Good Grains, Sugars, Oils & Fats

 It’s very important to read labels!!  It’s important to look for “good for you” grains, sugars, oils & fats.

 
Grains

When looking for good grains, you want to find one or more of the following words: “oats”, “oatmeal”,  “whole”, “stone ground whole”, “whole wheat” or “stone ground whole wheat.  Click here for a wonderful article on “good for you” grains from Whole Foods!!

  • Whole grains. These are unrefined grains that haven’t had their bran and germ removed by milling. Whole grains are better sources of fiber and other important nutrients, such as selenium, potassium and magnesium. Whole grains are either single foods, such as brown rice and popcorn, or ingredients in products, such as buckwheat in pancakes or whole wheat in bread.
  • Refined grains. Refined grains are milled, a process that strips out both the bran and germ to give them a finer texture and extend their shelf life. The refining process also removes many nutrients, including fiber. Refined grains include white flour, white rice, white bread and degermed cornflower. Many breads, cereals, crackers, desserts and pastries are made with refined grains, too.
  • Enriched grains. Enriched means that some of the nutrients lost during processing are added back in. Some enriched grains are grains that have lost B vitamins added back in — but not the lost fiber. Fortifying means adding in nutrients that don’t occur naturally in the food. Most refined grains are enriched, and many enriched grains also are fortified with other vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid and iron. Some countries require certain refined grains to be enriched. Whole grains may or may not be fortified.  – Mayo Clinic
 
Sugar

When reading labels, stay away from foods with refined sugars. Click here to read about the alternatives: natural sweeteners like unrefined brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, barley malt and rice syrups, honey and agave nectar.

 
Oils & Fats 

Saturated fats are actually the healthiest oils to cook with because they are the most chemically stable (or heat-stable).  Saturated fats are found primarily in animal fats and tropical oils.  Coconut oil and palm kernel oil, however, are two saturated fats that come from vegetable sources. They have very little polyunsaturates and are mostly composed of natural saturated fats, which are the most heat-stable, and therefore the least harmful in your body from cooking use.  Click here for a fantastic guide to oils & fats.

 

L4L Tip:  Try cooking twice a week and putting your food in Tupperware!  That way you always have good, fresh food to eat and won’t be forced to eat out and ingest processed foods!