Well, we have about 2 days left in week 3 of the April "Abs are Made in the Kitchen" challenge. I mean, our focus this week is whole grains, right? Therefore, I thought it would be really beneficial to throw in a little advice on how to get more whole grains in your diet.
This is an excerpt from WebMD.com. You can view the full article and the sources (including the authors and reviewers) here.
8 Easy Ways to Get More Whole Grains into Your Diet
Learning to enjoy whole grains is simply a matter of retraining your taste buds to become familiar with the fuller, nuttier flavor of the grain, experts say.
Whole grains taste and feel different to the mouth, and therefore it takes time to adjust to these new grains.
Here are eight easy ways to work more whole grains into your daily diet:
- Choose whole-grain breads, cereals, English muffins, waffles, bagels, and crackers. Enjoy a sandwich at lunch with two slices of whole-grain bread, or a whole-grain pita or wrap, and you're two-thirds of the way toward meeting your goal.
- Eat popcorn. What could be easier than eating air-popped popcorn as a snack? A study in the 2008 May issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that people who regularly ate popcorn averaged 2.5 servings of whole grains per day, while non-popcorn eaters got less than one serving.
- Make your snacks whole grain. Snacks account for one-third of whole grain consumption - just make sure you choose the right ones. Check the label, because even though it is made with a whole grain, it could still be high in fat, calories, and sodium.
- Start your day with a bowl of whole-grain cereal. Members of the National Weight Control Registry who have lost substantial amounts of weight -- and kept it off -- swear by the importance of eating a nutritious breakfast, such as cereal, each day. But keep in mind that even when a product is made from whole grain, it's not necessarily healthy. Read the label and select cereals based on the whole-grain content and amount of sugar it contains. The less sugar, the better.
- Add whole grains to your baked goods. Magee likes to blend half whole-wheat flour with all-purpose flour to boost the whole-grain content of her baked goods. You can also use white wheat flour, available in your local grocery store. Another option is to replace one-third of the flour with whole-grain oats.
- Choose brown rice and whole-wheat or blended pasta. Cook up a batch of brown rice and freeze or keep in the fridge 4-5 days and if time is an issue, there are great ready brown rice products. Try whole-grain pasta, or some of the blended pastas made with a mix of whole and refined grains. Don't be put off by the dark color of whole-grain pasta that becomes much lighter when it is cooked.
- Experiment with different grains. Visit your local health food market and try your hand at some of the less-familiar whole grains available. Try risottos, pilafs, whole-grain salads, and other grain dishes made with brown rice, millet, quinoa, or sorghum, Magee suggests. Add uncooked oats to meatloaf or stir oats into yogurt for crunch and added nutrition.
- Start your kids off right. Starting off young kids with a diet of all whole grains. For older kids, try the white whole-wheat flour, and incorporate whole grains into foods that have other flavors: French toast; burgers on whole-grain buns; brown rice medley with veggies; in soups or dishes like shrimp Creole; whole-wheat pitas as crusts for make-your-own individual pizzas.
Cheers Eights & Weights!