Home / Diets / Whole Grains in a Low Carb Diet

Whole Grains in a Low Carb Diet

Since all breads-whether wheat or refined flour-are part of the carbohydrate family, they all have the same effect on your blood sugar, making it rise and fall. However, whole grains are preferable in a low-carb diet because it takes more time to digest grains, so sharp increases in your blood sugar level are better prevented. Why is this important? Well, sharp spikes in blood sugar level can lead to insulin resistance, which is a symptom of diabetes.

Whole grains are indeed very nutritious for the human body. Whole grain products include cereal, oatmeal, popcorn, brown rice, whole wheat flour, and whole wheat bread. However, the labeling for whole grain products is laden with devious marketing language. When you look for authentic whole grain products, you will need to check the ingredient list and check for words like “whole wheat,” “whole meal.” Better yet, if the words “whole-grain wheat flour” and “whole-wheat flour” are listed, then you have found the real whole grain product. On the other hand, ingredient lists that contain the words “enriched” and “bromated” and “wheat flour” are definitely suspects for refined grain products that have been refined to the extent that they no longer contain essential amounts of minerals and vitamins.

Why be so picky about language? Well, consider the fact that whole grain products contain healthy amounts of dietary fiber, antioxidants, dietary minerals, and vitamins. If you are missing such essentials as magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, vitamin B, and vitamin E, then whole grains the perfect food for you. In contrast, non-whole grain products, such as some wheat products, do not contain essential ingredients and they are even unhealthy.

Observe the wheat product to see if it is authentic whole grain. If you see grain pieces, like in a nice thick slice of wheat berry bread, then this is a genuine whole grain product. Whole grain rice also includes “brown rice,” “brown rice flour,” and “wild rice.” A lot of false advertising also surround popular “whole-grain” products such as barley, bulgur, and specialty grain. You can be sure it’s whole grain if the ingredients contain “whole grain bulgur or “bulgur cracked wheat.” With barley, if the ingredients list pot, Scotch, or pearled barley, then parts of the grains have been refined.

Here is a list of more readily available whole grains products that have not been mentioned above:

Whole wheat flour
Cracked wheat, crushed wheat
Whole rye, whole rye flour
Bulgur (cracked wheat)
Whole millet, whole millet flour
Whole quinoa, whole quinoa flour

Here is also a list of trickily-named products which are definitely not whole grain:

Wheat flour
Unbleached flour
Enriched bromated flour
Enriched unbleached flour
Self-rising wheat flour
Degerminated yellow corn meal
Enriched rice
Rice flour