Everything I read says, “Eat more whole grains.” Other than whole wheat bread, what are some healthy sources of whole grains?
Yes, there is whole grain life beyond whole wheat bread. Whole grains are foods that contain the entire plant kernel that is humanly edible, whereas refined grains are products that are stripped of the more coarse, fibrous part of the kernel as well as germ or seed. And let’s face it, the more kernel that is left for you to chow down on, the more natural nutrition that is left in each morsel. In fact, research studies support that a heart-healthy diet rich in whole grains and other plant foods can be an ally in reducing your risk of stroke, heart disease and cancer.
In addition to whole wheat bread, oats, bulgur wheat, whole rye, whole cornmeal, brown rice, whole buckwheat groats, and — believe it or not — popcorn, are all considered whole grains. Here are several suggestions for ways to get a variety of whole grains in your diet:
Whole Wheat: Buy 100 percent whole wheat flour, pasta, crackers and cereals. Look for brands such as for Westbrae Natural Whole Wheat Spaghetti; Ak-Mak 100 percent Whole Wheat Crackers, and Shredded Wheat, Wheaties, Wheatina, Weetabix, and Wheat Chex cereals.
Oats: Use dry oats in place of some of the flour when baking muffins, sweet breads, pie crusts, and for the crumb topping for fruit crisps. Try replacing some of the bread crumbs in meatballs and meat loaf with oats. Look for quick-cook oats, Puffed Kashi, and Cheerios cereal.
Bulgur Wheat: Enjoy it as a main meal side dish or cold as tabbouleh salad. Look for Arrowhead Bulgur Wheat.
Whole Rye: Buy whole rye crackers or try substituting some whole rye flour when making homemade bread. Look for brands such as: Wasa Original Hearty Rye Crispbread, and Ryvita Sesame Rye crackers, and Arrowhead Mills Whole Grain Rye Flour.
Whole Cornmeal: Use it in homemade cornbread, corn muffins, or polenta. Look for “whole grain” on the label, as in Arrowhead Mills Whole Grain Yellow Cornmeal.
Brown Rice: Serve it as a side dish, in soups, as part of a cold salad, and to accompany stir-fries. Look for regular or instant brown rice from brands such as Uncle Ben’s or Minute Rice.
Whole Buckwheat Groats: Use as a side dish such as pilaf or in a ready-to-eat cereal. Look for brands such as Arrowhead Mills Buckwheat Groats.