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Can you recommend some wholegrain food products for my father?

Q: I would like to know about some wholegrain food products for my father who is prone to high sugar and cholesterol. He regularly eats processed foods. So are there any brands of breads or biscuits which are whole meal? Is it available in Chennai?

A:Wholegrain foods contain all the components of the grain - the bran, germ and endosperm. Typical wholegrain foods include whole meal and mixed grain breads, rolled oats, whole meal pastas and brown rice. The outer layers of grains are particularly rich in dietary fiber as well as a range of other nutrients. Together they work to keep the bowel healthy. Fiber and other components remove toxins, promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria and help keep the bowel regular. Vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals found in wholegrains play an important role in keeping the cells of the bowel wall healthy. Bread and biscuits may have added fibre but it would be much better to include the following foods in his meals to increase the fibre content.

  • Whole meal or mixed grain bread
  • 1 whole meal or mixed grain chapatti
  • 1&1/3 cups of whole-wheat or high fibre breakfast cereal flakes
  • 1 cup of cooked porridge
  • ½ cup of muesli
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup cooked whole meal pasta Besides this he should try to eat more fruit and vegetables and grain-based foods. Increase the daily fluid intake- 6-8 glasses is ideal- and make sure he undertakes some form of regular physical activity. Besides imagination is the key. By serving wholegrain breads and cereals in new and interesting ways you may be surprised by just how much he might enjoy them. Try some of the following: Breakfast:
  • Whole-grain, wholemeal, or mixed grain toast/rotis/parathas
  • Whole-grain, whole-wheat, or high fibre breakfast cereal, porridge or muesli
  • Corn/ Baked beans on mixed grain or wholemeal toast Lunch/Dinner
  • A sandwich made with wholemeal, whole-grain or mixed grain bread
  • Brown rice salad, wholemeal pasta salad or tabouli (made with bulgur cracked wheat)
  • Mini pizzas made on wholemeal or mini pita breads
  • Wholemeal pita-pocket bread with fillings
  • Wholewheat paraths with palak or methi
  • Wholemeal flour used to thicken sauce, gravies and stews
  • Wholemeal breadcrumbs or oats used to coat foods Sweet treats:
  • Wholemeal flour in cakes, puddings and slices
  • Wholemeal bread in bread and butter pudding
  • Wheatmeal or oatmeal biscuits
  • Wholemeal pancakes/ chillas Snacks:
  • Popcorn (low fat)
  • Wholemeal biscuits – use Britannia digestive
  • Muesli sprinkled over low fat yoghurt

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