Get Your Whole Grain Servings!
Now that you know what whole grains are—as well as how good they are for you—make sure you aim for about 6 servings a day, depending on your energy needs. If you’re watching your weight, you may want to trim that down to about 5 servings or less per day, but if weight is not an issue, you can increase your number of whole grain servings to meet your energy needs to maintain a healthy weight. Whole grains not only provide a healthy balance of slow-burning carbs, protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber and more, they are also crunchy and delicious. No wonder that just about every ancient culture has a whole grain forming a core staple in their traditional diets, from quinoa for the ancient Aztecs to corn for Native Americans. Don’t be afraid to try from the rainbow of whole grains: amaranth, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, corn, millet, oats, quinoa, rye, sorghum, teff, wheat (including Kamut, farro and spelt) and wild rice.
Tips for Meeting Your Whole Grain Goal
- Include a whole grain at each meal. It’s really not hard to do! You can feature porridge or buckwheat pancakes for breakfast, barley vegetable soup with a hearty bean salad for lunch, and brown rice with a stir-fry for dinner.
- Make the switch. Ferret out those refined grains in your diet, such as in breads, cereals, snack foods, bagels, muffins, pasta and side-dish mixes.
- Decipher whole grains on the food label. Search for sources of whole grains in products, but don’t trust the front of the package, which may have confusing claims such as “made with whole grains” or “multi-grain.” Look to the ingredients list and identify whole grains, such as whole wheat, oats or quinoa, as the first ingredient.
- Be mindful of portions. Most people tend to underestimate how many grain servings they get. If you’re watching your weight, you may want to limit your grain servings to 5 servings or less a day; one serving is: ½ cup cooked whole grains, such as rice, oats or wheat berries; ½ cup cooked whole grain pasta, 1 slice whole grain bread, 1 cup ready-to-eat whole grain breakfast cereal, or 1 6-inch whole grain tortilla.
Reading: Follow along with The Plant-Powered Diet, pages 80 – 105.
Skip the white rice traditionally featured in most risotto recipes and try this Quinoa Kale Risotto with Pistachios instead!
You Can Win a Prize!
We will be watching your comments on the blog and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) during the challenge, so be sure to let us know how you are doing. We are going to select one winner at the end of the challenge on January 21, 2018 based on participation and comments on the blog and social media.
- Prize: An Organic Plant-Powered Farmers Market Bag filled with Plant-Powered Goodies! (Value $75)
Read the full rules here.
Previous Go Plant-Power Challenge posts:
Main image: Red Quinoa Berry Breakfast Bowl, Sharon Palmer, RDN