Don't give up on grains

Whole grains contain fiber and nutrients that can help your health.

Published: October, 2019

It's a low-carb world, and many people are pushing grains off their plate in an effort to control their waistline. But they may be doing their body a disservice. Whole grains have some unique properties that make them a valuable addition to the diet. Not only do they contain a host of nutrients, such as iron, B vitamins, copper, zinc, and magnesium, but studies have linked diets rich in whole grains to a lower risk of colon cancer, which is a growing health threat for many younger Americans.

"The main benefit of whole cereal grains, such as wheat, oats, and barley, is in the fiber," says Teresa Fung, adjunct professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. "Cereal fiber is different from vegetable fiber or bean fiber."

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise

New subscriptions to Harvard Health Online are temporarily unavailable. Click the button below to learn about our other subscription offers.

Learn More »