Whole grain foods are recommended as part of healthy eating, yet nine out of ten Americans don’t eat the recommended amounts. According to nutrition experts, whole grains may help reduce the risk for CVD, heart disease and can even help with weight management.
Any grain, such as wheat, oats, corn and rice, is considered “whole” when it includes the right proportion of all three parts of the grain: bran, endosperm and germ. Each part of a grain kernel contributes to the bundle of nutrients in whole grains, including fiber, B vitamins, protein, vitamin E, trace minerals and other healthful plant substances. Thus,eating foods made from whole grain gives you the nutritional benefits of the entire grain. When grains are refined, the bran and germ portions are removed along with important nutrients, leaving only the endosperm (e.g., refined white flour).
Any way you pour, slice or spoon them, whole grain foods offer several health benefits. Try some of these tasty ways to make whole grains a regular part of your day.
Many of today’s grain foods are available in whole grain varieties including breads, cereals, pasta, crackers, tortillas, pancakes, waffles and muffins. Choose MyPlate.gov advises at least three servings of foods on the whole grains list per day.
|A serving of whole grain...||Is equal to*...|
|Cereal||1 cup flakes or rounds, 1¼ cup puffed, ½ cup cooked|
|Bread||1 slice of bread, 1 small roll or “mini” bagel, ½ of a bun, pita or English muffin|
|Tortilla||1 small (6-inch) flour or corn tortilla|
|Pasta or brown rice||½ cup cooked|
|Pancakes or waffles||1 pancake or waffle (4½-inch diameter)|
|Muffins||1 small muffin (2½-inch diameter)|
|*These serving amounts also apply to refined grains.|
Try these Healthy Living recipes that feature whole grain ingredients and are packed with flavor.