Monday, April 4, 2011

Getting Enough Whole Grains?

What are whole grains? How much of them should be in your diet? How can you tell which products in the grocery store are whole grain and which aren't?

"Terms such as '100 percent wheat,' 'multi-grain,' 'seven-grain,' 'stone-ground,' or 'bran' don't necessarily indicate a product is made mostly of whole grains," says the January 2011 issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. "Make sure a type of whole grain — such as whole wheat — appears among the first items in the ingredient list." For the complete article, come into the Patient Health Library where we have the newsletter in print.

Tips from the UCSF Medical Center: Eating Right for Your Heart

  • Keep a jar of oat bran or wheat germ handy. Sprinkle over salad, soup, breakfast cereals and yogurt.
  • Use whole-wheat flour when possible in your cooking and baking.
  • Choose whole grain bread. Look on the label for breads with the highest amount of fiber per slice.
  • Choose cereals with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving.
  • Keep whole-wheat crackers for an easy snack.
  • Cook with brown rice instead of white rice. If the switch is hard to make, start by mixing them together.

The Scoop on Whole Grains
From the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Whole grains: Hearty options for a healthy diet
From the Mayo Clinic

Thought for Food: Intact Grains vs. Whole Grains
From Synapse, the UCSF student-run newspaper

There's a great article in the March 2011 issue of Nutrition Action HealthLetter, entitled  Carbo Loading: Do You Overdo Refined Grains? Read it at the Patient Health Library!