Celebrate Whole Grains Month by learning more about whole grains. A whole grain contains the whole grain kernel – the bran, germ and endosperm. While refined grains, such as white bread, pasta or rice contain only the endosperm. Most of the nutrition is found in the bran and germ, such as fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, making whole grains a more nutrient-dense choice. Examples of whole grains are brown rice, buckwheat, corn, farro, millet, oats, sorghum, wild rice, wheat berries and foods like bread and pasta made with whole grain flours.
What are the Health Benefits?
- May reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
- Increased fiber can support healthy digestion and helps you feel full and satisfied.
- May help with weight management due to the satisfying effect of fiber.
How Much Do I Need?
Your recommended daily intake of grains depends on your age, sex, and level of physical activity. This can be anywhere between 3 and 8 ounce-equivalents each day. Make sure that at least half of your daily grain intake is from whole grains. A 1 ounce-equivalent equals 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or ½ cup of cooked rice, cooked pasta, or cooked cereal.
How Do I Add More to My Diet?
- Try whole-grain cereal, shredded wheat or oatmeal for breakfast
- Use whole-grain bread or tortillas for sandwiches.
- Replace white rice with quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, barley or bulgur
- Make your salad a grain bowl by adding quinoa or farro
- Snack on popcorn that is not doused in butter and salt.
- Swap out your flour tortilla for a corn tortilla.
- Look for the Whole Grain Stamp on packaged foods.