements in public health, and healthy ageing is linked directly to health in earlier stages of life.


Although it is natural for biological processes to decline with age, the rate at which our body’s decline is impacted by many controllable lifestyle factors such as how we eat, how we move, and how many toxic substances we are exposed to.



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