30 Jan

Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grain is a grain product.  Grains are divided into two subgroups:  whole grains and refined grains.  The key to a healthier diet is to eat grains that are 100% whole-grain.  Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel, the bran, germ and endosperm.  People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases.

Start by making the switch from the white stuff to 100% whole wheat bread, bagels, brown rice, etc.  Try brown rice pasta or spelt pasta (Pannatella is a great brand!!).

Try different grains.  Quinoa is a great source of protein and good substitute for rice.  It can even be eaten for breakfast in place of oatmeal.  There are TONS of quinoa recipes on the internet (not to mention some here on my site).  Cook extra bulgur or barley when you have time.  Freeze half of it to serve another time as a quick side dish.   Barley can be used in soups (check out my mushroom barley soup) or stews and bulgur wheat is great in casseroles or stir fries as well as a great Meditteranean salad known as tabouli.  Millet is another grain which is great for breakfast.

Use healthy flour for baking.  Experiment by substituting buckwheat, milled, spelt or oat flour for up to half of the flour in pancake, waffle, muffin, cookie or other flour-based recipes.  I only use spelt flour for all the baking I do with my daughter who cannot consume wheat.  They are just as delicious!!

Be a smart shopper.  The colour of a food is not an indication that it is a whole grain food.  Use the Nutrition Facts label to check the fiber content of whole-grain foods.  Good sources of fiber contain 10%-19% of the Daily Value; excellent sources contain 20% or more.  Read the ingredients list and choose products that name a whole grain first on the list.  Look for “whole wheat”, “brown rice”, “bulgur”, “buckwheat”, “oatmeal”, “whole-grain cornmeal”, “whole oats”, “whole rye” or “wild rice”.  Foods with labels such as “multi-grain”, “stone-ground”, “cracked wheat”, “bran”, or “seven grain” are not usually 100% whole grain products, and may not contain any whole grain at all.

In order to have a healthy balanced meal, you should be incorporating grains in every meal.  Fill up half your plate with a mixture of vegetables and/or fruits.  Protein should cover another quarter of that dish and your grains should complete the dish.  Be creative, get colourful, get healthy!!!  It starts with you…

Source:  USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)

Have a fit and fabulous day!




  1. proteinandpumps January 30, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

    I love quinoa! So versatile. Great post – the white stuff is so bad and it’s the first thing I tell people to ditch along with sugar!

  2. sarasinart February 3, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

    Good post!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: