For many Sikhs around the world, Vaisakhi is a celebration of the winter harvest festival and the start of a new year. During this time, many people in the community visit the gurdwara, do seva, and show gratitude for their blessings. Wheat is celebrated in this festival along with cereals like oats and barley, some fruits and vegetables, legumes, and seed plants. Did you know there are healthy and less healthy grains and flours? Whole grains have many health benefits and should be eaten most often in our diet. Whole grain products include whole oats, brown rice and wild rice, quinoa, corn, and products made with whole grains such as 100% whole grain bread, pasta, and roti/chapatti. Deep frying grains such as pakora, bread pakora, and samosa tend to be high in fat and salt, and should be limited. Read on for more information about whole grains.
Research shows that eating whole grains has been linked to a lower risk of chronic disease like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. You get the most health benefits from eating whole grains because they are high in fibre. White flours are less healthy as they contain less fibre. Whole grains are also high in many vitamins and minerals while being naturally low in salt, sugar, and fat. Whole grains have a good source of vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, iron, and folate. Try eating whole grains every day to get the most benefits.
Here are some ideas for including more whole grains into your diet:
Try including whole grains into your diet in moderation without adding salt and sugar, or deep frying to get the most health benefits. For more information about the South Asian Health Institute and recipes, visit www.fraserhealth.ca/SAHI.
Sharon Heer (Sharon.firstname.lastname@example.org)Registered Dietitian, South Asian Health Institute- Fraser Health Authority