Whole Grain Recommendations
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommend that Americans consume at least 3 servings of whole grains in place of refined grains per day.
Are We Getting Enough Whole Grains?
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report reports that about 10% of Americans are actually obtaining this recommendation, and that the general population consumes only about 1 serving of whole grains per day.
What is One Serving of Whole Grains?
A serving of whole grains is 16 grams of whole grain. The current recommendation is to consume 3 servings or 48 grams of whole grains per day. It is preferred to replace 3 refined grain servings with 3 whole grain servings. Examples of 3 whole grain servings in include: 1 slice of whole grain bread, 1/2 cup cooked whole grain pasta, and 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal.
Benefits from Whole Grains
Research has shown the benefits from consumption of whole grains in the diet include a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, Type II diabetes, and may help with weight control. | Read more about the benefits from Whole Grains |
Whole Grain Recommendations for Female College-Age Students
The average college-age female who exercises 30-60 minutes most days of the week needs about 7 ounces of total grains each day. Of these total grains, at least 3.5 ounces should be whole grains.
Whole Grain Recommendations for Male College-Age Students
The average college-age male who exercises 30-60 minutes most days of the week needs about 10 ounces of total grains each day. Of these total grains, at least 5 ounces should be whole grains.
Whole Grains - Not the Whole Story: Fiber - The Rest of the Story
Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber which is found in the bran, or the "outer shell" of the grain kernel. Most refined (processed) grains contain little fiber. And dietary fiber is also found in the abundant choices of fruits and vegetables.
Dietary fiber from whole grains, fruits and vegetables, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower the risk of heart disease. Fiber is also important for proper bowel function. It helps reduce constipation and the chance of developing diverticulosis (diverticular disease). Fiber-containing foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories.
Whole grains are good sources of dietary fiber whereas most refined (processed) grains contain little fiber.
The average healthy individual needs 20-35 grams of fiber each day.
- 1/2 cup cooked brown rice or other cooked grain
- 1/2 cup cooked whole grain pasta or hot cereal
- 1 small whole wheat mini bagel (1 large bagel = 4 ounce equivalents)
- 1 slice 100% whole grain bread
- 1 very small whole grain muffin
- 1 cup whole grain ready-to-eat cereal
- 5 whole wheat crackers
- 1 small whole grain flour tortilla
Try hot cereal such an old fashioned oats or cold cereal that has "whole" listed before the first ingredient.
Use whole grain bread for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.
Try brown rice, bulgur, or whole wheat pasta instead of potatoes.
Choose whole fruit instead of fruit juice - the peel of most fruit is an excellent source of fiber.
Eat more beans! Try kinds you normally don't eat like lima beans, black-eyed peas, and soybeans.
Benefits of Whole Grains
Whole Grains Council
Vegetarian Resources Group
American Dietetic Association
5 A Day for Better Health: National Cancer Institute
FDA Food Label
International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC)
National Dairy Council
American Heart Association
American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)
American Diabetes Association