Fewer than 1 in 20 Americans (5%) eat the recommended 3 servings of whole grains a day even though eating whole grains is associated with a lowered risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, obesity, and certain types of cancer. In a survey of over 13,000 adults everyone in the study ate less than 1 serving of whole grain foods daily.
People who eat whole grains lead healthier lifestyles and eat more fiber, good fats, vitamins and minerals. They also eat less sugar, unhealthy fats, and cholesterol.
Making the switch to whole grains is a simple step you can take to make you healthier. Start with popcorn, a whole grain food. Next try whole grain breads and pastas. For die-hard white bread lovers there are whole grain white breads available. These are made with a different variety of whole wheat that is light yellow, producing a white bread with all the goodness of regular whole wheat. Many pasta brands have whole wheat varieties or whole grain blends, part whole grain, part white durum wheat. Try brown rice. It’s nutty flavor and slightly chewy mouthfeel offers a new taste sensation. A number of brands are precooked and can be microwaved in minutes, cutting the traditional cooking time. Oatmeal, regular, quick cooking and instant, are all whole grain. Many other cereals like shredded wheat, bran flakes, Cheerios, and Wheaties are too. Companies are reformulating old standby brands to offer you more whole grain options.
Start by aiming for one serving of whole grains each day. That is as simple as 1 slice of toast for breakfast. Next have popcorn as a snack. Order lunch on a whole grain roll. Ask for brown rice with your Chinese take-out order. Try some of the new whole grain pasta brands and buy whole grain crackers. Before you know it you will be eating 3 servings of whole grains each day.