Questions for Lisa Hark and Darwin Deen
Amazon.com: Why isn't whole grain just another food fad?
Hark and Deen: Whole grains have been a part of the human diet since agriculture was invented ten thousand years ago. Hardly a fad. They are coming back into prominence now as we have started to recognize the harm that's done by consuming a diet based on refined carbohydrates.
Amazon.com: Aren't whole grains carbs? Don't carbs make you gain weight?
Hark and Deen: Yes and no. Eating and drinking too many calories makes you gain weight, not too many carbs. All carbs are not created equal, and those that are refined, processed, and contain lots of added sugar increase your hunger and the likelihood that you'll eat too much. Eating the right carbs, such as whole grains in their natural unprocessed form, satisfies your hunger and helps you control your appetite and your weight.
Amazon.com: I grew up on white rice and white bread--whole grains are a bit of an acquired taste. Any suggestions about what I can do to make whole grains more palatable (and more appealing to my kids)?
Hark and Deen: Try making 1/3 of a cup of brown rice and adding it to your white rice. To get the kids to eat whole wheat bread, make sandwiches with one slice of white and one slice of wheat (tell them you ran out of their bread and they had to share yours). As they get used to the taste, they will come to prefer it. We feel that whole grains are so important for kids, we devote an entire section in the book to "Getting Your Kids to Try Whole Grains."
Amazon.com: What are your personal favorite whole grain foods?
Hark and Deen: We like oatmeal, but the more new ways we try grains, the more things we find we like. Bulgur salads are delicious, whole wheat English muffins are so much better than the ones made from refined flour, and spelt or barley in soups adds a great nutty taste and texture.
Amazon.com: There are so many studies out on whole grains right now. Can you tell me the main benefits of eating whole grains?
Hark and Deen: The major benefits are that you get the vitamins and minerals you need in the form that nature intended (not in a pill in amounts that some biochemist has estimated to be correct). In addition, the fiber helps you feel full and regulates your bowel habits. As we document in the book, whole grains reduce your risk of hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. How's that for benefits?