Whole grains pack a nutritious punch. They provide carbohydrate, the main fuel for our body. They also provide antioxidants and fiber. Eating a diet high in fiber (20 to 25 grams per day) can decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke by 40 to 50 percent.
The American Heart Association recommends eating at least 3 one-ounce servings of whole grains per day. Doing so not only can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, but may help with weight maintenance, and may lower risk for other chronic diseases.
Try these simple substitutes to benefit from whole grains:
- Switch from white bread to wheat bread.
- Use whole-wheat pasta instead of regular pasta.
- Switch from white rice to brown rice, or try mixing half white rice, half brown rice.
- Eat a high-fiber, whole-grain cereal such as oatmeal or bran flakes.
- Add oats or use half whole-wheat flour in homemade baked goods.
- Experiment and cook whole grains such as quinoa, bulgur or barley. They can be cooked as a hot side dish in place of rice, or cooked then served cold in salads. They can also be added to homemade soups.