Whole Grains Are An Important Part of a Balanced Diet
For ages 19 and up, it is recommended that you practice healthy eating and get at least 5-8 servings of grains in your diet, depending on age, gender and health status. Try to aim for getting most of your grains from whole grains. The whole grain contains the entire grain kernel: the bran, germ, and endosperm, which will provide you with a variety of nutrients and the best nutritional value.
Some of the nutritional benefits of a whole grain include fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium and some protein.
Grains, which are considered to be part of a balanced diet, are also naturally high in fiber, helping you feel full and satisfied – which makes it easier to maintain a healthy body weight.
What Counts as One Serving (one ounce) of Whole Grain?
• Whole wheat or whole grain bagel: 1” mini bagel; 1 large bagel is equivalent to 4 oz. of whole grains
• Whole grain or whole wheat bread: 1 slice
• Whole grain or whole wheat English Muffin: ½ English muffin
• Whole wheat or whole grain muffin: 1 small muffin
• Oatmeal: ½ C cooked or 1 instant pack of 1 oz. (1/3 C dry)
• Whole grain or whole wheat crackers: 5 crackers
• Bulgur (cracked wheat): ½ C cooked
• Whole wheat or whole grain pancakes: 1 pancake (4 1/2“ diameter) or 2 small pancakes (3” diameter)
• Popcorn: 3 cups popped or 1 mini microwave bag
• Ready-to-eat breakfast cereal (the first ingredient will say whole grain or whole wheat): 1 Cup flakes or rounds, 1 ¼ C puffed
• Whole grain or whole wheat pasta: ½ C cooked or 1 oz. dry
• Whole wheat or whole grain tortilla or whole grain corn tortilla: 1 small flour tortilla (6” diameter) or 1 corn tortilla (6” diameter)
Note: Above are the serving sizes of a whole grain that is equivalent to one serving (or 1 ounce). These are not necessarily the servings that you should be having in on sitting. Remember, it is recommended to eat a balanced diet and have up to 5-8 servings of grains daily. Therefore, having one whole grain English Muffin is perfectly fine! By having a full whole grain English muffin, you are getting in two servings of whole grains.
Eat Healthy with a Complete Diet
Healthy eating with whole grains is also known to have a lower glycemic index. The lower the glycemic index, the more controlled your blood sugar will be. In turn, whole grains have been associated with reducing risk of diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
For more tips on how to work whole grains into a balanced diet, you may want to seek guidance and recommendations from a Nutritional Therapist.