The whole truth about whole grains
A whole grain is the entire seed of a plant, whereas refined grains have had part of the seed removed. The refining process also removes many of the nutrients found in the intact seed or kernel. Whole grains provide more fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals than their refined counterparts. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 encourages you to make half of your grains whole grains.
Adding whole grains to your diet is easier than you think. In fact, you may already be eating them. Some cereals, oatmeal and even popcorn are made with whole grains. Some foods are made with whole grain wheat, rice or corn, which also are good sources of nutrients. A simple look at the label should tell you whether a product is made with whole grain. Look at the ingredient list for the word “whole.” You want the first ingredient to be whole, such as whole wheat, whole grain, brown rice or oats.
Look beyond traditional whole grains
When shopping for whole grains, consider trying some you may not be too familiar with. Barley, bulgur and quinoa are examples of whole grains that offer unique flavors and textures and, in addition to other health benefits, their consumption is associated with a lower risk of many chronic diseases.
Quinoa, in particular, is becoming increasingly popular in the United States. A nutritious option for gluten-free diets, quinoa is a good source of fiber and protein, so it helps you feel full longer. It has a nutty flavor and can be used in a variety of ways, including as a flour, a side dish, or in cereals and salads.
Here are some suggestions for a serving of some other whole grains.
For a great-tasting whole grain addition to your meal plan, pick up a loaf of Publix Bakery Whole Wheat Mountain Bread from your Publix Bakery today! Packed with 28g of whole grain per 2 oz. serving, it’s a low fat bread and a good source of fiber to help keep you feeling satisfied.
- 1/2 cup cooked brown rice or other cooked whole grain
- 1/2 cup cooked 100 percent whole grain pasta
- 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal
- 1 slice 100 percent whole grain bread
- 1 small (1 ounce) whole grain muffin