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/ Source: TODAY
By Susmita Baral

Here’s a good excuse to eat some carbs (as if we needed it): A new study published in the journal BMC Medicine has found that cereal fibers found in whole grains reduce the risk of disease and early death. Specifically, the subjects who consumed the most cereal fiber were 17 percent less likely to die than their counterparts who consumed the least. The findings of this study echo that of Harvard University study, which shows that consuming more whole grains is associated with an increased lifespan and fewer deaths caused by cardiovascular disease. Sounds like a discovery worthy of a whole-grain toast

“Whole grains provide the benefits housed in the entire grain including the bran, the endosperm, and the germ,” nutrition expert Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, told “These components of the whole grain provide a wealth of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals (compounds in plants believed to reduce disease risks) and fiber. Whole grains help us to feel fuller longer than refined grains and they providing a moving experience (by preventing or relieving constipation).”

In order to reap the nutritional benefits of whole grains, it’s important to know how to navigate the grocery aisles and read food labels. For instance, labels using the words "multi-grain," "stone-ground," "100% wheat," "cracked wheat," "seven-grain," or "bran" are, generally speaking, not whole grain. Instead, look at the ingredients list and opt for products that have one of these foods listed first: brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, oatmeal, quinoa, rolled oats, whole-grain barley, whole-grain corn, whole-grain sorghum, whole-grain triticale, whole oats, whole rye, whole wheat, and wild rice.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), most Americans consume enough grains but they don’t consume enough whole grains. Taub-Dix recommends starting the day with oatmeal and a swirl of almond butter. Another easy way to add more whole grains (and, in turn, cereal fiber) in your diet is by going for snacks that are rich in whole grains. Here are five tasty snacks that make it very easy to get your fix.

Pear + Cacao Nib Buckwheat Muffins from The Year In Food:

The Year in Food

Southwestern Black Bean, Quinoa and Mango Medley from Skinny Taste:

Skinny Taste

10-Minute Superfood Energy Balls with Oats and Flaxseed from Eating Bird Food:

Vidya Rao / Eating Bird Food

Black Quinoa Corn Muffins from My New Roots:

My New Roots

Toffee Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookie Bars from Oh She Glows:

Angela Liddon / Oh She Glows