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January 27, 2012 • Healthy Eating & Nutrition

Optimizing Your Whole Grain Intake

Including more whole grains in your diet is one of the tastiest and most effective ways to reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, many cancers and obesity. For best results include 3 servings of whole grains every day.

Here are 7 easy ways to get 3 servings a day. (1 serving is 1/2 cup prepared whole grains like oatmeal or brown rice; 1 slice of 100% whole wheat bread; a “serving” (check nutrition label) of any 100% whole grain cereal; 1 oz of 100% whole grain crackers/snacks):

  1. 1 cup of prepared oatmeal for breakfast; 1/2 cup brown rice at dinner.
  2. A “serving” of 100% whole wheat/grain cereal for breakfast; a sandwich at lunch made with 100% whole wheat or 100% whole grain bread.
  3. One 100% whole wheat bagel at breakfast; 1 oz (std serving) of whole grain tortilla chips for a snack.
  4. 1/2 cup stone ground whole grain grits (not standard grits) at breakfast; 1, 6″ 100% whole wheat tortilla at lunch; 1/2 cup barley at dinner (great in soup and stews).
  5. 3/4 cup prepared oatmeal at breakfast; 3/4 cup quinoa at dinner.
  6. 1/2 cup homemade granola (get my recipe) at breakfast; 1 serving (1oz) of 100% whole wheat crackers as a snack (100% whole wheat Wheat Thins, Ak-Mak, Rye Crisps, Triscuits); 1/2 cup brown rice at dinner.
  7. 1, 100% whole wheat English muffin at breakfast; 3/4 cup Quinoa at dinner.

If you want to be adventurous try the “other” more exotic whole grains – farro, kamut, spelt, amaranth and kasha.

If diabetic, pre-diabetic, overweight or trying to lose weight, physically intact grains are best. In other words, avoid breads and crackers.

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