Get Your Plate In Shape Part 2 of 4

March is National Nutrition Month!  This year’s theme is, “GET YOUR PLATE IN SHAPE!”

Throughout the month, we will focus on the following food groups:  protein, grains, dairy and fruits & vegetables and help you to get your plate in shape!

This week we will focus on GRAINS.  Who doesn’t love carbs?  Sadly many of our favorites are not our body’s favorites.  Drop those Cheetos, put down fries and let’s get your plate in shape in regards to grains!

Grains 101:  Grains are seeds!  Grains contain germ (nutrient and antioxidant storehouse), endosperm (energy!) and bran (the outer shell that is full of fiber and vitamins).

Whole grains are the deal!  Whole grains are packed with nutrition and reduce risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.  Whole grains also help with digestive health and weight control.  Your goal should be to consume 3 servings of whole grain a day.

When you select grains, always go with whole grains.  Choose grains like brown rice, barley, whole-wheat couscous and oats.  Substitute whole-wheat flour for half of the white flour when baking breads, muffins, biscuits, pancakes or waffles.  Look for whole-wheat products like whole-wheat pastas, tortillas or pizza crusts.  Switch to 100% whole grain cereal, bread, and crackers.  Don’t be fooled!  Check the food labels on packaging to be sure the first ingredient is 100% whole grain.  Those food companies are very sneaky!

Bump up your whole grain intake with these ideas:

  • Stir in brown rice or barley into homemade or canned soups
  • Add microwavable brown rice as a side dish to you dinner
  • Whole wheat couscous is a tasty alternative to rice and is ready in 5 minutes
  • Mix whole grain cereal into your trail mix
  • Use whole wheat tortillas for your tacos and quesadillas

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Disclaimer: Please note that there's no guarantee of getting the same results as each of these patients. Specific results vary by individual patient.