15. Refined Grains
Refined grains, such as wheat, barley and rye, are grains that have been processed during milling to remove the beneficial bran and germ components. They’re used to make white versions of the breads, crackers, pasta and sweet treats that we eat.
If we picture a grain of wheat, the outer shell is the bran, and this is rich in fibre and the B vitamins. In the middle, forming the main part of the grain is the endosperm, that contains carbohydrates and to a lesser extent, protein. Within the endosperm is the germ, the “core” of the grain that’s full of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.
Remove the bran and the germ, as is the case with refined grains, you’re just left with the endosperm, a whole load of carbs and a little bit of protein. This means that white carbs such as white bread and pasta are quickly digested into simple sugars that will leave us craving more once the sugar rush has dissipated. So to stay fuller for longer, it’s best to opt for the wholegrain versions, complete with the bran and the germ and all the beneficial nutrients and belly-filling fibre they contain.