Vegan Nine Grain Whole Wheat BreadCreative Commons License via Compfight

You already know that processed grains are a nutritional wasteland. Most, if not all, of the original vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber have been stripped away when the germ and bran layers are removed, leaving only the white, starchy filling inside. Then one measly mineral and four vitamins are added back to “enriched” these pathetic grains.
In contrast, unprocessed whole grains have all three layers of the original grain – the nutrient-rich germ, the carb-packed endosperm, and the fibery bran. No wonder whole grains are loaded with all their original nutrition, plus thousands of antioxidants, such as ferulic acid, caffeic acid, phytosterols, saponins, phenols, and p-coumaric acid, that protect the brain from damage and aging, and your mood from heading south. Phytates in whole grains deactivate cancer-causing substances. Phenols prevent cancer from attacking organs and tissues. Lignans are especially protective against breast cancer. Whole grains also are packed with nutrients that help the brain convert tryptophan into serotonin and that improve your chances of living a long and happy life. For example, one study found that the trace mineral, chromium, found in whole grains improved mood and lowered food cravings in depressed people.
Fiber fills us up, so we eat less. Also, most truly 100% whole grains are lower in fat and sugar, so they have fewer calories. In contrast, without the added fiber, refined grains don’t fill us up. We eat too much, then feel stuffed and sluggish. I’ve heard it over and over again. When people eat processed grains, they overdo it, yet don’t feel satisfied.
One of the reasons fiber-packed whole grains are waist-reducers is their scores on the glycemic index (GI). This index ranks foods on a scale of 1 to 100 by how quickly they convert to glucose and raise blood sugar levels. For example, pure glucose scores a 100, while low-fat/sugar-free yogurt or peanuts score about 14. The lower the number, the gentler the rise in blood sugar, and the more likely a food will help with weight loss, mood, memory, and lower your risk for a host of other ills, including heart disease and diabetes. A diet loaded with high glycemic foods does just the opposite. Many factors influence how fast the body digests a carb-rich food, but in general, whole grains and high-fiber foods rank lower on the GI scale than refined grains and processed foods. A rule of thumb is: the less processed a food, the lower its GI score and the more likely it will improve mood and help you lose weight. For example,
? Old fashioned oats have a GI score of 49, but instant oatmeal scores a 66,
? Brown rice scores 50, but instant white rice scores 87,
? Whole wheat kernels score 30, while Instant Cream of Wheat scores 74, and
? Whole wheat spaghetti scores 32, but enriched spaghetti pasta scores up to 64.