Ask anyone about wholegrains and chances are they would say that they are good for you and it is important to eat them on a daily basis. But ask a few more questions like “what type of wholegrain foods do you eat?” or “how do you incorporate wholegrain foods into each of your meals?” and you may not get much of a response.
The term “wholegrain” certainly has a healthy halo surrounding it, but not everyone knows what a wholegrain actually is, or how to look for it in a food product label. When it comes to recognizing a true wholegrain, one of the easiest and quickest ways to work it out is to do the quick 10:1 wholegrain test; that is, for every 10g of carbohydrate, there should be at least 1g of fibre. Whilst this is not the full wholegrain story, the good news is that products with these ratios are generally considered to be healthy and nutritious products.
BARLEYmax®™ is an example of a wholegrain that easily passes the 10:1 test. With 32g of carbohydrate and 27g of fibre per 100g, this nutrition power grain meets the minimum ratio 9 times over! Look for these products made with BARLEYmax®™, to maximise the number of wholegrain products you are eating.
The wholegrain daily target intake is 48g per day for adults, as well as children older than 9 years. To help achieve this target, below are some creative and easy ways to add more wholegrains to your daily diet.
Add grains into salads
Wholegrains can really add a special touch to a simple salad. Not only do they add colour, flavor and texture, but they also provide an extra fibre and protein boost, as well as a range of nutritious vitamins and minerals. With grain varieties becoming more widely available, you can experiment with different types to create innovative and nutritious salads.
Choose wholegrain breads
Wholegrain bread is packed full of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, complex carbohydrates and fibre. Choosing a wholegrain bread like the Alpine Heart bread range will not only help to keep you fuller for longer (thanks to the high amounts of soluble and insoluble fibre from BARLEYmax®™), but it can also keep your heart healthy as the beta glucan can help to reduce your body’s cholesterol re-absorption*.
Start your day with a wholegrain breakfast
Kickstarting your day with a nutritious wholegrain breakfast choice can have a significant impact on long term health outcomes. Studies have shown that wholegrain breakfast cereals, may lower the risk of overweight and obesity. Incorporating a breakfast cereal made with BARLEYmax®™ into your morning routine will provide a good source of prebiotic fibre to feed your gut microbiome and help achieve good digestive health. And if breakfast cereal is not your thing, the Alpine Heart, Bodhi’s Bake House or Edwards Sourdough breads are a great breakfast option too!
Swap to wholegrain flour
A simple way to add more wholegrains to your diet is to switch from using bleached white flour to a wholegrain variety. Wholegrain flours will have a coarser texture than white flour. It is less processed, and generally retains more nutrients and flour. For most baked recipes, you can generally replace half the white flour with a wholegrain variety without much impact on the end product, but you may need to play around with the quantities. Many less processed flours are a wholemeal version, which whilst these have better nutritional quality than all purpose white flour, they don’t retain as much nutrients as a wholegrain variety. BARLEYmax®™ flour will be available for purchase in the near future. Send us an email if you would like to be informed when you can buy this wholegrain flour to improve the nutrition of your baked goods.
For many people, snacks are where they come undone when trying to maintain a healthy diet with lots of wholegrains. It can be too tempting to reach for the lolly jar at work, or buy highly processed convenient snacks. The best way to keep up your wholegrains when snacking is to be prepared. Keep wholegrain crackers in your desk drawer, mix in a wholegrain muesli (e.g. BARLEY+) with some yoghurt, or make a stash of wholegrain crunchie-style biscuits to provide snacks for the whole family (great school lunchbox addition!).
Smoothies with a twist
Smoothies are an easy and convenient way to add more wholegrains into your daily diet. They’re also a great way to explore your wholegrain creativity and be adventurous with the combinations. This Banana and Avocado Smoothie bowl is a delicious and nutritious blend of carbohydrates, fibre and healthy fats. Swap the BARLEY clusters for one of the new Barley+ mueslis. Let us know if you want to be informed when the BARLEYmax®™ flakes are available to purchase, as these would make a great addition to this smoothie recipe.
Invite wholegrains to the party
Throwing a cocktail party? Choose foods that have a high wholegrain content and help your guests reach their wholegrain targets too! Use brown rice for risotto balls, wholegrain crackers with the cheese board and wholegrain flatbreads for mini pizettes.
There are so many wonderful and innovative ways to enjoy wholegrain foods. I would love to hear how you incorporate wholegrains into your daily diet. Please send me an email with your suggestions. Our favourite suggestions will be shared on social media, so we can all help each other enjoy more wholegrains, and follow the advice of Michael Pollan, to “eat food, not too much and mostly plants.”
BSc(Hons), MNutrDiet, Grad, Dip Business
Intended as general advice only. Consult your health care professional to discuss any specific concerns.