A Quick Nutrition & Weight Loss Tip for the Holidays
Do you like baking? Or do you just like to enjoy the baked treats that seem to be everywhere during the holidays? Whether you’re the chef or the devourer, the holiday season is a time for baking and baked goods.
Whichever end of the baking spectrum is yours, there’s a way to get more nutrition and less weight gain from baked foods.
Use Whole Grain Flour
Whether it’s bread, muffins, pie crusts or any other foods made with flour, it’s really important for your nutrition and weight loss to use whole grain varieties whenever possible.
Here’s Why: Whole grains contain all of the nutrition of the original grain. In the case of wheat, the grain is made up of three parts that carry all the nutrition, the outer husk, or bran; the germ, or centre of the kernel; and the endosperm, which separates the bran and the germ.
Whole grains contain a number of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients, along with healthy, ‘slow’ carbohydrates, to give your body a good balance of nutrition and energy.
When the kernel is processed for bread or flour, the bran and germ are removed to give the end product its white colour. But that also removes most of the nutrients in the grain.
And whole grains keep more of their fibre too. Fibre helps weight loss by slowing down the processing of food in your stomach, it also helps digestion and has been shown to significantly reduce the incidence of heart disease and strokes.
Cooking with Whole Grain Flour
Yes, whole wheat flour gives your baked goods a different weight and texture. But that doesn’t mean you have to avoid it altogether:
- Heavier Baked Foods – Foods that use a heavier dough, like bread and pizza, can tolerate more whole grain flour and it can be substituted for all the processed white flour in your recipes
- Lighter Baked Foods – For cakes and pie crusts, try substituting a portion of the processed flour in the recipe with whole grain flour
- Look for White Whole Wheat Flour – Milled from a lighter coloured variety of wheat that has a softer texture, white whole wheat flour bakes a lot more like white processed flour
The holidays are full of tempting ways for you to get out of the good eating habits you’ve developed all year. There’s nothing wrong with a little ‘cheating’. But every little bit you do to reduce the negative effects of holiday treats and get more nutrition in your diet makes it easier for to come out of the holidays with your weight management program intact. Using whole wheat flour in your baking is just one way. The nutrition and weight loss specialists at your local Herbal One Centre can help you with lots of other great ideas.