Whole grains are better for you than refined ones, because they contain the entire intact grain kernel and lots of fiber and nutrition. The USDA recommends replacing refined grains in your diet with whole-grain breads, pastas, crackers and cereals. To make sure you’re buying the right products, check ingredient labels and make sure the world “whole” comes before each grain.
Here’s a day’s worth of sample menus, incorporating whole grains, from Janet Brill, a registered dietitian and author of Cholesterol Down: 10 Simple Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol in 4 Weeks — Without Prescription Drugs.
(SPECIAL: How to Choose a Healthy Breakfast Cereal)
• 2 whole-wheat waffles
• ¼ cup light syrup
• 1 cup sliced strawberries
• 1 cup fat-free milk
• 1 hard boiled egg
• Tofu peanut wrap: use store-bought baked tofu thinly sliced; add to a whole-grain wrap with sliced red bell pepper and snow peas; spread 1 tablespoon Thai peanut sauce on wrap and assemble
• Baby carrots
• 8 ounces low-sodium vegetable juice
• Shrimp fajitas: add grilled red pepper, garlic and onions to the shrimp and season with Mexican spices; roll into a whole-wheat tortilla and top with salsa
• Black beans and brown rice
• 1 glass red wine (optional)