National Whole Grains Month

whole grains and nuts

When shopping for food, look for whole foods; food the way it comes from the earth (think fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, peas and lentils, unsweetened dairy products and fresh meats). 

When purchasing something in a package, it may be made from whole foods or it may consist largely of processed ingredients.  Here are some suggestions for selecting foods containing whole grains:

Breads:  “Whole grain” should be one of the first five ingredients.  A good rule for fiber is 2 – 3 grams fiber per 15 grams carbohydrate, which is close to one slice, on average.

Cereals:  Look for 2 or more grams protein and 5 grams fiber per serving with less than 8 grams sugar.  Check for trans fats too – you don’t want any!  Regular oatmeal is better than instant. 

Snack or meal replacement bars:  Look for at least 3 grams fiber and 5 grams protein.  Watch sugar and saturated fat!  Look for less than 35% calories from sugar.  Snack bar at around 150 calories; meal replacement 250 calories.

Pasta:  Pasta made from whole grain flour contains much more fiber than enriched white pasta

Frozen meals:  Look for meals that include a serving of some kind of whole grain – could be quinoa or wild rice, for example and at least one serving of vegetables free from fatty sauce.   Here are basic guidelines for choosing a healthy frozen meal:  300-500 calories, 10-18 grams of total fat, or less that 30% of total calories, less than 4 grams of saturated fat, less than 600 milligrams of sodium, at least 5 grams of fiber and 10-20 grams of protein.

Test yourself!  Take the Whole Grains Council’s ‘Guess the Grains’ quiz

If you would like to meet with the dietitian, consultations are available.  Email Linda Adams


Product Review

Vidalia Chop Wizard

chop wizard chopping toolI'm not usually a sucker for "As Seen on TV" products, but I tried the Vidalia Chop Wizard with onions, carrots and sweet potatoes and had good results with evenly chopped and diced vegetables - and no teary eyes. It made meal prep faster and easier and is a great tool to encourage increased vegetable consumption, especially for people who otherwise may skip adding vegetables to meals - Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN

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