Incorporating Grains Into Your Diet
Here are some tips to get you going:
- While you're getting used to whole-grain bread, make sandwiches with one slice of whole-grain bread and one slice of your regular bread. Eventually switch to all whole-grain.
- To get used to the delightful flavor of brown rice, cook a pot of rice that's half brown and half white. As long as the grain lengths are the same, they will cook in the same amount of time. For instance, use 1 cup long-grain brown rice mixed with 1 cup long-grain white rice. Cook as usual.
- Stash snack mixes with whole grains in your cupboard, car, or desk for an easy snack.
Low-Fat Cracker Mix
- 2 cups each of several low-fat, whole-grain crackers such as Triscuit, Rye-Crisp, Ak-Mak and others (break large crackers into bite-size pieces)
- 2 cups pretzels
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
Making oatmeal? Replace a tablespoon or two of oats with oat bran. Even though oatmeal is a whole grain, oat bran is a concentrated source of fiber. Do the same with hot wheat cereals -- add a little wheat bran to increase the fiber content. If you're baking, use whole-wheat flour to replace at least part of the white flour. Whole-wheat flour can replace up to one-half the white flour without making any other adjustments. If replacing all the flour with whole-wheat flour, use two tablespoons less whole-wheat flour per cup of white flour. Or, you could replace 2 to 4 tablespoons of flour with wheat bran or oat bran for a real fiber boost. Whole-grain pastas have improved since they first appeared on store shelves many years ago. Try different brands until you find one you like. Some natural food stores carry a brand that's half whole grain and half refined grain. Or you can mix half whole-grain pasta with half regular pasta at home until your taste buds adjust.
Setting Grain Goals
To start off on the whole-grain path, consider the following goals:
- I will buy whole-grain bread this week and use it at least once every other day to replace my white bread.
- I will buy whole-grain crackers and eat some for an afternoon snack three days this week.