Wholegrain: Who cares?
It is estimated that Brits are only consuming about 18g (60%) of the recommended 30g per day of fibre. So why is fibre so important anyway? And how do Griddle pancakes contribute towards reaching this 30g a day?
What is fibre needed for?
Sometimes known as ‘roughage’, fibre is made up of a group of substances found in plant foods. These include lignin, waxes and polysaccharides, such as pectin and cellulose. Most fibre passes through your digestive system, pushing food along and helping to keep bowel movements regular. That’s why, if you don’t have enough, you can become constipated.
Your good bacteria needs fibre
But fibre has another important role – it acts as fertiliser for the good bacteria bugs in your belly, which are crucial to keeping you healthy (studies have shown your gut health is strongly linked to immunity, inflammation, obesity and digestive health). Your community of bugs is called the microbiome and it is unique to you. Right from the beginning of life, everyone has differing levels of different bacteria, determined by lifestyle and environment. You can help friendly bacteria thrive by giving them the food they need to flourish – and that’s fibre.
Why are whole grains better for you?
Whole grains are an unrefined grains which means that their bran (outer layer) and germ (nutrient rich inner part) haven't been removed by milling. Refined grains have had both their bran and germ stripped during the process of milling to give them a finer texture and extend their shelf life. The refining process not only strips the grain of their bran and germ but also removes many nutrients, including fibre. Whole grains (unrefined grains) are better sources of fibre and other important nutrients, such as selenium, potassium and magnesium.
Why does it matter?
When you eat whole grains they are digested more slowly, due to their lower glycemic index (GI), which results in glucose being released into the bloodstream more slowly, ultimately leaving you fuller for longer. In contrast to this, refined flours have a much higher GI and are comparatively low in fibre and nutrition, and provide only short-lived energy.
As can be seen in this photo, a Griddle pancake is on top and the whole grains can be seen through its slightly darker colour. The bottom pancake is a generic supermarket own-brand which uses refined and bleached white flour, which gives it that yellowy tinge!