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FindingWhole Grains







xxLast year a new Food Guide Pyramid was released by the government

with a new website at One of the big changes in the

new Pyramid is that “Grains” replaced the old “Breads and Cereals” as a food

group. Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another

cereal grain is a grain product. There are two types of grain groups: “whole

grains” and “refined grains.” What they are also asking us to do is to try to

eat at least half of our grains as “whole grains.”

Why is it important to eat especially “whole” grains?

Whole grains are healthier and contain 3 parts of the grain:

the bran, germ,and endosperm. When the bran and germ are removed, you

are left with a refined grain, but this process takes away

important nutrients like the fiber, iron, and many B


Eating grains, especially whole grains, provides health

benefits. People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy

diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Grains

provide many nutrients that are vital for the health and

maintenance of our bodies.

Ways to enjoy more whole grains

Many foods made from whole grains come ready to eat.These inlude

a variety of breads, pasta products and ready-to-eat cereals. Look for the

word "whole" on the package and in the ingredient list. Make sure whole

grains appear among the first items listed. Try to choose items with at least 3

grams of dietary fiber per serving.

Here are some suggestions:

• Look for bread that lists in the ingredients “whole wheat” or “100 percent

whole wheat.” If it says “wheat flour” or “wheat” this is not a whole grain


• Look for whole wheat tortillas, pasta, crackers (like Triscuits) and cereals.

• Oatmeal is an excellent way to get whole grains – try adding any

combination of raisins, dried apricots, papaya, mashed bananas, yogurt,

honey or cinnamon. Add oats to your homemade cookies and breads.

• Other more common whole grains: brown rice, (try air-popping for

healthier popcorn), wild rice, pearl barley. Try adding these to your soups,

casseroles and stews.

• Popcorn is a whole grain, but make it healthier by making air-popped


• Most of us are less familiar with these grains, but they are available in

stores if you look: amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, spelt, triticale,

bulgur, whole grain cornmeal or whole rye. whole grains


Eating more whole grains

can help to reduce your

risks of bowel

problems, cancer, heart

disease, high cholesterol,

high blood pressure,

obesity and type 2


So find those grains

and get your family used to eating them for health!


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Salud + Health Info is for information and educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for personal medical attention, diagnosis or hands-on treatment. If you are concerned abut your health or that of a child, please consult your family’s physician or health provider immediately and do not try to diagnose yourself.

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