In Search of Whole Grains

Posted at: 04/02/2013 2:55 PM

Did you know less than 5% of Americans eat the recommended amount of whole grain foods each day?  Hy-Vee Dietitian, Jen Haugen, will make it easy for viewers to find whole grains in the aisles and show how whole grains can fit into your day.

How do you know a grain is whole grain?
A whole grain is just that, a complete grain.  The health benefits of whole grains come from having all three parts of the grain - the bran, the germ and the endosperm.  All three are necessary in a grain to be called whole.  Look for the whole grain stamp or the words whole grain or whole type of grain on the ingredient listing.  Color is not an indication for whole grain.  Fiber is not an indication for whole grain as different grains have different fiber content.

How much whole grain each day?

Make half your grains whole – aim for 6 servings of grains per day with three of those being whole grain.

What is enough whole grain?
  • 1 cup oatmeal = 2 servings
  • 1 whole grain sandwich = 2 servings
  • 1/2 cup brown rice = 1 serving
  • 1 whole wheat English muffin = 2 servings
  • 3 cups popcorn = 1 serving
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa = 2 servings
  • 1 cup 50% whole grain pasta = 1 serving

The Benefits of Whole Grains

Fiesta Quinoa Salad
Serves 12.  Courtesy of the Whole Grains Council.

3 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 3 limes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. In a large bowl, mix together quinoa, corn, pepper, beans, scallions and cilantro.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil and seasonings. Pour over quinoa mixture.
3. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes to let flavors set.

Nutrition Facts per Serving: Calories: 116, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Sodium: 82mg, Carbohydrate: 20g, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 4g

Jen Haugen represents Hy-Vee as a nutrition expert promoting healthy eating throughout the community.  Jen is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.