Health Tip #5 - Grains

We recently started covering the five categories of My Plate, including the ideal intake recommendations of each for you and how to simply incorporate them into your everyday life! In Health Tip #4, we covered fruits and vegetables: How did you do with getting 5 a day? Today’s Health Tip topic: Grains

Grains include breads, cereals like oatmeal, rice, pasta, quinoa, and even popcorn! They are our main source of carbohydrate, which is converted in our bodies to energy. When this staple macronutrient is in it’s “whole” form, it is an excellent source of B vitamins, fiber, and iron. Refined (aka not whole) grains are often enriched with the B Vitamins and iron that are lost in the refining process. Remember this phrase: Make half your grains whole.

How to choose: Choose mostly whole grains. You can find a thorough list of whole grains here and look for the word “whole,” as opposed to “multi-,” on the packages of wheat products like bread, cereal, or tortillas. Even popcorn is technically a “whole” grain; thus, making it a healthy go-to evening snack when you have the munchies. Save the butter and excess salt.

How much is recommended? For healthy adult men and women*, 6 oz and 7-8 oz equivalents of grains are recommended each day, respectively. Each ounce- equivalent is equal to about:

- 1 slice of bread

- 1 cup of cold cereal

- 1/2 cup of cooked rice, cooked pasta, or cooked cereal

- 1 small 6” tortilla

Remember to make half your grains whole every day.

Ways I like to incorporate whole grains into my diet include adding 1/4 C (0.5 oz equivalent) of oatmeal into smoothies and cooking a big batch of quinoa at the beginning of the week for a simple go-to meal side dish. Quinoa can be eaten like rice or easily added to salads and soups! Each 1 cup serving equals about 2 oz grain equivalents.

Intake Challenge: Are you getting around 4 oz equivalents of whole grains every day and meeting your recommended total grain intake needs? Try counting your grains today and let me know how you did on my Facebook page #wholegrain https://www.facebook.com/CarlyCooleyRDN/

For more ideas on how to incorporate whole grains into your daily routine and for personalized nutrient recommendations, contact me to set up your initial nutrition consultation today!

*These recommendations are for healthy adults (18-64 years of age) with 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.

Carly Cooley