Wholegrain Cereals, Vegetables and Legumes in Heart Healthy Diets

Wholegrain Cereals, Vegetables and Legumes in Heart Healthy Diets

People in countries bordering the Mediterranean basin tend to consume a wide variety of starchy carbohydrate foods from wholegrain cereals to vegetables and legumes.

All types of bread, pasta, rice, oats, bulghur, tabbouleh, couscous, semolina, gnocchi, potatoes and other fiber-rich vegetables such as legumes are the staple foods in this region.

Starchy carbohydrates lend bulk and satisfying power to your food, making it filling but not fattening, as they contain only 4 kcals per gram.

Starchy carbohydrate foods and beans, peas and pulses are the main source of fiber in the diet.

Fiber is classed as both insoluble and soluble.

Insoluble fiber, found in the outer layer of wholegrain and vegetables, is important for good bowel health.

Soluble fiber is mainly found in beans, peas and pulses, oats, rye and most fruits.

It forms a gel-like mixture that slows down the digestion of foods, helping to regulate appetite and glucose levels and lower blood cholesterol levels.

Vegetables And Legumes In Heart Healthy

Wholegrain such as wheat, corn, oats, barley, rye and rice also contain important cardioprotective nutrients including antioxidants, vitamins and trace elements, namely vitamin E, B vitamins, zinc and selenium.

Read MoreA Whole Lifestyle Approach to A Healthy Heart

Glycaemic Index (GI)

Different carbohydrates affect the body in different ways and this can be gauged by their ‘glycaemic index’ (GI). Foods with a lower glycaemic index are better for heart health as they take longer to produce a rise in blood glucose, which ultimately improves the lipid profile by increasing HDL cholesterol.

Low Glycemic Index Foods List

  1. Particularly Low GI Foods are:
  2. porridge, oats and high-fiber breakfast cereals
  3. bread with added seeds and grains, rye and pumpernickel
  4. pasta, noodles, basmati rice, new waxy potatoes, yams and sweet potatoes
  5. beans, peas and lentils
  6. traditional English ‘stoned’ fruit (apples, pears, plums, peaches)
  7. oranges, bananas and grapefruit

Increase Wholegrain Intake in the Cardioprotective Diet :

Heart Healthy Diets

Breakfast cereals, including porridge oats and muesli, are a good way to start the day and can be eaten as a healthy snack at any time.

Base your meals and snacks around starchy carbohydrate foods by covering half of your dinner plate with potatoes, rice or pasta and accompanying them with a delicious variety of breads.

Choose from the wide varieties of available breads, especially those with seeds and grains; there is no need to add spread.

Wholegrain varieties of bread, cereals, pasta and rice make healthy choices, taste better and are also more satisfying.

The chapatti is bread at its simplest -just flour and water, with no added fat or salt.

Potatoes eaten in their jackets or new potatoes in their skins are filling not fattening.

Top baked potatoes with low-fat natural yogurt, fromage frais, flavored cottage cheese or lower fat spreads rather than butter.

Read More:

  1. Salt and Sugar Intake in Cardioprotective Diet (Heart Healthy Diets)
  2. Common Sources For Healthy Food Recipes
  3. How To Calculate The Number Of Appetizers Per Person
  4. Healthy Dinner Recipes For Everyone
  5. Healthy Meal Ideas For Working Moms