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Surge Of A Multigrain Diet- Is It Overhyped?

Posted By HealthcareOnTime Team Posted on 2022-04-28 Surge Of A Multigrain Diet- Is It Overhyped?

A huge number of Indians have fallen prey to a multitude of metabolic disorders due to changes in lifestyle habits in recent years, and hence has come the surge of "health foods". The fad for fortified foods like oats, multigrain, wholegrain and 7 grain is on the rise, as these provide convenience of availability and lesser cooking time. These are also marketed to be ideal for inclusion in breakfast and lunch menu, as they supposedly meet the daily dietary requirements of proteins, carbohydrates, fiber and vitamins of our body.

Grains are fruits of the grass family with or without the fruit layer and have a longer shelf life as compared to fruits or other staple foods. These can also be ground in a mill and included as flour in many traditional food items. They are rich in proteins, and hence are an essential for human body for synthesis of hormones, antibodies, bones, muscles, tissues, etc These grains can be of two types

  • Whole grain products include wheat flour, oatmeal, cornmeal, brown rice, etc.
  • Refined grains include the milled varieties wherein the bran and germ layers are lost to produce smooth grain varieties with increased shelf life, albeit with loss of fiber iron and some essential vitamins. Includes white bread, rice and flour.

Whole Wheat
Refers to the unmilled variety of wheat with intact bran, germ and endosperm, but whole wheat might be partially processed to be included in noodles, pastas, breads and biscuits, in which case loss of some dietary fiber and vitamins becomes unavoidable. Hence, selection of food products labelled as 100% whole wheat is important to reap the complete benefits.

Health benefits of Whole Wheat

  • Weight loss, as they are rich in fiber
  • Protection from development of metabolic syndrome, especially those arising due to obesity like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular conditions
  • Betaine in whole wheat reduces chronic inflammation
  • Improves gastrointestinal healt

Unprocessed corn is rich in fiber, Vitamin B, Vitamin A and antioxidants. Meanwhile, processed corn is loaded with sugar and needs to be avoided. Eating corn in the form of popcorn and soup is the best way to reap its health benefits.

Health benefits of Maize/Corn

  • High fiber content prevents constipation and other gastrointestinal problems
  • Rich in calories makes it an ideal breakfast or snack
  • Rich in B vitamins (thiamine and niacin) maintains nerve health
  • Rich source of minerals (phosphorous, iron, magnesium, etc.) maintains bone and heart health
  • Vitamin A maintains eye and skin health and boosts the immune system

Chana Dal
Baby chickpeas are available in split and polished form and are included in traditional Indian cuisines like dal, sweets and savouries used either whole or roasted and ground to form flour (besan).

Health benefits of Chana Dal

  • Rich in fiber, reducing bad cholesterol
  • Rich source of calcium and proteins along with minerals (zinc, copper and manganese etc.)
  • With a glycemicindex <10, it is ideal for diabetics diet

- High in maltose sugar, barley is a cereal grain highly rich in nutrients as compared to other cereal counterparts. Extensively used in beer making as well as sweetener, it is also available as flour or flakes.

Health benefits of Barley

  • Lowers cholesterol and maintains intestinal health
  • Prevents plaque formation and maintains heart health
  • Reduces risk of type 2 diabetes

Widely cultivated in India throughout the year, when used as whole grain, is rich in proteins and minerals. It is one of the easily digestible foods with a high carbohydrate content and certain essential minerals and vitamins.

Health benefits of Ragi

  • Very rich source of gluten free protein - ideal for gluten intolerant individuals
  • Rich in calcium, its routine inclusion in diet prevents bone problems
  • High fiber and low fat combination aids in weight loss
  • An excellent baby food

An ideal breakfast meal, consumed as a porridge or even cereal.

Health benefits of Oats

  • Rich in dietary fiber, lowers cholesterol
  • Improves gastrointestinal health, boosting growth of good bacteria
  • Its phytochemical constituents possess anti-cancer properties
  • Reduces blood sugar, maintains health and longevity

Most commonly consumed staple food in many parts of the country, it is known as the poor man's food. Widely recommended by dieticians and nutritionists, the almost forgotten cereal benefits health in various possible ways

Health benefits of Bajra

  • Rich in amino acids and is an excellent source of energy
  • High fiber content maintains intestinal health
  • Efficiently reduces cholesterol
  • Effective for treatment of epilepsy, piles
  • Maintains blood sugar levels in Diabetes

Multigrains can be termed as packaged goodness, but anything in excess can be harmful, and extra care needs to be taken while selecting over the shelf varieties in case of individuals allergic to particular grains or those with kidney dysfunction. And somehow by exaggerating the foods, we tend to lose their essence, eating only those that increase calories and deteriorate health.


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  • Disclaimer: HealthcareOnTime offers extensively researched information, including laboratory testing for health screening. However, we must emphasize that this content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always prioritize consulting your healthcare provider for accurate medical guidance and personalized treatment. Remember, your health is of paramount importance, and only a qualified medical professional can make precise determinations regarding your well-being.
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