Make the switch to whole grains
Most people consume grains as part of their diets. However, many of those foods contain refined grains, which have had most or all of the natural nutrition processed away. Many refined grains — such as white bread, white rice and enriched pasta — are fortified and enriched with certain vitamins and minerals after processing. But whole grain products contain more soluble and insoluble fiber, more protein, and a wider array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidant phytochemicals, which are naturally occurring plant chemicals that defend against disease.
Make the switch to whole grains with the following substitutions:
- Rather than pancakes or waffles made with white flour….try Whole-grain flour for half or all of the white flour when making your own batter. When buying a mix, check labels for one that lists whole grains among the top ingredients. Whole grains are also common in many hot and cold breakfast cereals.
- Rather than white bread, bagels, tortillas or pita bread made with enriched flour….try Products with the term “whole grain” on the packaging. Make sure a type of whole grain — such as whole wheat — is among the top ingredients. In addition, try to choose whole-grain bread with at least 3 grams of dietary fiber a serving.
- Rather than White rice….try Brown rice, which brings a subtle flavor of its own to a dish. In addition, wild rice, quinoa, farro, barley and other grains taste great as side dishes, and are excellent as bases for stir-fries, soups or salads.
- Rather than enriched pasta…try whole-grain pasta, which provides an interesting alternative in terms of texture, color and taste. In place of enriched pasta in a soup or salad, consider a whole-grain substitute such as wheat berries or quinoa.
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