In our quest to eat more nutritious foods, I have subtly (or so I thought) been adding bran and whole grains to our diet. At the moment, I am not quite up to making bread, so I have switched out our previous choices (“Best of Both” by Albany which advertises that it has the benefits of whole wheat, while looking almost like white; Brown bread – which seems to be a coloured white bread in texture; and whole wheat, which actually had very little in the way of texture, save a few seeds…) to “health bread” – packed full of seeds, whole grains and additional fiber.
If you have read my previous posts, you know that I have a son who has very strong opinions, especially about his food. He has decided that he doesn’t at all care for the health bread, and will rather by his own white bread.
Round One of the Conversion Bout goes to “Old Habits That Die Hard”
This week, I substituted our usual morning muffin with a bran muffin with fresh chopped apple baked inside. My kids all partook without hesitation
Round Two goes to “Mom’s Clever Ingenuity”
However, my two youngest came home from school that day with complaints. My youngest exclaimed “Mom, if that was somekind of a crazy experiment – it worked. I have been having problems with gas all day! I had to keep squeeking my chair on the floor to cover the sound!” oh dear…
Finally, this morning I decided to make the family favorite: flapjacks. Only I called them Flapjacks with a Twist. I substituted 1/2 the flour with ground oats and sauteed apples and honey instead of providing the usual syrup. Hubby loved them, Daughters ate them happily (only after my sugar addict complained that I wouldn’t provide the powered sugar she prefers on her flapjacks). Son of Strong Opinion, however, declared them as terrible… ate an egg and walked out of the kitchen still hungry.
This may be a long long road for some in my family…. 🙂
Here is what I have learned about the importance of whole grains and fibre in the diet….
- Refined wheat flour has 24 nutrients that are removed in the refining process, yet only 4 are replaced (iron, B1, B2 and B3)
- It helps to keep the digestive tract and liver healthy which offers: healthy skin; lowered risk of bowel disease such as appendicities, diverticulitis, colitus and bowel cancer; lowered risk of diabetes.
- It keeps energy levels up by slowing down absorption of sugar into the blood.
- Soluable fibre absorbs water and will help control your appetite – that is one reason that 1/2 cup of oats can sustain while 1 1/2 cups of boxed cereal leaves you hungry (sugar also plays a role).
- Wheat bran can actually reduce the absorption of essential minierals including zinc because of the presence of phytate – an anti-nutrient.
- Ideal fibre intake should be not less than 35 grams per day, which is attainable from a healthy diet without additing extra fibre.
- Ideal fibre sources include: oats, beans, seeds, fruit and riaw or lightly cooked vegetables.
- Overcooking food destroys fibre content.
So, good news for my dear children: our new healthy diet will cover most of the fibre you need. Bran muffins will not be a regular offering. And you won’t need to squeek your chairs in class.