The Role of Whole Grains in a Healthy Restaurant Diet

Nick Mirev
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    Grains are among the main ingredients in every restaurant’s menu. The reason for this is that refined grains like flour are used to make a variety of dishes. Furthermore, they have great nutritional value and high fiber content. 

    The benefits of whole grains as part of a healthy diet have been one of the reasons for the rise of their popularity. Therefore, businesses in the restaurant industry should consider adding more whole-grain dishes to their menu. 

    With the importance of sustainability in every part of life, more people are striving to consume less animal products. This means establishments can increase customer satisfaction by offering healthier and more eco-friendly dishes with whole grains.

    What Are Whole Grains?

    Essentially, there are two main types of grains. Whole grains contain endosperm, germ, and bran of the grain. On the other hand, refined grains have gone through a modification process to remove the bran and the germ. 

    The bran is the outside layer of the grain. It contains the majority of the fiber as well as vitamins and minerals. The germ contains healthy fats and lots of protein. 

    Whole grains are considered to be a healthier option compared to refined ones mostly because of their fiber content. The extra vitamins and minerals also reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. By eating whole grains, you feel full for a longer period of time. Thus, they are an integral part of many diets.

    Among the most healthy whole grains are brown rice and oats. In addition to them, other popular options of whole grains and pseudograins (sometimes referred to as pseudocereals) are quinoa, chia, amaranth, and buckwheat.

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    What Are the Benefits of Whole Grains?

    The health benefits of consuming whole grains are infinite. Let’s dive in and explore four of the main ones:

    1. Whole grains are high in fiber. This means they help regulate digestion and reduce the risk of many diseases such as stroke, heart attack, and diabetes. Additionally, fiber helps maintain healthy levels of cholesterol. In contrast, refined grains contain little to no fiber. 
    2. They are rich in vitamins and minerals. Vitamin E, vitamins of the B-group, magnesium, and iron are just some of the nutrients that can be found in whole grains but are in very low amounts in refined ones.
    3. Whole grains help reduce the risk of chronic diseases. A healthy whole-grain breakfast is not only delicious, but it can also reduce the risk of various diseases. Whole grains help lower the chance of heart disease, stroke, and conditions such as type 2 diabetes.
    4. They help with weight management and sugar control. After eating whole grains, you feel full for longer. The reasons behind this are the fiber content and the healthy fats contained in them. This means they are better for people who wish to lose weight. This directly helps improve blood sugar control too.
    Key takeaway: Restaurants can benefit greatly from offering more dishes with whole grains. Not only are they part of most healthy diets, but whole grains are also delicious and rich in texture.
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    What Is the Role of Whole Grains in a Restaurant’s Menu?

    Even though refined ones are used more frequently, whole grains play a vital role in restaurant dishes. Here are five ideas on how restaurants can benefit from offering more whole grains on their menus.

    Whole Grains Have High Nutritional Value

    As they are a source of many essential nutrients, dishes rich in whole grains are excellent options for a healthy menu. Restaurants are likely to attract more guests by offering healthy and organically-grown choices. 

    There Is a Large Variety of Whole Grains

    Oats, wheat, and rice are very common whole grains. Other examples of the various grain world include farro, millet, quinoa, and black rice. They are becoming increasingly popular as well. 

    Each grain has a different texture, flavor, and color. This means they can be used to create unique dishes. If you are a restaurant manager, consider buying bulk grains from wholesale grains suppliers. 

    These suppliers can offer exotic options such as millet, teff (traditional to Ethiopia), oriental wheat, or freekeh (also known as green wheat). They will doubtlessly help in preparing interesting dishes, bring multicuisine taste to the menu, and improve customer experience.

    Whole Grains Can Be Used in Many Dishes

    The versatility of whole grains means they can be an ingredient in a variety of dishes. Salads, bowls, baked goods, and appetizers are just a few examples. 

    According to consumer data, about 25% of people strive to eat gluten-free. With the rise of gluten sensitivity, the food and beverage industry can benefit by offering meals for customers with specific dietary needs.

    Increased Profitability

    A lot of vendors sell bulk grains. This means you can increase the profit margins of your venue by buying from wholesalers. Additionally, B2B online marketplaces like BlueCart help restaurants automize their ordering and other processes. 

    Another way to increase revenue is by using more whole grains as a protein source and a main ingredient in different dishes. These meals will be filling and healthy. They have the potential to become the stars of your menu and can attract a lot of customers.

    Good Shelf Life

    Most grains have a good shelf life. This means they can stay in grain storage or pantry more than most animal products for example. One thing you need to keep in mind is that different whole grains should be stored in different conditions. Not following the recommended storage conditions can ruin them

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    4 Examples of Healthy Recipes with Whole Grains

    There are thousands of recipes with whole grains. Here are four ideas on dishes you might want to offer to your guests.

    1. Quinoa salad. It consists of chopped vegetables mixed with cooked quinoa. The dressing is usually olive oil, herbs, and lemon juice. 
    2. Barley soup. An excellent dish for a winter seasonal menu. This nutritious soup has barley, vegetables, and chicken as the main ingredients. 
    3. Farro risotto. It can be prepared with a variety of vegetables. One of the most popular recipes is with mushrooms and grated Parmesan on top. 
    4. Oatmeal bowl. It can make a great addition to restaurants hosting brunch events. An oatmeal bowl usually consists of berries, banana slices, yogurt, and almonds. It can be topped with peanut butter.

    Frequently Asked Questions about Whole Grains

    Whether you’re striving to go on a healthy diet, lose weight, or improve the menu of your establishment, the following questions and their answers might help you with your task.

    What Is the Difference Between Refined and Whole Grains?

    Refined grains have been mechanically processed to remove the germ and bran of the grain and leave only the endosperm. In contrast, whole grains contain all three parts. This means they keep the fiber content and the majority of minerals and vitamins. This makes them a healthier choice compared to refined grains.

    What Are the Healthiest Whole Grains?

    Brown rice is one of the healthiest whole grains. Other healthy grains are buckwheat, oat, barley, and quinoa. These ingredients can be used in a variety of both vegan and meat dishes such as salads, bowls, and appetizers.

    What Are the Best Whole Grains for Breakfast?

    The first thing that comes to mind when you hear about whole grains for breakfast is oatmeal. Their high fiber content and tasteful texture make oats one of the most popular breakfast foods and a great addition to a brunch menu. 

    Popular recipes include oats with yogurt and berries, oats with milk and sliced almonds, and oatmeal with peanut butter and banana. Other ideas for a healthy breakfast are quinoa bowls, whole-wheat muffins, granola bowls, and muesli with yogurt and seasonal fruit.

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