Fuel Your Body!
Harriman, author of five books and Director of Food & Nutrition
Strategies for Boston-based Oldways and the Whole Grains Council, speaks
regularly worldwide on the pleasures of healthy eating.
Got clients who are not yet making half their grains whole? September is Whole Grains Month, so
we’re here to share some approaches the Whole Grains Council has
found helpful in persuading people to take this important step to
better health. Try these arguments in your practice!
like them. Ask some people if they eat whole grains,
and they may give you a flat-out no. Probe a bit further: “Ever eat
popcorn? Do you like oatmeal? What’s your favorite breakfast cereal?”
Almost everyone already eats and enjoys whole grains. Realizing that
some of their favorite foods are – unbeknownst to them – whole grain
may help them warm up to the idea of trying more.
taste buds a chance to adjust. Dr. David Katz,
Director of Yale’s Prevention Research Center, says that our taste
buds adjust to changes in about two weeks. If you switch from whole
milk to skim milk and stick with it for two weeks, Katz says,
“suddenly whole milk feels like drinking wallpaper paste.” Many
people tell us that once that get used to the fuller, nuttier taste
of whole grains, refined grains taste too plain and bland. Challenge
your clients to try eating whole grains for just two weeks.
“half-whole” grains. Just as most people move from
whole milk to 2% rather than directly to skim, many people prefer to
make a gradual transition to whole grains. Many breads, pizza crusts,
granola bars and cereals are made of a mix of whole and refined
grains. Encourage your clients to check the ingredient list, or look
for the Basic Whole Grain Stamp (see below).
After all, one way to “make half your grains whole” is to simply make
sure all the grain foods you eat contain roughly equal amounts of
whole and refined grain.
You deserve it.
So many healthy food messages are based on deprivation: eat low-fat
this, low-calorie that, low-sugar the-other. Whole grains are about
getting more: more taste, more nutrients, more fiber. You wouldn’t
purposely go to the store and choose apples or oranges with half or
more of their nutrients removed, so why not buy whole grains, and get
everything nature intended! At this point, mention that research shows whole grains may
reduce heart and stroke risk, help prevent diabetes, and help with
weight maintenance, among other benefits.
Look for the
Whole Grain Stamp. For many people, one barrier to
eating more whole grains is simply confusion about how to find them
on grocery shelves. Advise your clients to look for the 100% Whole
Grain Stamp, found on products where all the grain is whole grain, or
the Basic Whole Grain Stamp, on products made with a mix of whole and
refined grain. Each Stamp says clearly how much whole grain is in a
serving of the product, and carries a reminder that our goal, for
good health, is to consume 48 grams or more of whole grain daily.
to learn more!
Pass Along These
Whole Grains Tips!
* Spread whole wheat pitas with sauce, cheese, and veggies for a
* Substitute whole grain flour for half the all-purpose flour in most
* Try three brands of whole grain pasta to find your favorite
* Serve bulgur, quinoa, or brown rice instead of potatoes at least
one night a week
* Start the day with a hot or cold whole grain breakfast cereal with
* Enjoy whole grain crackers or chips with hummus or salsa at snack
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