Next time you’re eating your Wheaties in the morning, think more about what’s in the box rather than who’s on it. So what’s in the box? Wheaties and other whole grain products use whole grains, rather than refined grains, as their main ingredient, which makes for a healthier food choice.
So, What are Whole Grains?
Whole grains are unrefined grains that contain all the essential natural nutrients of the grain seed. To be considered whole grain, all the essential naturally occurring nutrients from the grain must be intact. They contain nutrients and vitamins essential to a healthy diet. Whole grains include wheat, barley, rice, oats, corn, rye, and many others! Multigrain foods can contain up to 12 types of these grains, but be careful when choosing multigrain foods. Many products place “multi-grain” labels on food packaging, but the food may still contain primarily processed grains. This mean the food lost many of the natural nutrients that whole grains provide. Whole grain multigrain foods are the healthiest options!
Benefits of Whole Grains:
Whole grains provide numerous health benefits when eaten daily. Whole grains are the healthiest form of grain and are often overlooked because of other processed or sometimes misleading competitors. Also, whole grains contain essential antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are also found in fruits and vegetables and some others. They like B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and fiber!
Whole grains help prevent heart disease, reduce risk of Type 2 diabetes and colon cancer, and can aid in digestion due to high fiber content. Whole grains can help you live a healthier, longer life, so why not incorporate them into your diet?
Healthy Whole Grain Food Options:
Breakfast: Breakfast is the meal that jump starts your day and will keep you going, so kick it off right! Try a whole grain bagel or toast, whole grain cereals with low sugar, whole grain oatmeal, or whole grain pancakes! You can even get creative and use fruit or spices to make your breakfast interesting!
Snacks: Choose foods that use fewer preservatives and contain whole grains! Whole grain granola bars are a great snack to hold you over! Or try a handful of Wheaties, a piece of whole wheat toast, or whole grain popcorn! Even the popular snacks like Goldfish and Cheez-its have whole grain alternatives!
Dinner: Dinner has endless possibilities with a variety of whole grain pastas, breads, and oats. Lots of recipes can be found online or in cook books that use whole grain as a main ingredient. By incorporating whole grains into your dinner schedule who can start a healthier diet and lifestyle!
Check out these delicious whole grain recipes:
To learn more about whole grain, visit the Whole Grains Council website:
Written by Matt Keller, Peer Educator