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Make the Switch Nutrition Challenge

Megan O

READ TIME:2 min.

HOW’D YOU DO?

I hope you all did last month’s Make Mom Proud Challenge! Did you try eating a vegetable at every meal? If so, which meal did you struggle with the most? Mine was breakfast, but having that on my mind helped me remember to incorporate more throughout my day. This month, we’re changing gears to talk all about whole grains.

THIS MONTH’S CHALLENGE

This month, our challenge is to make the switch to whole grains. My recommendation is to make at least half of your grain intake come from whole grains…but what does that mean? Whole grain simply means that all parts of the original grain are still in tact, including the germ, endosperm, and bran. In refined grains, like all-purpose flour, the germ and bran have been removed, leaving just the starchy endosperm.

THE BENEFITS

Why do we care? The germ and bran contain many of the nutrients provided by the grain, such as B vitamins, fiber, and minerals like iron. When manufacturers take those away, you’re left with a high-carb product without much nutritional value. That’s what they mean when the words “enriched flour” is labeled on products. It means that they’re using a refined flour, then adding back in some of the vitamins and minerals removed when the germ and bran were removed, but they often don’t add back in the fiber. Fiber helps keep you full and can help control your cholesterol, weight, and reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease, when you make it part of a healthy diet. By eating the whole grain, not only are you getting the important vitamins and minerals your body needs, but you’re also getting that oh-so-important fiber!

TAKE THE CHALLENGE!

So my challenge is to pick a food that you usually eat with refined grains. Maybe it’s bread, pasta, tortillas, or even just white rice. For the next month, eat the whole grain version of that food or replace it with a whole grain like oats, barley, or quinoa. If you’re already great about eating whole grains, try a new grain or a new recipe incorporating whole grains. Our recipes always try to incorporate lots of whole grains, so browse our blog for ideas, or create and share your own whole grain meal with us. We want to see your ideas, so be sure to share how you’re completing this challenge on social media with #ifitnutritionchat. I can’t wait to see what you’ve got cookin’!

Megan Ostler MS, RDN

WARNING: This post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. iFit assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.

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