What’s the Scoop on a Scoop of Whole Grains?
The Journal of the American Dietetic Association recently reported that an astounding number of Americans (95%) are not eating enough whole grains!
So what’s in a serving? According to the the dietary guidelines, a serving as 1 slice of 100% whole grain bread, a cup of 100% whole grain cereal, or a ½ cup of 100% whole grain hot cereal, cooked pasta, rice or other grain.
In the past many believed that whole grains didn’t provide anything more than just fiber however, new research brings to light that whole grains provide vitamins, minerals and high levels of antioxidants. In fact, they provide some antioxidants that are not found in other foods and in many cases the amount of protective antioxidants in whole grains near or exceed those in fruits and vegetables.
As far as grains, try to stick to whole grains, which have dietary fiber, iron and B vitamins that refined grains don’t.
While the nuttier, fuller taste of a whole grain may not seem to jive with your taste buds…reconsider. There are many delicious ways you can add whole grains in your daily meals and snacks. For breakfast with the kids try whole grain pancakes, or homemade pizza on whole grain pita crust. For Friday movie night, pop a bag of low-calorie popcorn for an extra serving of whole grains. Other easy and convenient ways to help you and your family integrate more whole grains include:
- Use whole wheat tortillas for tacos and veggie wraps
- On cold fall mornings heat up a warm bowl of oatmeal and fee free to add some of your own creativity – almonds, bananas, a sprinkle of brown sugar
- Add whole-grain flour or oatmeal when making cookies or other baked treats
Whole Grains and Food Labels
The United States Department of Agriculture and ChooseMyPlate.gov offer tips and recommendations for reading food labels and selecting whole grain foods.
- Brown rice
- Rolled oats
- Whole-grain barley
- Whole-grain corn
- Whole-grain sorghym
- Whole-grain triticale
- Whole oats
- Whole rye
- Whole wheat
- Wild rice
Foods labeled with the words “multi-grain,” “stone-ground, “100% wheat,” “cracked wheat,” “seven-grain,” or “bran” are usually not whole-grain products.
Color is not an indication of a whole grain. Bread can be brown because of molasses or other added ingredients. Be sure to read the ingredient list.