Our friends at the Whole Grains Council shared these great tips for fitting in more fiber, vitamins, and minerals in your diet with whole grains. September is Whole Grains Month!
The basic recommendation is to eat 48 grams of whole grains per day for adults. That doesn’t mean add that amount to your diet, however—it means swap in whole grains for the refined grains you’re already eating. If you’re like most people in the U.S. you probably eat refined—and less healthy—grains and flours in the form of bread products, white rice, bakery items, white flour tortillas, some breakfast cereals, and crackers.
When manufacturers process grains, to make flour or quick-cook grains, they remove the bran and the germ. Many of the grain’s nutrients, which include fiber and protein, are found in the bran and the germ. Whole grains keep the bran and germ, and that gets the good stuff into your body! Eating whole grains is linked to lower cholesterol, less body fat, and better blood sugar levels, and lower risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, many cancers, and death from all causes.
Here are a few swaps to think about making this month.
Buy two different loaves of whole grain bread and have a family taste test to pick your new favorite.
Use bulgur, brown rice, farro, or barley instead of white rice. Not sure about the taste or texture? Use half white rice, half whole grain to ease into the swap.
Trade in white pasta for whole wheat pasta. Again, go half and half if you want to adjust gradually.
Look for a new breakfast cereal that says it has at least 16 grams of whole grain per serving.
Check out the variety of packaged grains in the rice and dried beans aisle. Your store may also sell whole grains in bulk.
Cook a pot of steel-cut oatmeal and refrigerate leftovers for breakfast the next day. Add just a little liquid and microwave to heat it through.
Use whole wheat pitas or flatbreads to make personal pizzas.
Buy whole wheat flour (you can get white whole wheat flour, but it may be more expensive) and use if for some of the white flour in your favorite recipe. You may need to add a little extra moisture to your recipe.
Choose corn or whole wheat tortillas instead of white flour tortillas.
Check out these Dozen Easy Family Whole Grain Recipes from the Whole Grains Council.