top of page

Nutrition 101: Whole Grains

Updated: Dec 16, 2021

Nutrition 101: Whole Grains

Let’s talk about Whole Grains

This week in our AOYS Support Groups we dove into Whole grains as our Nutrition topic. I love the nutrition topics because I am ever learning.  I was so excited to know what all those labels are trying to tell me in the store.  One of the things that helped us  was learning to look for WHOLE grains, stay away from refined grains and enriched grains are OK.

One of AOYS Power 13 is LIMIT WHITES: sugar, rice and pasta.

  Whole grains are packed with nutrients including protein, fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals (iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium).


The benefits of whole grains most documented by repeated studies include: reduced risk of stroke reduced risk of type 2 diabetes reduced risk of heart disease better weight maintenance less inflammation lower risk of colorectal cancer

Do you think you get enough whole grains in your daily diet? How much is enough? 

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that at least half of all the grains you eat are whole grains. If you’re like most people, you’re not getting enough whole grains — so see how to make whole grains a part of your healthy diet. Experts have recommended eating 5 to 8 ounces of grains per day, 3 to 6 ounces of which should be whole grains. For reference, one ounce of grains is equivalent to one slice of bread or half a cup of cooked pasta or rice. All types of grains are good sources of complex carbohydrates and some key vitamins and minerals, but whole grains — the healthiest kinds of grains — in particular are an important part of a healthy diet. Grains are naturally high in fiber, helping you feel full and satisfied — which makes it easier to maintain a healthy body weight. Whole grains are also linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and other health problems.

Types of grains

Also called cereals, grains and whole grains are the seeds of grasses cultivated for food. Grains and whole grains come in many shapes and sizes, from large kernels of popcorn to small quinoa seeds. Whole grains. These grains are either present in their whole form or ground into a flour while retaining all parts of the seed (bran, germ and endosperm). Compared with other types of grains, whole grains are better sources of fiber and other important nutrients, such as B vitamins, iron, folate, selenium, potassium and magnesium.

Refined grains. Refined grains are milled to have had the germ and bran removed, which gives them a finer texture and extends their shelf life. The refining process also removes many nutrients, including fiber. Refined grains include white flour, white rice and white bread. Many breads, cereals, crackers, desserts and pastries are made with refined grains.

Enriched grains. Enriched means that some of the nutrients lost during processing are replaced. Some enriched grains have replaced the B vitamins lost during milling.

Choosing whole grains

Make at least half the grains in your diet whole grains. You can find whole-grain versions of rice, bread, cereal, flour and pasta at most grocery stores. Many whole-grain foods, including a variety of breads, pastas and cereals, are ready to eat. Examples of whole grains include: Barley Brown rice Buckwheat Bulgur (cracked wheat) Millet Oatmeal Popcorn Whole-wheat bread, pasta or crackers It’s not always easy to tell what kind of grains a product has, especially bread. For instance, a brown bread isn’t necessarily whole wheat — the brown hue may come from added coloring. If you’re not sure something has whole grains, check the product label or the Nutrition Facts panel. Look for the word “whole” on the package, and make sure whole grains appear among the first items in the ingredient list.

What about white whole-wheat bread?

It may seem like it doesn’t add up, but actually white whole-wheat bread is made with whole grains, just as is regular whole-wheat bread. White whole-wheat bread also is nutritionally similar to regular whole-wheat bread. So if you prefer the taste and texture of white bread, but want the nutritional benefits of whole wheat, choose white whole-wheat bread over refined white bread.

How do you get whole grains in your diet?

How to enjoy more whole grains in your diet Try these tips to add more whole grains to your meals and snacks: Enjoy breakfasts that include whole-grain cereals, such as whole-wheat bran flakes (some bran flakes may just have the bran, not the whole grain), shredded wheat or oatmeal. Substitute whole-wheat toast or whole-grain bagels for plain bagels. Substitute low-fat muffins made with whole-grain cereals, such as oatmeal or others, for pastries. Make sandwiches using whole-grain breads or rolls. Swap out white-flour tortillas with whole-wheat versions. Replace white rice with quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, barley or bulgur. Feature wild rice or barley in soups, stews, casseroles and salads. Add whole grains, such as cooked brown rice or whole-grain bread crumbs, to ground meat or poultry for extra bulk. Use rolled oats or crushed whole-wheat bran cereal in recipes instead of dry bread crumbs.

Easiest way think exchange White for Brown where ever you can. 

When cooking whole grain or whole wheat pastas.  Follow directions cook to the lowest number (if it says 7 to 8 minutes cook 7) then STOP the cooking process by rinsing with cold water.  Then you can add to your sauce to rewarm (1 to 2 minutes) this helps to be sure it does not get pasty or gummy.

Instapot Brown Rice: Best brown rice ever.  I make big batches and freeze in 1 cup servings.

Equal amounts water or broth and brown rice. I usually do 3 cups each  love vegetable broth.  Click Porridge  and you can do a quick release. So GOOD!

I hope this helps you be aware of Whole grains how to get them and and that you will start to incorporate them in more.

Next week:  Using your Strengths to make a healthy lifestyle easier.

We would love to see you if you are not already a SG member click here to learn more:

See you Soon

Coach Paris

Marlene and Sally

23 views0 comments


  • Facebook
  • Instagram
bottom of page