Eating Healthy Whole Grains

What's the difference between whole grains and non-whole grains?  Grains are found in foods like bread, pasta, cereal, rice and oatmeal.  These types of foods are considered whole grain if they have not been milled, which is a process where some important nutrients are removed from the grain.  This process is done to help the food last longer.  To know if the food that you choose is whole grain, look for "100%" or "whole" in front of "wheat" or other grain. 

Whole grains help our bodies in many ways because of the fiber, vitamins and minerals.  These nutrients are important to help reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.  Fiber is important to help food to digest and gives the body a feeling that it is full after eating.

The whole grain that contains the most fiber is barley! Barley has more protein than other whole grains.  Barley is used in soups, stews and some cereals.  For recipes to try to add barley into your meals, click  here.

Quinoa is another whole grain, and it contains the most potassium of all other whole grains!  Quinoa can be added to many different dishes or eaten for breakfast.  To learn more about quinoa and ways you can prepare it, check out a previous blog post here

Another type of whole grain is oats.  Oats can be steamed and flattened to help them cook faster.  These oats become softer and are known as quick or instant oats.  Another type of oats is steel-cut oats, which are sliced once or twice into smaller pieces to help water get in to cook.  Steel-cut oats are usually chewy. 

Tips for eating whole grains include:
Steel Cut Oats
  • Eating whole grain cereals
  • Changing white rice to brown rice
  • Choose whole grain spaghetti
  • Eating popcorn for a snack
For more information and tips on eating whole grains, visit Choose MyPlate

What is your favorite whole grain that you like to prepare?


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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall