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Whole grains and yogurt

Your nutrition tip for the week is to select whole grains over refined carbohydrates. You may wonder what's the difference?

Refined carbohydrates are broken down quickly by the body like simple sugars, resulting in increased blood sugar and insulin levels. Refined carbohydrates include processed foods such as bread, pasta, or crackers. When whole grains are refined, the fiber-rich bran and other nutrients are removed during the processing.

Whole grains are complex carbohydrates in which the fiber-rich bran and other nutrients have not been removed. Therefore, whole grains are higher in fiber and offer more beneficial nutrients.

How to determine if a product is refined or if it is a whole grain can be misleading. Refined grains can legally be labeled "whole-grain," "multi-grain," or other misleading names. Refined carbohydrates include white flour, wheat flour, enriched flour and degerminated cornmeal.

There are a couple of ways you can determine if a product is whole grain. If you see the following terms as the first ingredient on the list of ingredients, then it's considered to be whole-grain: whole wheat, whole grain, oats, rolled oats, whole rolled oats, whole grain corn and oatmeal. Brown rice, wild rice, barley and bulgur are also whole grains. Another clue to look for is the fiber content on the Nutrition Facts panel. It's smart to look for two grams of fiber or more per serving. With a little practice, you should find it easy to determine if a product is whole grain or not.

Your weight loss tip of the week is to eat nonfat dairy, such as nonfat yogurt, nonfat cottage cheese, or skim milk.

Results from a weight loss study further support the fact that calcium-rich foods may help with weight control. In the study, dieters consumed three 6-ounce servings of nonfat dairy for 12 weeks. The dieters who consumed nonfat dairy lost 22 percent more weight than the dieters who ate little or no dairy. On average, nonfat yogurt eaters lost 14 pounds, while the dieters who didn't consume much dairy lost 11 pounds. The nonfat yogurt eaters lost an even more significant amount of body fat. Compared to the non-dairy eaters, the yogurt eaters lost 60 percent more body fat (and maintained more muscle mass)!

You can incorporate yogurt into your meal plan in several delicious ways. Eat it with chopped fruit and/or your favorite whole-grain cereal. You can make smoothies by combining yogurt, skim milk and fruit. Consuming yogurt can be a sweet treat that may help you with your weight loss!

Thank you for reading Diet Center's tips of the week. Call (928) 753-5066 or stop by 1848 Hope in Kingman for more information.