Earlier this month was Whole Grain Sampling Day, so why not continue to include a variety of whole grain foods in your daily meals and snacks? Whole grains include wheat, corn, oats, rice, quinoa, farro, rye and others. Even popcorn, an easy high-fiber snack, is a whole grain.
Whole grains contain phytochemicals, antioxidants, B vitamins, vitamin E, fiber and iron. Research shows eating whole grains may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, obesity and diabetes. At least three servings a day should come from whole grains. A serving size is 1 slice of 100% whole grain bread, 1/2 cup of whole grain rice, pasta, cooked cereal, or other grains, or 1 cup 100% whole grain cereal.
Your local grocery store has many whole grain options throughout the store - whole grain pasta, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, tortilla chips, pretzels, pizza dough and waffles to name just a few. So how do you find whole grain foods in the aisles? Look for the Whole Grain Stamp. It is yellow and is usually displayed on the front of the box or package. This stamp guarantees that a product provides at least half a serving of whole grain in each portion.
Whole grains can be incorporated into breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Start with whole grain cereal or try a whole grain muffin with peanut butter for breakfast, followed up by a slice of pizza made with a whole grain crust and some fresh fruit at lunch, and end your day with a grilled chicken breast, brown rice and broccoli. Snacks can include whole grain pita chips and hummus or salsa, popcorn, or whole grain crackers with a cheese stick. So the next time you take a trip to your local grocery store, look for the Whole Grain Stamp and pick up some whole grain foods.
Spinach Pasta Salad
All you need:
- 6 oz uncooked whole wheat pasta
- 2 tbsp lemon juice (juice of half a lemon)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
- 4 cups fresh spinach leaves
- 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas or other white beans
- 2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- Salt and pepper, to taste
All you do:
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, and cook pasta according to package directions.
- In a large salad bowl, mix the lemon juice, oil and garlic.
- While the pasta boils, clean and chop 4 cups spinach; drain and rinse beans.
- Drain pasta and mix with dressing in the salad bowl. Add spinach, beans and feta; combine.
- Chill for 1 hour or more, or enjoy it warm. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Nutrition facts per serving: 400 calories, 15g fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 15mg cholesterol, 520mg sodium, 54g carbohydrate, 10g fiber, 3g sugar, 13g protein.
Source: The Whole Grains Council, www.wholegrainscouncil.org
The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.