What are whole grains and how much should you eat?

What are whole grains and how much should you eat?

Give preference to foods rich in fiber. When comparing foods with the “whole grain” label, always choose those with the highest fiber content, said Dr. Slavin. A high fiber content is a good sign that the food has plenty of whole grains, Ms. Du added.

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

If a food contains mostly refined grains (which are not considered whole grains) like white flour or cornmeal, Dr. Slavin said, 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 include more whole grains in 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 side dish of whole grains with dinner or blending oats into 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 suits 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 whole wheat bread for whole rye bread. Variation can keep things interesting and make it more likely that you’ll meet your daily goals for whole grains.

“As long as we try to take care of our health when we buy groceries” and make small adjustments over time, these changes will add up, said Ms. Du.

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