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A “Grain” Area: Detangling Truth From Myth Part 2

This is a 2 part blog. Part 1 discusses theories surrounding grains and Part 2 discusses useful tips on selecting grains.

Understanding the science and distinguishing between fact and theory is just the start. In this blog, we seek to translate that information into real and practical: “what do I eat” tips.

Top 5 tips to choosing the best grains

1)    Read ingredient lists: make sure the whole grain is the first ingredient. The list should not say refined or enriched.

2)    Look at and follow the serving size: typically a serving of grains is anywhere from ½ cup to 1 cup.

3)    Look at the fiber content: There should be at least 3 grams of fiber per serving

4)    If buying brown rice, choose those that are grown in California, India or Pakistan to minimize arsenic consumption. Other ancient grains like quinoa, millet, faro and buckwheat have negligible amounts of arsenic as well.

5)    Choose organic if concerned about GMOs and/or pesticides.

Which grains to choose:

Ancient grains are packed with nutrients and have so many different taste panels. Soak in water overnight ahead of time for quicker cooking!

Take away

Each decade has its target fad diet – whether it is low fat, sugar or salt. We must keep in mind that when we eliminate certain food groups, we could deprive our bodies of key nutrients that we need for overall health. Strive to maintain a healthy body weight and aim determine the healthfulness of a food by its ingredient list not its fad properties.  And remember, whole foods in their most natural forms are always best!

Hillary Sachs, MS, RD, CSO, CDN

Hillary is a Registered Dietitian and Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition (CSO). She received her BS in Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University and MS in Clinical Nutrition at New York University, and completed her dietetic internship at the James J. Peters Bronx VA Medical Center. Hillary works as an outpatient dietitian at the North Shore-LIJ’s Cancer Institute, where she counsels patients and their families before, during and after cancer treatment. Additionally, Hillary counsels clients on nutrition through her private practice, Recipe for Health, L.L.C., and has been invited to present at several nutrition-related events including the Breast Cancer Update Symposium at North Shore-LIJ (2013) and Adelphi University’s Farm to Table lecture (2014). Hillary strives to translate the science behind health, nutrition and prevention into practical and easy-to-follow recommendations.

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