Right-sizing with Grains
When I talk to people about healthy eating, the most common response I get is that they don’t understand portion size. They’re confused about not only what to eat, but how much to eat.
To focus more attention on portion size, the Wheat Foods Council along with other national strategic partners of USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) are emphasizing balancing calories and the message to “enjoy your food, but eat less” between January and April 2012.
Grains, and particularly whole grains, are a great way to put this message to work in your daily life because whole grains are good sources of insoluble fiber. Foods containing insoluble fiber can help with weight control if they are substituted for high-fat, high calorie foods. High-fiber foods take longer to chew and provide a feeling of fullness that lingers longer, so you feel full longer. Additionally, high fiber diets tend to be less “energy dense,” which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food, aiding in weight control.
Here are some easy ways to add more fiber into your diet to help you, your friends, your family, or your clients enjoy their food while eating less:
- Eat 6 ounces each day of bread, cereal, rice and pasta, making sure at least half of them are whole grains.
- Choose a variety of fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains instead of fiber supplements.
- Add bran to muffins, pancake or waffle batters, casseroles, breakfast cereals, and 1% or fat-free yogurt.
- Boost the fiber in cereals by adding fresh fruit.
- Choose whole grain baked goods with seeds, raisins or other dried fruit.