Some common whole grain foods include bread, pasta, rolled oats and brown rice. Bread wheat that is classified as hard has a higher amount of protein and gluten than the soft wheat kernels used for flour. Whole grain breads also contain bran, which has more nutrients that are absorbed more slowly than those in enriched bread, allowing for a longer feeling of fullness.
When choosing whole grain bread, savvy buyers choose 100 percent wheat or whole grain that does not contain added refined flour, for maximum nutrition and fiber.
Whole grain pasta is available in a variety of grain choices such as wheat, rice, corn and amaranth. It is a good option when adding a complex carbohydrate to the diet and is higher in protein than regular pasta. It also supplies the body with fiber that can help to reduce cholesterol levels while lowering the risk of heart disease and obesity. Fiber also relieves constipation and provides a feeling of fullness with fewer calories.
Rolled oats found in breakfast cereals are valuable in lowering cholesterol and are a healthy alternative to heavily processed cereals. Rolled oats contain beta glucan, which prevents spikes in blood sugar levels and is beneficial to diabetics. Oats are also low in fat and high in fiber.
Brown rice is also rich in fiber and protects against breast and colon cancer. Harvard researchers have found that women who incorporate whole grains such as brown rice into their diets have an easier time maintaining an ideal body weight and were 50 percent less likely to gain weight.