You know that your plant-based diet is full of products, lean protein, legumes, and healthy fats, but whole grains go a long way in helping you feel full and are essential to staying on the menu when eating a plant-based diet.
That’s because, in addition to the satiety benefits of whole grains that help you feel full longer, whole grains have a myriad of health benefits. Studies have shown that a diet that is high in whole grains should be used with lower risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
When reading food labels, make sure that the first ingredient says whole grains or whole grains Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD Author of Read it before you eat it. “If you see “wheat” as the first ingredient, it doesn’t mean the same thing. The wheat might be white, nutrients might be deprived, and that doesn’t mean whole grains or whole grains. “
Whole grains help us meet our fiber needs, and they’re good sources of B vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, says Taub-Dix. “A lot of people try to skip grains to lose weight, but it’s not a smart idea. They help you feel full and satisfied and are an important part of your diet when you choose the right servings and healthy whole grains, ”she says 25 grams of fiber daily on a 2,000-calorie diet.
Here are the best sources of whole grains to include in your plant-based diet and how to eat them:
Whole wheat pasta
Swap out your regular white pasta for a whole grain variety for more fiber and nutrients per serving. The whole wheat pasta may have more texture and a bite to eat to get used to, but they are a solid source of whole grains. Make it easier for your family by swapping whole wheat pasta in vegetable lasagna, macaroni and cheese dishes, and in pesto pasta. Chances are, you will never notice the difference!
Whole grain rice
Look for brown rice or wild rice, as both have more fiber than white rice, says Taub-Dix. Enjoy this as a side dish or add it to an egg or bean burrito for a Mexican dish. We also love it as a base for a vegetable pan!
If you followed a reasonably healthy diet before switching to plant-based foods, you have likely eaten some of these whole grains, and oatmeal was probably high on that list. This nutty hot breakfast item can be enjoyed in so many ways with a variety of toppings and add-ins to make it taste fresh and different every day. “I like to make a huge pot of oatmeal at the beginning of the week,” says Taub-Dix. “Then during the week I take something out of the fridge, put it in a bowl, add my almond butter, fruit or whatever, and heat it up in the microwave. So I don’t have to cook breakfast every day. ”In fact, the same method of cooking a large batch and using it all week can be applied to all of these grains, saving you time and energy during the Monday through Friday slogs.
Whole wheat bread
This swap could be one of the easiest to make in your diet if you aren’t already eating the whole grain version. Whole grain bread with nut butter and fruit slices for a wholesome breakfast, lunch or snack. Start the day with a whole grain English muffin or add your favorite vegetables and plant-based proteins to a wrap for lunch or dinner. You are well on your way to meeting your daily fiber quota in a single meal. Remember to check the label before buying to make sure you are buying a real whole grain product and not a wheat scam that does not have the same benefits.
“Old grain sounds like a cool term and seems like something new, but it’s really the grain our ancestors ate and it’s really healthy for us,” says Taub-Dix. Grains like farro, amaranth, sorghum, and freekeh all fall into this category. The Whole Grain Council website can provide instructions on how to cook and serve these products, as well as other information on ancient grains with many health benefits.
Many people mistakenly call quinoa a grain, says Taub-Dix. “But it is a seed of the mustard family and is family something like that a seed in the clothing of the grain, ”she says. Even if it’s not a whole grain, it’s still a gluten-free, healthy food that is a good source of plant-based protein and fiber. Add it to your plant-based diet and enjoy it with every meal as a base for a quinoa bowl, as a side dish, on a salad or even in a soup.