What is whole grain? Whole grain cereals use the entire grain seed of wheat, rye, rice, barley, corn, or oats without milling out the bran and germ. “Whole grain” means it’s the complete grain, including the bran, the germ and the endosperm. The health benefits of whole grain come from those three components working together in their natural proportions.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that at least half of your grains are whole. For most people, that translates into at least 48 grams daily. Every General Mills Big G cereal contains at least 8 grams of whole grain per serving, and more than 20 General Mills cereals deliver 16 grams or more.
Dr. Travis Stork, emergency room physician and host of “The Doctors,” has some recommendations on how to include whole grain into your diet:
- Start Early! The Dietary Guidelines recommend people get at least 48 grams of whole grain in their daily diets. Get a jump-start on the day´s nutrition by incorporating whole grain into your morning routine. For instance, when choosing cereal make sure whole grain is listed as the first ingredient. One easy choice is cereal with the white check, which have more whole grain than any other single ingredient.
- Make Simple Swaps. Choose whole grain versions of the foods you love. Great options include whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread or even whole grain crackers. Also, try different types of whole grain. Use brown rice instead of white rice as a side dish at dinner or popcorn, which is a whole grain, for a snack.
- Don´t Judge a Food by Its Cover. The front of food packages provide good nutritional cues, but don´t forget to read the ingredients and check the nutrition label and side labels for additional health information. Cereals with the white check even include the amount of whole grain per serving on packaging.
Make a commitment to add more whole grain to your diet by simply pouring a bowl of cereal with the white check including Cheerios®, Lucky Charms®, Cinnamon Toast Crunch®, Honey Nut Cheerios® and Total®. With the exception of Total, these are all staples in our kitchen. The kids can eat these cereals for any meal of the day, and even love taking them dry in baggies for snacks in the car. I don’t blame them, they taste good and are even better for you!
For more information on the importance of whole grain visit www.WholeGrainNation.com.
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