ask the nutritionist: day of whole grains

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.

Serving Sizes:

  • 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.


  1. says

    You’re right, it’s so easy to eat whole grains- I think it’s just a matter of stocking up on them at the grocery store. If you buy whole wheat, you’ll eat it! :) I love Ezekial bread- the sprouted grains are SO much more filling than any other kind of bread I’ve tried.

  2. says

    Thanks for the reminder on the whole grains. Your right it really is pretty simple to get all your whole grains in everyday! Those sesame noodles look yummy! :)

  3. says

    I think it’s so much easier to fit whole grains into your diet now than even 5-10 years ago. They’re everywhere! Even McDonald’s is selling oatmeal! :-p

    I love experimenting with different grains like wheatberries, quinoa and millet. They’re so versatile!

  4. says

    mm, i love whole grains! i 100% prefer them over the traditional refined grains. i’ve even found i prefer using whole wheat flour in my baked goods! i’m sure some of this comes from the fact that my mom NEVER fed us white bread growing up. we always had dense grainy bread from natural ovens. wonderbread never appealed to me.

  5. says

    I love whole grains… I actually prefer a lot of whole grain substitutes over the traditional white versions. Brown rice is so much better than white, and fresh whole wheat bread is delicious!

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