Adding whole foods to your diet

Every healthy eating article says to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Could you please tell me how to get whole grains into my diet?

Believe it or not, whole grain products are right there on the cereal, bread, flour and rice shelves. If you want to find prepared foods made from whole grains, you’ll have the most luck in health food stores.

Make a habit of sitting down with a bowl of whole grain cereal every morning. Start reading cereal labels; you’ll find whole grains like wheat, barley and oats in both cold and hot cereals. You might also try using cereal in creative ways to get whole grains.

You’ll find whole-grain breads in the bakery section. Once again, check the label; all whole wheat breads are not equal. Look for breads with “whole wheat flour” listed first. (Notice that I didn’t say “wheat flour.”) My favorite whole-grain breads are multi-grains, which often have chunks or pieces of wheat, oats and sunflower seeds in the bread or crust, giving them a crunchiness and toasted nutty flavor.

Next, clear your pantry of enriched, white flour and replace it with whole-wheat flour. Use the whole-wheat flour for cooking pancakes, muffins, cookies, dredging and even bread machines. That was easy, wasn’t it?

There was a time when I cringed every time I suggested brown rice instead of white rice; brown rice took 45-50 minutes to cook. The new “quick” varieties cook in just 10 minutes. Plus, they’ve got all the fiber and nutrients of long-cooking brown rice. I recommend “Success” brand 10-minute brown rice – it even comes in a handy little boiling bag. Now, take out a pen and write “brown” in front of the word “rice” in all your recipes. Voila!

Also, watch for whole-wheat spaghetti and pizza shells, coming to your supermarket soon … if they aren’t already there.

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