September is Whole Grains Month
Despite all the carbohydrate bashing going on, some grains really are good for you. The key is to identify and choose whole grains, which contain all the essential nutrients that are found in the original grain seed. Once the grain is processed, then many of the key nutrients are lost or removed. You want to mostly consume grains that contain the bran, germ and endosperm. Depending on your weight and health goals, two to six half cup servings daily is a reasonable goal.
Choose from a variety of unprocessed grains including:
• Corn, including whole cornmeal and popcorn
• Oats, including oatmeal
• Rice (brown and black)
• Sorghum (also called milo)
• Wheat, including varieties such as spelt, emmer, farro, einkorn, Kamut®, durum and forms such as bulgur, cracked wheat and wheat-berries
• Wild rice
Most of these grains should be familiar to you and part of your weekly menu, and if they’re not, it’s time to get to know them. Whole wheat is one kind of whole grain, but when you buy products made from whole wheat you need to search the label to make sure that 1005 whole wheat is either the first ingredients, or the label says “made from 100% whole wheat.”
Here is a reference for appropriate serving sizes of whole grains:
• 1/2 cup cooked brown rice or other cooked grain
• 1/2 cup cooked 100% whole-grain pasta
• 1/2 cup cooked hot cereal, such as oatmeal
• 1 ounce of uncooked whole grain pasta, brown rice or other grain
• 1 slice 100% whole grain bread
• 1 very small (1 oz.) 100% whole grain muffin
• 1 cup 100% whole grain ready-to-eat cereal
Here are some ways to add whole grains to your family’s diet:
• Swap out half the white flour from recipes and replace it with whole wheat flour in recipes for cookies, muffins, pancakes, breads.
• Use quick oats in baked goods recipes
• Make bread stuffing using bulgur, wild rice or barley.
• Add whole grains to soups you make
• Stir rolled oats into your yogurt
• Use whole grains as your primary side dishes
• Buy whole grain English muffins, pita, and pastas
• Look for cereals made with whole grains like Kamut, kasha or spelt.
Source: Whole Grains Council