Eating a variety of whole grains is important for a healthy diet. According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adults should be choosing whole grains for at least half of the grains they eat. Whole grains are a source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, nutrients, and essential minerals the body requires to function properly. In fact, whole grains are associated with lower rates of heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases. But the health benefits of whole grains are only part of the story. They also have delicious, robust flavors and are hearty and satisfying additions to meals.
Start your day off right with these ideas for including whole grains in your breakfast.
Oatmeal is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of hot cereal. While it is a superb choice, millet, teff, amaranth, rye, and cornmeal are other wonderful options for hot cereals or porridges. Enjoy them on their own, or combine them with savory toppings like sauteed spinach and an egg, or go for a sweet option like banana millet breakfast porridge.
Explore the cold whole grain cereals in your local market’s cereal aisle, including newer-on-the-cereal-scene whole grains like quinoa, spelt, and brown rice. When you’re searching, be sure the cereal you choose is really whole grain.
An easy way to verify is to look for the Whole Grain Stamp. There are three versions of the stamp: 100 percent whole grain, More than 50 percent whole grain, and basic, which has at least eight grams of whole grains per serving. The stamp will tell you how many grams of whole grains are in a serving. You’ll want to aim for 48 grams per day.
Make your own granola
Granola is a great “gateway” whole grain food if you’re hesitant to give whole grains a try. Not only is whole grain granola easy to find at any supermarket, it’s also easy to make your own version customized for your individual preferences. This homemade granola recipe is simple and can be adapted to include your favorite nuts, dried fruits, and spices.