Connect with us

Whole Grain Benefits

Whole Grain Labels Confuse People Trying to Pick Healthy Options

Published

on

  • A new study found that “whole grain” labels on cereal, bread and crackers can be confusing for people trying to make smarter food choices.
  • To get a “whole grain” label, only 51 percent of a product needs to contain whole grains.
  • Experts found that people often made the wrong decision about which product is healthier when looking at whole grain labeling.

Whole grains may be better for your health, but figuring out which products are healthier by relying on “whole grain” labels can actually make it difficult to make healthy choices.

A new study found that these labels on cereal, bread, and crackers can be confusing for people trying to make smarter food choices.

The report, published in Public Health Nutrition magazine, detailed a survey of 1,030 US adults. Participants were shown photos of real and hypothetical products with food labels. They were asked to identify healthier options for the hypothetical products or to rate the whole grains of the real products.

A significant number of respondents gave the wrong answer as to which product was healthier.

“Our study results show that many consumers cannot properly identify the amount of whole grains they consume or choose a healthier whole grain product,” said Parke Wilde, PhD, study author and professor at Tufts University, in a statement.

The authors wanted to find out if there was a strong legal argument that whole grain labels were misleading. Evidence could support a move for increased labeling requirements.

“I’d say wholegrain claims are among the worst when it comes to fraudulent labels,” added co-author Jennifer L. Pomeranz, assistant professor of public health policy and management at New York University in New York City.

Whole grain labeling has “been a source of confusion and deception for a long time,” said Dr. Amy Burkhart, an integrative medicine doctor and registered nutritionist based in Napa, California. “Many brands use the term whole grain and others to influence customers’ purchasing decisions by creating a facade for a ‘healthy product’.”

The term “whole grain” means that all parts of the kernel are contained in the product, explained Burkhart.

“This is where the blurring of the lines begins,” she said. “The product only has to contain 51 percent whole grain ingredients to use the term ‘whole grain’.”

For example, a label might say “whole grains,” but up to 49 percent of the product can contain processed grains.

There are whole grains and refined grains, said Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN, a consultant with Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Whole grain products contain three parts: the bran, germ and endosperm layer. Refined grains have been stripped of the bran and cotyledons and, in turn, are free of the fiber, iron, B vitamins, fatty acids, and antioxidants that are inherent in whole intact grain.

Refined grains are white flour products that can be fortified or fortified with vitamins and minerals to provide nutritional value.

Wheat-based whole grain products contain gluten. Wheat-free grains are usually gluten-free unless there is cross-contamination during processing of the grain, Retelny said.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Agriculture Department’s 2015-2020 Nutritional Guidelines for Americans, half of all grains consumed should be whole grains. Getting enough whole grains has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

The most common types of whole grains containing gluten include wheat, barley, rye and spelled. Whole grain gluten-free products include corn, oats, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, sorghum, teff, millet, and amaranth, Burkhart said.

Ancient grains such as farro and spelled are those that have not been changed by modern breeding methods in the last hundred years. Ancient whole grains that are not made from wheat include sorghum, quinoa, and millet, she noted.

“This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re more nutritious, but they require fewer pesticides and water to grow, which is good for the planet,” said Burkhart.

As part of the survey, the packaging of the hypothetical products either did not have a wholemeal front label or was marked with “Mehrkorn”, “Made with wholegrain” or a wholegrain stamp. The packaging of the real products showed the actual product labels, including “multigrain”, “honey wheat” and “12 grains”.

When looking at the hypothetical products, people had to answer whether they thought the product was healthier. For the real products, they were asked to rate the whole grain content.

Of the hypothetical products, 29 to 47 percent mistakenly identified the healthier product. Specifically, they got the wrong answer 31 percent of the time for cereals, up to 37 percent for crackers and 47 percent for bread items.

Of the real products that were not predominantly wholegrain, 43 to 51 percent of those surveyed overestimated the wholegrain content, depending on the product.

Researchers found that 41 percent overestimated the grain content for multigrain crackers, 43 percent for honey wheat bread, and 51 percent for 12-grain bread.

However, the respondents identified the whole grain content of an oat grain, which mainly contained whole grain, more precisely.

While experts find the Food and Drug Administration’s labeling standards confusing, other groups have pushed for more transparency.

The Whole Grains Council, a not-for-profit consumer protection group, has developed three postage stamps as a guide for consumers, but they are not found on all products.

Companies must apply to use the stamp. The 100 percent stamp includes products where all grains are whole grains and the product contains at least 16 grams of whole grains per serving. The 50 percent stamp means that at least 50 percent of the grains in the product are whole and the product contains at least 8 g of whole grains per serving. The basic stamp means the item contains at least 8 grams of whole grain per serving, Burkhart explained.

Terms like wheat, semolina, durum wheat, organic flour, stone flour, multigrain, fiber and cracked wheat may or may not be whole grains.

“When buying a whole grain product like bread or crackers, make sure the first ingredient is a whole grain ingredient like whole wheat flour or whole wheat flour,” said Amy Gorin, MS, a registered nutritionist in New Jersey. “Many whole grain products are made from whole grain, but do not contain them as a main ingredient.”

For example, on bread labels, the first ingredient should be whole wheat flour, whole wheat flour or another whole grain ingredient. For example, it shouldn’t be fortified wheat flour.

“The fiber content on the nutrition label is another giveaway – whole grains are likely good or excellent sources of fiber,” Gorin said.

Retelny advises her customers to focus on a product’s ingredient list for the word “whole” before the grain. For example, look for “whole grains” or “whole grain oats” instead of “fortified” wheat or oats, as these are refined versions of the grain, she said.

“Just because it’s black bread doesn’t mean it’s whole-grain bread,” said Gorin.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Whole Grain Benefits

For the 55-and-over crowd, March 27-April 3, 2022 | Local News

Published

on

For information about services available to older adults, contact Pam Jacobsen, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 2102 Windsor Place, C, at 217-359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Center are administered by Family Service of Champaign County.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Active Senior Republicans in Champaign County’s monthly meeting will be held at 9:30 am on April 4 in the Robeson Pavilion Room A & B at the Champaign Public Library. This month’s speakers will be Jesse Reising, Regan Deering and Matt Hausman, Republican primary candidates for the newly redrawn 13th Congressional District.
  • Parkland Theater House needs four ushers each night for “The SpongeBob Musical,” opening April 14. There will be nine shows in total — April 14-16, April 22-24 and April 29-May 1. For details, call or email Michael Atherton, Parkland Theater House Manager, theatre@parkland.edu or 217-373-3874.
  • Parkland College also needs four volunteers for commencement. The commencement ceremony will be in person at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at 8 pm May 12. Volunteers needed from 6:30 to 8 pm For details, contact Tracy Kleparski, Director of Student Life, at TKleparski@parkland.edu or 217- 351-2206.
  • The Milford High School National Honor Society and Student Council is hosting a Senior Citizens Banquet at 6 pm April 22. The event will be held in the MAPS #124 Gymnasium (park at south doors at Milford High School. To RSVP, call Sandy Potter at 815-471-4213.

STEVICK CENTER ACTIVITIES

Knit or crochet for those in need:

Meditative Movement with Yoga:

  • 9 to 10:15 am Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Bingo:

  • 11 am to noon, second and fourth Tuesdays. Call 217-359-6500.

Bridge:

  • Noon to 3 pm Thursdays.

Euchar:

Card game 13:

  • To sign up to play, call 217-359-6500 and ask for Debbie.

Men’s group:

  • 9 am Monday-Friday. Join us for a cup of coffee and great conversation.

HOT LUNCH PROGRAM

The Peace Meal Nutrition Program provides daily hot lunches at 11:30 am for a small donation and a one-day advance reservation at sites in Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul, Sidney (home delivery only), Mahomet (home delivery only) and Homer.

For reservations, call 800-543-1770. Reservations for Monday need to be made by noon Friday.

NOTE: There is no change for home deliveries, but at congregate sites, you can get a carry-out meal.

Sunday:

  • BBQ pork sandwich, mini potato bakers, corn, creamy cole slaw, bun.

Tuesday:

  • Turkey pot roast with carrots and celery, Italian green beans, pineapple, whole grain roll.

Tuesday:

  • Savory sausage stew, broccoli, chunky apple sauce, biscuit, surprise dessert.

Tuesday:

  • Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and brown gravy, tomatoes and zucchini, apricots, whole-grain roll.

Friday:

  • Chef’s choice — regional favorites will be served.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

If you are 55 and older and want to volunteer in your community, RSVP (funded by AmeriCorps Seniors and the Illinois Department on Aging) provides a unique link to local nonprofits needing help. We offer support, benefits and a safe connection to partner sites.

Contact Pam Jacobsen at rsvpchampaign@gmail.com or 217-359-6500.

CURRENT NEEDS

Senior Volunteers.

  • RSVP of Champaign, Douglas and Piatt counties/AmeriCorps Senior Volunteers is your link to over 100 nonprofit organizations. Please contact Pam Jacobsen at rsvpchampaign@gmail.com or call 217-359-6500 for volunteer information.

Food for seniors. Handlers needed to unload boxes of food for repackaging at 7 am on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. We are looking for backup delivery drivers to deliver food to seniors. Contact Robbie Edwards at 217-359-6500 for info.

Continue Reading

Whole Grain Benefits

The future of nutrition advice

Published

on

By Lisa Drayer, CNN

(CNN) — Most of us know we should eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

So why would the National Institutes of Health spend $150 million to answer questions such as “What and when should we eat?” and “How can we improve the use of food as medicine?”

The answer may be precision nutrition, which aims to understand the health effects of the complex interplay among genetics, our microbiome (the bacteria living in our gut), our diet and level of physical activity, and other social and behavioral characteristics.

That means that everyone could have their own unique set of nutritional requirements.

How is that possible? I asked three experts who conduct precision nutrition research: Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology and chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and Martha Field and Angela Poole, both assistant professors in the division of nutritional sciences at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology.

Below is an edited version of our conversation.

CNN: How is precision nutrition different from current nutrition advice?

dr Frank Hu: The idea of ​​precision nutrition is to have the right food, at the right amount, for the right person. Instead of providing general dietary recommendations for everyone, this precision approach tailors nutrition recommendations to individual characteristics, including one’s genetic background, microbiome, social and environmental factors, and more. This can help achieve better health outcomes.

CNN: Why is there no one-size-fits-all prescription when it comes to what we should be eating?

Huh: Not everyone responds to the same diet in the same way. For example, given the same weight-loss diet, some people can lose a lot of weight; other people may gain weight. A recent study in JAMA randomized a few hundred overweight individuals to a healthy low-carb or low-fat diet. After a year, there was almost an identical amount of weight loss for the two groups, but there was a huge variation between individuals within each group — some lost 20 pounds. Others gained 10 pounds.

Martha Field: Individuals have unique responses to diet, and the “fine adjust” of precision nutrition is understanding those responses. This means understanding interactions among genetics, individual differences in metabolism, and responses to exercise.

CNN: How do we eat based on precision nutrition principles now?

Huh: There are some examples of personalized diets for disease management, like a gluten-free diet for the management of celiac disease, or a lactose-free diet if you are lactose intolerant. For individuals with a condition known as PKU (phenylketonuria), they should consume (a) phenylalanine-free diet. It’s a rare condition but a classic example of how your genes can influence what type of diets you should consume.

Angela Poole: If I had a family history of high cholesterol, diabetes or colon cancer, I would increase my dietary fiber intake, eating a lot of different sources, including a variety of vegetables.

fields: If you have high blood pressure, you should be more conscious of sodium intake. Anyone with a malabsorption issue might have a need for higher levels of micronutrients such as B vitamins and some minerals.

CNN: There is research showing that people metabolize coffee differently. What are the implications here?

Huh: Some people carry fast caffeine-metabolizing genes; others carry slow genes. If you carry fast (metabolizing) genotypes, you can drink a lot of caffeinated coffee because caffeine is broken down quickly. If you are a slow metabolizer, you get jittery and may not be able to sleep if you drink coffee in the afternoon. If that’s the case, you can drink decaf coffee and still get the benefits of coffee’s polyphenols, which are associated with decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes without the effects of caffeine.

CNN: How much of a role do our individual genes play in our risk of disease? And can our behavior mitigate our disease risk?

Huh: Our health is affected by both genes and diets, which constantly interact with each other because certain dietary factors can turn on or off some disease-related genes. We published research showing that reducing consumption of sugary beverages can offset the negative effects of obesity genes. That’s really good news. Our genes are not our destiny.

Another area of ​​precision nutrition is to measure blood or urine metabolites, small molecules produced during the breakdown and ingestion of food. For example, having a higher concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) strongly predicts one’s future risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The blood levels of BCAAs depend on individuals’ diet, genes and gut microbiome. We found that eating a healthy (Mediterranean-style) diet can mitigate harmful effects of BCAAs on cardiovascular disease. So measuring BCAAs in your blood may help to evaluate your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease and encourage dietary changes that can lower the risk of chronic diseases down the road.

fields: The environmental effects can sometimes be on the same magnitude as the genetic effects with respect to risk for disease.

CNN: Our individual microbiomes may be able to dictate what type of diet we should be consuming. Can you tell us about this emerging research? And what do you think of microbiome tests?

Poole: Research has shown that in some people, their blood sugar will spike higher from eating bananas than from eating cookies, and this has been associated with microbiome composition. Scientists have used microbiome data to build algorithms that can predict an individual’s glucose response, and this is a major advance. But that’s not an excuse for me to shovel down cookies instead of bananas. Likewise, if the algorithm suggests eating white bread instead of whole-wheat bread due to blood glucose responses, I wouldn’t just eat white bread all the time.

At the moment, I’m not ready to spend a lot of money to see what’s in my gut microbiome… and the microbiome changes over time.

Huh: Microbiome tests are not cheap, and the promise that this test can help develop a personalized meal plan that can improve blood sugar and blood cholesterol … at this point, the data are not conclusive.

CNN: How will nutrition advice be different 10 years from now?

Poole: I think you will receive a custom-tailored grocery list on an app — foods that you want to buy and foods that you want to avoid, based on your blood sugar responses to foods, your level of physical activity and more.

Huh: We will have more and better biomarkers and more affordable and accurate nutrigenomics and microbiome tests as well as better computer algorithms that predict your response to food intakes.

But these technologies cannot substitute general nutrition principles such as limiting sodium and added sugar and eating more healthy plant foods. In a few years, you may be able to get a more useful response from Alexa if you ask her what you should eat — but like other answers from Alexa, you’ll have to take it with a grain of salt.

The CNN Wire
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Continue Reading

Whole Grain Benefits

Are Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches Healthy?

Published

on

In order to assess its nutritional value, first we must discuss the breakdown of this sandwich.

Typically, there are three main ingredients — bread, peanut butter, and jelly — each with different nutritional values.

Nutritional value of bread

Bread can be a part of a balanced diet. The nutritional value of bread depends on the type chosen.

For starters, whole-grain bread is the best option because it provides a higher amount of nutrients. Whole grain kernels have three parts: the bran, endosperm, and germ (1).

Because whole grain bread retains all three parts, it’s higher in protein and fiber compared with other breads. These nutrients slow the absorption of sugar into your blood stream and keep you full longer (2, 3).

Whole grain bread is also richer in key nutrients, like B vitamins, iron, folate, and magnesium. Look for the word “whole” as part of the first ingredient in bread’s nutritional label (2).

Choosing sprouted grain bread, like Ezekiel bread, is also an excellent choice. The sprouting process increases digestibility and bioavailability of nutrients. Studies show sprouted bread has more fiber, vitamin E, and vitamin C, and beta-glucan (4).

Sourdough bread is fine, too. Although it’s not as high in fiber and protein, it has a lower glycemic index than white bread.

Glycemic index measures how quickly food increases blood sugars. In general, foods with a lower glycemic index better support your overall health.

But keep in mind that glycemic index doesn’t tell the whole story. We must look at the meal as a whole — for example, what we add to the bread. Nutrients, like protein and fats, can help lower the overall glycemic load of a meal, and serving sizes also play a role (5).

As a guideline, look for whole grain breads that offer at least 2 grams of fiber per slice. We also suggest using bread that contains 3 grams of protein or more per slice.

If that’s not available, sourdough bread may be your next best option.

Summary

Choose breads that are higher in fiber and protein, like whole grain bread or sprouted grain bread. These varieties help slow absorption of sugars and keep you full longer.

Nutritional value of peanut butter

Many people find peanut butter delicious.

Nutritionally, it also delivers. Peanut butter is a good source of protein and healthy fats, important for all stages of life, especially growing children. Plus, it’s a good source of fiber.

Two tablespoons (32 grams) of smooth peanut butter contain 7 grams of protein, 16 grams of fats, and 2 grams of fiber (6).

Importantly, the majority of fats in peanut butter are unsaturated fats. Research consistently indicates that replacing saturated fats found in animal products with more unsaturated fats (like those in peanut butter) may lower cholesterol and improve heart health (7, 8).

For growing kids, healthy fats are vital for healthy development. Plus, fats help absorb the vitamins A, D, E, and K, all of which play a synergistic role in supporting immune and brain health (9, 10).

Contrary to popular belief, conventional peanut butter doesn’t usually have more sugar than 100% natural peanut butter. However, it may have more salt (6).

When shopping, check the nutrition labels to ensure it doesn’t contain additional ingredients other than peanuts.

When enjoying natural peanut butter, the oil will separate from the peanut butter. Not to fret — just give it a good stir! This helps mix the oils with the solids.

Pro tip: You can store peanut butter upside down in the fridge to keep it from separating again!

Summary

When available, choose 100% natural peanut butter, as it’s lower in salt. Remember to stir the peanut butter before eating to mix the oils with the solids.

Nutritional value of jelly

The PB&J sandwich isn’t complete without jelly or jam. What’s the difference, anyway?

Well, while jellies and jams have similar nutritional value and taste, there’s a slight difference: Jellies are made with fruit juice, while jam is made with the fruit juice and pulp (7).

Both jellies and jams contain pectin (artificially added to jelly), which has prebiotic effects that may improve gut health (8).

However, both are naturally high in sugar, so enjoy them in moderation. To have more say in the ingredients used, you can try making your jelly at home.

If you’re buying from a store, look for jellies with no added sugar in the ingredients list. Alternative names for added sugars include glucose, sucrose, dextrose, and fructose.

Summary

Jellies are high in natural sugars and contain pectins that may have a beneficial effect in promoting good health. Try to choose jellies with no added sugars.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Zox News Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by WordPress.