Add Whole Grains to Your Diet

Dietary guidelines suggest that individuals eat 6 servings of grains each day with at least 3 of those should be whole grains. That amount sounds daunting until you realize what constitutes a serving.

What’s a Serving of Whole Grains?

  • 1 slice of bread
  • 1 oz dry cereal (ranges from 1/2 to 1 1/4 cups depending on the cereal)
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice, pasta, or other grain
  • 1/2 cup cooked cereal (oatmeal, kasha)
  • 1 oz raw grains
  • 2 cups popped popcorn

How to Add Whole Grains to Your Diet

Nutrition whole grain breadThere are many easy ways to add more whole grains to your diet. Start by substituting a whole-grain product for a refined grain product. It’s important to remember to substitute the whole-grain product for the refined one, rather than adding the whole-grain product.

  • Choose whole grain breads, tortillas, bagels, pita pockets and rolls.
  • Choose a quick and easy ready-to-eat or ready-to-cook whole grain cereal for breakfast. (More than 30 whole grain breakfast cereals are distributed nationally.)
  • Pour some dry, bite-size cereals into a bag, or grab a whole grain cereal bar to take along with you as a snack during your busy day.
  • Try whole grain muffins or cornbread made with whole grain corn meal.
  • Pop popcorn.
  • Enjoy low fat whole grain crackers, baked tortilla chips or a brown rice cake as a snack.
  • Add whole grains to mixed dishes — Try adding some pearl barley, wild or brown rice to your favorite soup, stew or casserole.
  • Add oats to cookies or other desserts. food - whole wheat flours
  • Try substituting whole grain flour for one-fourth to one-half of the white flour called for in pancake, waffle, muffin or other flour-based recipes. They may need a bit more leavening.
  • Choose whole grain pasta (macaroni, spaghetti, noodles), pancakes or waffles for a change of pace.
  • Try a hot or cold whole grain side dish (such as pilaf or stuffing) using brown or wild rice, kasha, bulgur or pearl barley.
  • For a change, try brown rice.
  • Use whole-grain bread or cracker crumbs in meatloaf.
  • Try rolled oats or a crushed, unsweetened whole grain cereal as breading for baked chicken, fish, veal cutlets, or eggplant Parmesan.
  • Try an unsweetened, whole grain ready-to-eat cereal as croutons in salad or in place of crackers with soup.
  • Freeze leftover cooked brown rice, bulgur, or barley. Heat and serve it later as a quick side dish.