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The Benefits of Eating Whole Grains

A whole grain is a simple food. While simple, it is a complete grain composed of 3 parts,

including bran, germ, and endosperm.  Additionally, a whole grain provides phytonutrients, antioxidants, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and carbohydrates.

Tips for finding whole grains:

  • Read ingredient list:  Look for Whole or Whole Grain at the beginning of the ingredient list. Example: Whole Grain Oats
  • Look for Whole Grain Symbol: If a product shows a 100% stamp then all the
    grains in the product are whole grains. This means that the product provides 16 grams of whole grains which is a full serving. If a product shows the basic stamp it means the product contains at least a serving of whole grains which is 8 grams.
  • Not all foods have “marketing claims” of being whole grain, so read the ingredient list.

The benefits of whole grains:

  • Lowers risk of Cancer.
  • Lowers risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Lowers risk of Heart Disease.
  • Helps with weight Management.

How much whole grain should someone have daily? 

  • Aim to eat three whole grain servings daily--a food with a label with a 100% whole grain stamp or 6 foods with any whole grain stamp. The goal is 48 grams of whole grains per day.
  • Servings include 1/2 cup brown rice, oatmeal, or whole-grain pasta.

Ways to increase whole grain intake: 

  • Choose a ready-to-eat breakfast cereal made with whole grains or oatmeal.
  • Be adventurous! Try less common whole grains such as barley, bulgur, wheat berries, kasha, amaranth, and quinoa.
  • Choose brown rice or wild rice instead of white rice. Or, try a combo of rice and grains.
  • When dining out choose whole grain options like whole grain pasta, whole grain pizza crust, and whole grain bread.
CHI Health Food and Nutrition Services Team
CHI Health Food and Nutrition Services Team

These blogs are written by members of the CHI Health Nutrition Services team.

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