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What are some ways to add whole grains to my diet?

To add more whole grains to your diet, choose products that are labeled "100 percent whole grains" and make sure the ingredient label says "whole" before the grain listed.

Follow these tips to add more whole grains to your eating plan:
  • Opt for oat or whole-wheat cereal for breakfast.
  • Substitute brown rice for white rice in your favorite recipes.
  • Add whole barley to soups and stews or bulgur wheat to salads and casseroles.
  • Heat leftover whole-grain rice with chopped apple, nuts and cinnamon. Traditionally brown rice is a whole-grain, but whole-grain white rice is now available.
  • Make a vegetable wrap with roasted vegetables and low-fat cheese rolled in a whole-wheat tortilla.
  • Enjoy your favorite dishes by using whole-wheat options, such as whole-wheat penne pasta, whole-wheat pizza dough or whole-grain or oat bread.
  • Stuff a whole grain pita with ricotta cheese and Granny Smith apple slices and add a dash of cinnamon.
  • Microwave a bag of low-fat popcorn. You may find this surprising but popcorn is a whole grain.
Ximena Jimenez
Nutrition & Dietetics
You can start the day by eating 100% whole what or whole grain breads, corn tortillas, or cornmeal.

Opt for whole grain pasta, tortillas (make sure that the first ingredient is "whole wheat" or "whole grain") or brown rice for lunch.

Be adventurous and try whole grains like quinoa which is prepared like rice and takes about 20 minutes to cook.

Whole grains such as barley, quinoa and brown rice are versatile and you can add additional ingredients like dried fruits, almonds or vegetables for added taste.
Vandana  R. Sheth
Nutrition & Dietetics
Adding whole grains to meals can be simple. Sometimes all it requires is replacing refined foods with whole grain foods. Another option in to add newer whole grain products to already planned meals to get the benefit.

Enjoy whole wheat breads, brown rice, oatmeal, bulgur, quinoa, whole wheat pasta in place of white bread, white rice, cereal made with added sugar and fat.
Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics

Start with breakfast. Choose whole grain cereals like oatmeal, whole grain dry cereals, whole grain cereal bars, or whole grain breads and bagels. Snack on whole grain crackers or pretzels. At lunch order sandwiches on whole grain bread or rolls. Order whole wheat pizza, brown rice, or whole grain pasta. Buckwheat noodles are a great choice at an Asian restaurant. Soft tacos on corn tortillas or whole wheat wraps are always a good choice when eating Mexican food. Even use whole grains when baking pies and cookies.

To add more whole grain to your diet:
  • Switch to 100% whole wheat bread that has 3 grams or more of fiber per slice.
  • Choose crackers, pastas, and cereals that have "100% whole grain" as a main ingredient on the label.
  • Eat oatmeal or cold oat-bran cereal for breakfast (it has up to 9 grams of fiber per serving).
  • Add lentils or beans to your daily diet (they add 6 to 10 grams of fiber per serving!).
Cindy Guirino
Nutrition & Dietetics
Adding whole grains to your diet is as simple as starting your day with a slice of whole grain toast, for an afternoon snack munch on some popcorn at lunch -- it's fun to add tiny whole grain pretzels to the mix and a few chocolate chips, finally at dinner add an ancient grain like quinoa for a nutty and fiber-filling side dish. 
Enas Shakkour
Nutrition & Dietetics
For breakfast you can try oatmeal, whole-wheat pancakes, or oat bran. Whole grain cereal is another option. Make sure you look at the ingredients and that the first ingredient always states "whole grain" or "whole wheat". "Wheat" or "enriched" does not mean the product is whole grain. For breakfast and lunch choose whole wheat breads, rye, brown rice, bulgur, barley, whole wheat pastas or quinoa. Most supermarkets offer a variety of whole grain products to choose from. Experiment with these whole grain ingredients. Cooking websites offer a variety of recipes with whole-grain ingredients; you can utilize these cooking websites by searching a specific whole grain. The search engine will pull up a collection of recipes that you can try.
Oatmeal is one way to add whole grains to your diet. And, we're not talking about those sweet instant packets. You can sweeten your oatmeal with some cinnamon or fresh fruit preserves while you cooking it, or can use a blend of apple juice and water to cook it.

If you're not into oatmeal, have a bowl of Raisin Bran. Just one bowl a day can reduce your cholesterol by 16 to 28 points.

Other ways to add whole grains to your diet is by eating brown rice, instead of white rice and eating breads that list whole wheat as the leading ingredient.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.