Don’t deprive yourself or your health from the vital nutrients in grain foods.
Bread is nutritionist approved – grains are a part of every healthful eating plan, from the DASH plan to the Mediterranean diet. Grains, as part of a healthy diet, provide nutrients needed for healthy aging: B-vitamins, magnesium, selenium, iron, folate, and fiber. Grain foods, like milk and dairy, provide nutrient density in the American diet and are a source of protein, calcium and B-vitamins, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. Bread is the perfect vehicle for delivery of nutrients that contribute to healthy aging. Sandwiches, wraps, and crackers can carry needed protein-rich foods, vegetables and healthy fats.
Whole grains also provide anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients. While research is still emerging and further research is needed, a variety of plant-based compounds in whole grains may impact oxidative stress, suggesting that reducing oxidative stress by consuming whole grains is a likely mechanism for the protective effect from diseases associated with aging.
Healthy aging doesn’t require gluten-free foods. About 30% of adults say they are trying to cut out or avoid gluten in their diets and while a small percentage of adults (about 1%) have celiac disease, a medically diagnosed reason to avoid gluten, healthy adults do not need to eliminate gluten, the protein in wheat. Gluten-free diets are recommended for those with a diagnosed medical issue like celiac disease, a digestive disorder related to the consumption of gluten, the protein in wheat, barley and rye. In a recent study on the gluten-free diet trend, researchers expressed concern that the avoidance of gluten may result in reduced consumption of beneficial whole grains, which may increase cardiovascular disease risk.
When cutting food groups to jump on the latest diet craze, remember that what you substitute may be worse for your health in the long run.
- Cutting carbs and replacing with foods high in saturated fats may increase your risk for chronic diseases associated with aging.
- Cutting carbs and replacing with the added calories in some gluten-free alternatives can lead to weight gain.