Some Commonly Asked Questions About Whole Grains
The updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that people eat at least three servings of whole grains each day. Unfortunately, many people are confused about whole grains and why they should be eating them. With so much information in grocery stores and misinformation about low-carbohydrate diets, it's hardly a surprise there is so much confusion.
Listed below are some frequently asked questions about whole grains and answers that will hopefully shed some light on these nutritious grains.
- What are whole grains?
- Whole grains include all three parts of a grain, including the germ, endosperm and bran. Whole grains include oats, whole grain corn, whole wheat, whole grain barley and brown rice. Click here to learn more about whole grains.
- How many servings of whole grains should we have a day?
- We should aim for at least 3 servings of whole grains DAILY... and 6 servings of any grain products per day, based on a 2000 calorie diet.
- What counts as a serving of whole grains?
- A serving size of whole grains is a slice of bread, one-half cup of brown rice or 100% whole wheat pasta, or a pouch of Quaker Instant Oatmeal.
- What health benefits do whole grains offer?
- Eating whole grains can provide you with protection from a number of serious health conditions. Whole grains are linked to a lower risk of heart disease, certain cancers, a better chance for maintaining a healthy body weight, and keeping your digestive system regular.
- I'm following a low carbohydrate diet, so I shouldn't eat whole grains, right?
- Whether you are following a low carbohydrate diet or not, you should make sure that your diet includes foods containing whole grain, fiber, and rich sources of complex carbohydrates. In fact, eating a fiber rich diet may help promote satiety and can help assist with weight loss and management when part of diet with appropriate caloric balance.
- Grains are starchy, so they will make me gain weight.
- Grains, as part of a well-balanced eating plan will not make you gain weight. In fact, studies suggest that oatmeal may make people feel fuller than a number of other breakfast foods. Feeling satisfied can come in handy when you're trying to watch your weight.
- How can I tell the difference between whole grain and refined grain breads and cereals?
- Whole grain products including breads and cereals will typically contain ingredients such as 100% whole wheat, oats, brown or wild rice, as the first ingredient on the nutrition label. Products labeled as 100% wheat or multi-grain do not necessarily contain the whole grain, however.