Cholesterol Advice

Type of Grains to Eat When Suffering From High Cholesterol

Grains are an essential source of calories required by our body. As a matter of fact, they provide up to 60 per cent the body's daily energy requirement. Apart from providing energy, research has indicated that grains can also help in lowering blood cholesterol in the body. However, not all types of grains perform this role.

Grains are of two types- whole grains and refined grains. Of the two types, the former is considered instrumental in reducing blood cholesterol in the body while the latter is seen as a saboteur of blood cholesterol levels. The relatively high quantity of fiber in the former makes it instrumental in lowering cholesterol.

Why Prefer Whole Grains Over Processed Grains?
Eating whole grains is preferred for lowering blood cholesterol as they are high in nutrition. The whole part of the grain is retained during the process of milling. Apart from that, whole grains have the outer coating of the grain intact. This provides additional quantities of soluble fiber which then binds with cholesterol molecules and expels them from the body.

Processed grains are called because they have been refined in order to rid the grain of its outer coating. The flour produced is then smooth and of fine quality. However, it is rich only in carbohydrates and lacking in fiber and other nutrients present in the grain. Its consumption has a negative impact upon health as it decreases the level of HDL Cholesterol in the body while raising the level of triglycerides.

Further, processing companies add extra amount of nutrients such as iron and sodium to refined grains and grain products. The addition destabilizes the intake level of such ingredients, which then has a negative impact upon health. Foods made out of refined grain (or refined grain flour) include items such as egg noodles, white rice, white bread, pastries, and "instant" grains (such as instant oatmeal).

How To Establish That Chosen Grain is Whole or Refined?
While it was difficult to distinguish between the two earlier, FDA regulations have made grain marketing companies to explicitly mention the type of grain they are selling. Thus, all you need to do in order to know what kind of grain you are eating is to look carefully at the packet. It would tell you whether they grain is whole or refined.

Apart from information given on the packet, there is yet another way of ascertaining what kind of grain is it. You can visually distinguish between the two. Whole grains are usually darker in color whereas refined grains are much lighter in color. The color separation can also be done in the products made out of these types of grains.