Superfood Tip: Make half your grains whole grains
Grains are part of a balanced plate, but not all grains are equally nutritious.
Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain is a grain product. They are divided into two subgroups — whole grains, and refined grains.
People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy eating style have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases, according to choosemyplate.gov.
Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel — the bran, germ, and endosperm.
Following are five tips to make the shift to whole grains:
• Make simple shifts: choose 100 percent whole-wheat bread, bagels, pasta, or tortillas; brown rice; oatmeal; or grits.
• Whole grains can be healthy snacks. Popcorn is a whole grain. Make it with little or no added salt or butter. Also, try-100 percent whole-wheat or rye crackers.
• Save time by cooking extra brown rice or oatmeal when you make it. Refrigerate half of what you cook to heat and serve later in the week.
• Mix it up. Use whole grains in mixed dishes, such as barley in vegetable soups or stews and bulgur wheat in casseroles or stir-fries. Try a quinoa salad or pilaf.
• Change up your favorite meal with whole grains. Try brown rice stuffing in baked green peppers or tomatoes, and whole-wheat noodles in lasagna.
For more tips visit choosemyplate.gov.