Happy Friday everyone! This week has been a great one, with one new class starting up at Sea Mar and no snow to cancel the classes already in session! This week we made Chinese veggies and brown rice in two classes- both times it was very delicious and smelled so good that we had people from outside the class rushing in to scoop up the leftovers. We also made Haitian chicken with polenta- another great dish using whole grains and a flavorful sauce to tempt all tastebuds.
This week, most of the classes focused on whole grains and how the fiber in them is so beneficial to our health. Fiber is found in plant products- like fruits, vegetables and grains such as quinoa, polenta and brown rice. Eating less processed forms of these foods means more fiber in the food! Fiber can help to decrease our risk for heart disease and certain cancers. It also keeps us fuller longer, so it's great for losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight. We spent time in class doing "fiber detective"- an activity created by Emily- in which we have participants look at popular grain based food items and determine whether or not the product is a whole grain. We had some very surprised participants- it's pretty amazing how marketing can trick us into thinking that a product is a whole grain product when it's really not.
Some tips for ensuring you're buying whole grain products:
- Is the first ingredient a whole grain (it should say "whole" for the first item)?
- Is there a good amount of fiber in the product (i.e. NOT less than 1 gram/ serving)?
- Are there a lot of added vitamins and minerals? (This is not always an indicator, but a whole grain has many vitamins and minerals in it already and does not need to be fortified)
Look for whole grains and fiber when you go grocery shopping this weekend. We'd love to know of any products you find that are deceptive. Hope you have a great weekend and that this rain lets up!