Make Half the Grains You Eat Whole Grains
An easy way to eat more whole grains is to switch from a refined-grain food to a whole-grain food. For example, eat whole-wheat bread instead of white bread, brown rice instead of white rice, and low-fat popcorn instead of snack chips.
Many whole-grain foods are good sources of fiber. Check the Nutrition Facts label to see that the food has at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.
Including whole grains is easy. Simple ideas include:
- Replace white bread, flour tortillas, bagels, and muffins with whole-wheat versions.
- Read the ingredients list and choose products that list a whole-grain ingredient first. Look for things like “whole wheat,” “brown rice,” “bulgur,” “buckwheat,” “oatmeal,” “rolled oats,” “quinoa,” or “wild rice.”
- Don’t be fooled by a grain’s dark color. A food’s color is not an indication that it is a whole-grain food.
- Don’t be fooled by labeling. Foods labeled as “multi-grain,” “stone-ground,” “100% wheat,” “cracked wheat,” “seven-grain,” or “bran” may not be 100% whole-grain products, and may not actually contain any whole grain!
- Choose popcorn for a healthy whole-grain snack (when made with little or no added salt, butter, or oil).
- Make a snack mix with your favorite whole-grain cereal, dried fruit, and unsalted nuts.
- Add whole grains to mixed dishes—try adding barley to vegetable soups or stews and bulgur wheat or brown rice to casseroles or stir-fries.
- Serve brown rice or whole-wheat pasta. Try brown rice stuffing in baked green peppers or tomatoes, and use whole-wheat macaroni to make macaroni and cheese.
- You can use whole-wheat flour for up to half of the white flour in many pancake, waffle, and muffin recipes. When you use whole-wheat flour in recipes, you may need to add extra yeast or baking soda.