Including Whole Grains in Your Meals

Whole grains are an essential part of a healthy diet. They contain important nutrients like fiber and are naturally low in fat. Aim for half of your daily grains to be whole grains.

Here are some quick tips to increase the whole grains in your diet:

Increase amounts gradually

  • For pasta, mix together whole wheat and regular, gradually increasing the amount of whole wheat. Try the same with brown and white rice.
  • If you have a favorite refined cereal, try mixing it with a high fiber option.

Read labels

  • When buying whole grain products, make sure a whole grain is the first ingredient listed. Look for items like whole wheat, brown rice, or oatmeal.
  • Whole grains are a great source of fiber! Check the nutrition label for a fiber content of 10-20% of the daily recommended value.

Try using whole wheat flour in baked goods

  • Start by replacing half of the all-purpose flour in a recipe, and then experiment with more. Whole wheat pastry flour and white whole wheat flour are also good options to try, and can result in a lighter texture.
  • In some recipes (like cookies) oats can make a good flour substitute.

Use a variety of whole grains

  • Use barley for a cold salad or replace your white rice with brown rice, quinoa, or bulgur wheat.

When making rice or other whole grains, prepare extra

  • It's easy to add whole grains to soups and stews or as a base for a quick stir fry dinner.
  • Oatmeal keeps in the refrigerator for up to a week. Warm up leftover oatmeal and top with a banana and peanut butter for an easy breakfast.
  • Freeze leftovers you don't use right away for up to 6 months.