Wheat, oats and rice are examples of grains. Some foods made from these grains use only the inside of the grain. Whole-grain foods include the outside – the entire grain.The American Heart Association recommends eating 6 to 8 servings of grain foods a day, especially whole grains.
What Makes Whole Grains So Great?
Whole-grain foods are healthy because they contain fiber. A diet high in fiber can help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Fiber causes food to stay in your stomach longer, so you fell full and your blood sugar doesn’t go up as quickly after you eat. Whole grains, such as whole-wheat flour and brown rice, also have more fiber than refined white flour and white rice.
Whole grains and other high-fiber foods help your health in many ways, including:
- helping to control blood sugar and blood cholesterol
- making you feel full, so you eat less
- preventing constipation, or hard bowel movements
It’s easy to get more fiber. Just replace foods you already eat with foods containing more fiber such as whole-grain foods. For example:
|Instead of ...||Try ...|
|white bread or “wheat” bread||“whole-wheat” bread or rye bread|
|white rice||brown rice or wild rice|
|regular pasta||whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta|
|corn flakes||bran flakes or other bran cereal|
|crispy rice cereals||whole-grain cereals|
|cream of wheat||old-fashioned or quick oatmeal|
|flour tortillas||Whole-grain or corn tortillas (made without lard)|