How much whole grain should I eat per day?

Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommend that you make half of your grain serving’s whole with a minimum of three grain servings per day. The whole grains council recommends one grain serving is equivalent to:

  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice or other cooked grain
  • 1/2 cup cooked 100% whole-grain pasta
  • 1/2 cup cooked hot cereal, such as oatmeal
  • 1 ounce uncooked whole grain pasta, brown rice or other grain
  • 1 slice 100% whole grain bread
  • 1 very small (1 oz.) 100% whole grain muffin
  • 1 cup 100% whole grain ready-to-eat cereal
While most people eat enough grain products to meet dietary recommendations, not as many of us consume enough whole grains.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise making at least half of your daily grains whole.

Take time to evaluate the amount of whole grains you eat. If you are lagging behind, try these ideas:
  • Eat whole-grain or oat bread for sandwiches.
  • Opt for oat cereal for breakfast rather than corn.
  • Substitute brown rice for white rice in favorite recipes.
  • Add whole barley to soups and stews or bulgur to salads and casseroles.
Eating three or more one-ounce equivalents of whole-grain foods daily may also lower your risk for some chronic diseases and help you manage your weight.
Aim for 5 to 8 servings (about 5 to 8 ounces) of grain and other starches every day. Try to make at least half of the servings whole grains. Sample servings (portions) of whole grains include:
  • 1 slice of 100% whole grain bread
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice, bulgur, barley, or millet
  • 1/2 cup whole grain cereal or cooked oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup cooked whole wheat pasta or whole wheat couscous
  • 6 whole grain crackers
  • 3 cups air-popped popcorn
  • 1/2 cup corn

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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.