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Am I right to eat whole grains for breakfast? Are they really healthier? (Francisco Pérez, reader)
As a rule, selecting whole grains will always be preferable in terms of health to refined grains. Of course there could be some specific exception in some people who have digestive problems, so we remember that we always talk about the general population.
The public health recommendation that is given now is to replace all our cereals and flours with whole grain versions. It is important to clarify substitution, because we are not talking about increasing the consumption of carbohydrate sources but about improving their quality.
Its consumption may not be recommended in people with digestive problems
Of course, we cannot forget and neglect the quality of the product itself, for the simple fact that a food is whole does not make it healthy. So if we’re eating whole-grain crackers or whole-grain sugary breakfast cereals, we’re not making the best of choices.
The best option would be to be able to incorporate 100% whole grain breads
Are products that say ‘vitamin enriched’ healthy? (Laura Gutiérrez, reader)
It is a matter that will depend 100% on the product that is enriched. A vitamin by itself will never make a difference or make a product that was unhealthy become healthy. So a sugary breakfast cereal will be just as apple-y whether or not it’s fortified.
Like a vegetable drink, it will be just as convenient or not recommended regardless of its enrichment.
It is very important that we bear in mind that the mention of enriched in vitamins is very often used to arouse our curiosity about the product, and in most cases if we have to be distracted or surprised by a mention, we should at least suspect that that food is healthy. Let’s be critical and analyze it by looking at the list of ingredients.