Cracked Wheat, Olive Oil, and Food Record Keeping

Q: Is cracked wheat bread the same thing as whole wheat?
Q: What’s the difference between regular and light olive oils?
Q: Could keeping a food record really help to improve my eating habits


Karen Collins, MS, RD, CDN
American Institute for Cancer Research

Q: Is cracked wheat bread the same thing as whole wheat?
A: Cracked wheat simply refers to whole-wheat berries that have been broken into smaller pieces. This process typically yields products with a lighter taste and texture than those made with regular whole wheat. Although cracked wheat is a whole grain, be careful: Some “cracked wheat bread” contains only a token amount of cracked wheat and is made mainly of refined flour. When shopping, check the ingredient label to make sure that cracked wheat or whole-wheat flour is listed first. The primary position shows it’s the main ingredient. The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) emphasizes that whole-grain and minimally processed grains are more healthful choices than refined products. Whole grains are higher in dietary fiber, several vitamins and minerals, and a variety of health-promoting phytochemicals.

Q: What’s the difference between regular and light olive oils?
A: All forms of olive oil provide the same amount of fat and calories. Light olive oil is processed to have a light color and a subtle flavor – more similar to other vegetable oils than the distinctive taste of regular olive oil. If a lighter flavor is not needed, choose virgin or extra virgin olive oils, which are less processed than the light form. These varieties are also higher in natural plant compounds that may offer cancer protection and other health benefits. Overall, olive oil is an excellent choice. It is considered a heart-healthy selection and it does not appear to promote cancer development. Regardless of which type you choose, use moderate amounts to avoid getting more calories than you need.

Q: Could keeping a food record really help to improve my eating habits
A: It’s not magic, but studies often show that keeping track of your behaviors makes a big difference in changing them. Although many people realize they overeat or lack balance in their food choices, they aren’t sure when, why or how much they eat. To keep track, experts often recommend recording the day’s intake, with notes on time, portion sizes and location of the meal (restaurant or home, kitchen table or sofa with TV). It is also helpful to note how hungry you are (1 to 10 scale) and record your thoughts or emotions when eating. All of this record keeping yields crucial information that may help to identify specific problem areas and offer hints about what needs to change. To foster a positive attitude create a food log that keeps track of successes, not failures. For example, try noting how many servings of vegetables and fruits you eat each day and how often you choose whole grains, or record instances when you chose to relieve stress in non-food ways. Regardless of how you choose to log your eating habits, for the food record to help you, it needs to be something that you keep up with regularly.

Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research www.aicr.org

Share.

About Author

Posts By 3FC