Recent studies conclude that whole grains can boost weight loss, lower blood pressure, reduce risk of diabetes and cancer, and increase overall heart health. In addition, over 600 new products containing whole grains were introduced by food companies in 2005-a sure sign that the whole grain revolution is upon us.
Yet a recent study from the Whole Grains Council found that 68 percent of Americans are unaware that they should be eating three daily servings of whole grains. Forty-seven percent said they were looking for practical ways to incorporate whole grains into their everyday diets.
A new book called "The Whole Grain Diet Miracle" (DK Publishing, $24.95) may help. Written by Dr. Lisa Hark and Dr. Darwin Deen, it explains whole grains-and how to easily add them to your diet-in an understandable way. The book provides scientific facts, easy-to-understand overviews of the "16 miracle grains," a two-week jump-start menu, four-week whole grain diet and 50 delicious recipes.
The book advocates what its authors refer to as a sensible eating plan that promotes better health without deprivation. Instead of telling readers to stop eating a whole category of foods, Drs. Hark and Deen encourage them to eat more whole grains by providing a number of whole grain food options. For instance, readers are encouraged to experiment with the more exotic (but still readily available) grains such as amaranth, quinoa, and millet, while basic cooking instructions and simple recipes help even the most skittish cook take the whole grain plunge.
The result, according to the authors, is a "pain-free" way to improve overall health, lose weight and stave off disease.
In addition, the book answers some basic but common whole grain questions including: What are they? Where are they found? What will they do to my body? How much do I need to eat to get the health benefits? Are whole grains "good carbs"?
Dr. Hark says with the book's help, readers will find it easy to fit in the three servings of whole grains recommended by the 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines.