Cracked wheat is just what it sounds like: the cracked berries of whole wheat. The distinctively nutty food is versatile, low in calories and loaded with nutrients. You can find cracked wheat in the bulk foods section of most grocery stores. If you do not have a bulk foods department, look for it near the other grains and rice.
Cracked Wheat and Weight Loss
Whole grain foods, including cracked wheat, contribute to maintaining a healthy body weight. In a study done by Harvard Medical School, researchers concluded women who made whole grains a regular part of their diet had consistently lower weights than women who did not eat whole grains. The women who ate whole grains were also far less likely to have an increase in weight than those who ate refined grains.
Cracked Wheat and Metabolic Syndrome
New research confirms that refined grains, like white rice, pasta or breads, are linked to increased rates of metabolic syndrome, a predictor of both cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is far more common in people who eat refined grains instead of whole grains. Cracked wheat and other whole grains decrease the rate of metabolic syndrome when added to a daily diet.
Type 2 Diabetes and Cracked Wheat
Cracked wheat and other whole grains are good sources of magnesium. This mineral is essential to more than 300 enzymes, especially those that contribute to insulin secretion and the release of glucose into the bloodstream. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be up to 30 percent lower in people who consume cracked wheat and other whole grains regularly.
Cardiovascular Benefits of Cracked Wheat
Eating at least one serving of whole grains such as cracked wheat every day lowers the risk of high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure by as much as 21 percent. Making whole grains a regular part of your diet can slow the progression of atherosclerosis, a condition that narrows the blood vessels. Whole grains can also reduce the development of stenosis, a condition that narrows the heart's arterial passageways. In a 20-year study conducted by Harvard Medical School, researchers found that consuming whole grains each morning for breakfast can significantly lower the risk of heart failure.(ref 1)
Cracked Wheat and Breast Cancer Prevention
A diet rich in whole grains is high in fiber, a nutrient that offers significant protection against breast cancer. Pre-menopausal women who get enough fiber each day from sources like cracked wheat and other whole grains have a risk of breast cancer 52 percent lower than that of women who do not get enough fiber each day. While fiber from fruits is protective, fiber from whole grains has the greatest effect on breast cancer prevention.
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