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Grains are at their most nourishing when we eat them as whole as possible or as minimally processed staples. They certainly figure prominently in the diets of the long-living Blue Zones folks and observational studies around the world (think of these as head counts) suggest that eating plenty of whole grains may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. That’s why health professionals tend to worship at the altar of wholegrains and “consume more whole grains” is enshrined in dietary guidelines around the globe.


Nutty tasting brown rice with just the inedible hull removed is the rice with whole grain credentials (it’s a good source of niacin and magnesium) and there are now 2-minute microwave options to help you get a meal on the table fast. Look for lower GI varieties (check out the database at and store in a cool, dry place in a resealable packet or airtight container. Remember to keep portions moderate, because even when you choose a low GI rice, eating too much can have a marked effect on your blood glucose.

We think all whole foods that are core foods (minimally processed fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds) should be assigned five stars. Australia’s health star rating system (like traffic lights elsewhere) however, was designed for processed packaged foods not core foods like brown rice. The ratings system is currently being reviewed to see what needs to be done to align it better with existing dietary guidelines.

 Peas nutrition facts
 Source: The Good Carbs Cookbook