Health

What are whole grains and how much should you eat?

What are whole grains and how much should you eat?

Prioritize fiber-rich foods. When comparing foods labeled “whole grain,” always choose the ones with the highest amount of fiber, Dr. Slavin said. A high fiber count is a good sign that the food has a fair amount of whole grains, Ms. Du added.

Pay attention to the order of the ingredients. For foods with a variety of ingredients, look for whole grains at the top of the ingredients list. If the first few ingredients contain words like “100 percent whole grain,” “whole wheat flour” or “100 percent whole wheat flour,” that’s a good sign you’re making healthier choices, Ms. Du said.

If the food contains mostly refined grains (which are not considered whole grains) such as white flour or corn flour, said Dr. Slavin, that doesn’t mean it’s automatically unhealthy. If grains are fortified or fortified with certain vitamins and minerals, they can still contribute to your overall diet. But keep in mind that refined grains will lack fiber, she added.

Start slow and mix things up. To get more whole grains into your diet, you don’t have to completely change your eating patterns all at once, Ms. Feller said. “I like to encourage people to think about what little things they can add.” This could mean including a whole-grain side dish with dinner or adding oats to your morning smoothie.

If you’re not used to eating whole grains, start with more affordable ones like oats or corn, Ms. Feller said. If certain grains don’t fit into your eating culture, she added, that’s okay. Find what works for you.

If you ever get sick of cereal on your plate, mix things up, Ms. Feller said. If you’re sick of brown rice, try wild rice—or swap your whole wheat rice bread for whole rye bread. Variation can keep things interesting and make it more likely that you’ll meet your daily grain goals.

“As long as we try to be health conscious when we shop for groceries” and make small adjustments over time, those changes will add up, Ms. Du said.



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