Heather Catledge, LDN, CLC, WIC Nutritionist
Does it feel like everything is all about “whole grain” these days? Have you ever wondered what exactly is a whole grain? A whole grain is made from the entire grain—including the bran, germ and endosperm. “Refined” flours, like white and enriched wheat flour, include only the starchy part of the grain, the endosperm. If you only eat refined grains, you’re missing out on many of the nutrients found in the other layers of the grain. Also, whole grains help you feel fuller longer, since they have more fiber which takes longer to digest.
Like many things in life, what you think you see is not always what you get! Some food labels will boast that the item contains whole grain, but in reality the whole grain is only a small portion of all the grain in that food. Your best bet? Read the ingredient list and look for the word “whole” as the first ingredient.
Years ago, there were few whole grain products on the market, and shoppers had no reliable way to find foods offering a significant amount of whole grains. Luckily, times have changed. You can find whole grains in a lot of products in your local neighborhood supermarket. Wheat products include 100% whole wheat bread and tortillas, like those available from WIC. Many cereals are 100% whole grain, or have added whole grains such that more than half the grain in the box is the healthiest kind. Whole grain pastas help to give your meal an extra boost of nutrition. Popcorn (season with herbs instead of butter and salt), oatmeal, and brown rice are all delicious whole grains to enjoy. If you’re adventurous, search for recipes that use buckwheat, bulgur or quinoa.
With such a wide assortment of whole grains, you could almost try a new one at each meal! The catch phrase these days is “make half of your grains whole.” I don’t know about you, but I like a challenge! I aim for making most, if not all, of my grains whole. Tell us what you’ve tried!
National Minority Health Month: A Focus on Oral Health posted on Apr 25
April is National Minority Health Month – a time for us to highlight the Department’s work promoting the well-being of racial, ethnic and linguistic minority populations throughout the Commonwealth. Spearheaded by our Office of Health Equity (OHE), all DPH programs strive to respond effectively to …Continue Reading National Minority Health Month: A Focus on Oral Health
Don’t Fall Behind – Vaccinate On Time! posted on Apr 24
National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization partners in promoting healthy communities throughout the United States. This year, NIIW is April 22-29, 2017. One of the …Continue Reading Don’t Fall Behind – Vaccinate On Time!
Weekly Flu Report, April 21, 2017 posted on Apr 21
The latest weekly flu report shows a drop in rates of flu-like illness in Massachusetts over the past seven days. Even so, we can expect flu to continue to circulate in our communities well into spring – so it’s not too late to get a flu shot …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 21, 2017