It shouldn’t come as a surprise that most Americans are lacking in the whole-grain department. But it really isn’t that hard to fit whole grains in your diet! It is recommended that we should be eating at least 3 servings of whole grains/day. I say there’s no reason that most of your grains can’t be whole ones.
Whole grains are nutritionally superior to their white counterparts for a number of reasons: they are higher in fiber and contain more nutrients; they reduce the risks of stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes; they can even help maintain weight among a number of other benefits.
- 1/2 cup brown rice or whole grain pasta
- 1 slice whole grain bread
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 cup whole grain cereal
- 1 small whole grain tortilla
A day of all whole grains may sound like a lot, but I promise you it isn’t! Start swapping whole grain bread for white; oats and whole grain cereals (like Barbara’s Shredded Oats and Kashi Go Lean) for sugary cereals and whole grain pasta for white. I know some of you aren’t “used” to whole grains, or may have spouses/kids who don’t “like” whole grains, but start incorporating them or using blends and before you know it, the swaps are painless!
While I eat mostly whole grains I still enjoy white baguettes, fresh white pasta and cookies from time to time. It’s all about what makes up most of your diet. (For the record, I would never turn down fresh, homemade pasta.)
Here is what a days worth of whole grains looks like:
Breakfast: 1/2 cup oatmeal, prepared as directed. Try my apple cinnamon oats and get in a serving of fruits too! (1 serving)
Lunch: Brown rice – try my Brown Rice, BBQ Tofu & Kale (2 servings)
Dinner: Sesame Noodles (1 cup) with 2-3 cups mixed Asian veggies and 4 oz baked chicken. (2 servings)
Snack: Cheese and crackers. Mary’s Gone Crackers and Triscuits are two of my favorite 100% whole grain crackers! Paired with some cheese and you’ve got protein and fiber. My favorite food. (1 serving)
See, wasn’t that easy?
I’m a huge fan of mixing up the types of grains – so don’t limit yourself to wheat – try quinoa, sprouted breads, oats, millet, etc! And there’s no issue in all of your carbohydrates/grains are “whole” ones. I do it all the time.
Visit the Whole Grains Council website for more information.