Regular exercise and eating a nutritious diet that includes grains can help you maintain a healthy weight. Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide recommends foods containing grains as one of the four pillars to maintaining a healthy diet. Here are some facts and tips to help you incorporate grains into your diet:
- Whole grains include wheat, barley, rye, triticale, oats, buckwheat, coloured rice (black, brown and red), wild rice, corn, quinoa, millet, sorghum, amaranth, einkorn, spelt, kamut and teff.
- Grains can be eaten whole, cracked, split or ground. They can be milled into flour and used to make breads, cereals, pasta and other foods.
- Whole grains contain complex carbohydrates that break down slowly, helping you sustain that full feeling that can prevent overeating.
- Most whole grain foods are naturally low in fat and cholesterol. It’s the spreads, toppings, and sauces that can add significant fat and calories. Incorporate lower fat nut butters and bean spreads like hummus to cut the fat and add texture and flavour to your meals.
- Eating a variety of different whole grains ensures you get more nutrients, but also helps make your meals and snacks more interesting. Start your morning with a whole grain cold cereal, bagel, or a bowl of oatmeal.
- Use whole grain bread, bagels, tortillas or pita bread for making sandwiches.
- When making bread, muffins, biscuits, pancakes or waffles at home, substitute whole grain whole wheat flour for half or all of the white flour. Choose 100% whole grain breads and pasta in addition to brown rice, nuts, seeds and legumes to lower the risk of heart disease.
- Enjoy popcorn for a snack.
- Be adventurous with less common whole grains such as whole grain barley, bulgur, kasha, amaranth, quinoa, teff, millet and couscous.