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Kaylor: September is National Whole Grains Month

By Staff | Sep 18, 2015

Did you know that people who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases? Grains provide many nutrients vital for health and it is recommended that at least half of all the grains eaten be whole grains. September is whole grains month, and on average most Americans eat enough grains, but few are whole grains. Check out the following tips to help increase your intake of whole grains.

(SUB.) Make more of your grains whole:

What are grains? – Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grain is a grain product. Examples include bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel ? the bran, germ, and endosperm. Examples include whole-wheat flour, bulgur (cracked wheat), oatmeal, whole cornmeal and brown rice.

How much is needed? – The amount of grains you need to eat depends on your age, gender, and level of physical activity. For recommended daily amounts, see the accompanying chart.

What counts as an ounce? – In general, 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or cup of cooked rice, cooked pasta, or cooked cereal can be considered as a 1 ounce equivalent from the Grains Group. Below are examples of specific amounts that count as 1 ounce equivalents.

– Bagel: 1 mini bagel, regular-size bagel, large bagel

– Biscuit, muffin: 1 small (2 inch diameter)

– Breads: 1 regular slice, 1 small slice French, 4snack-size slices rye bread

– Ready-to-eat breakfast cereal: 1 cup flakes or rounds, 1 cups puffed

– Cooked grains (e.g., bulgur, couscous, quinoa): cup cooked

– Cornbread: 1 small (2 inches by 1 inch by 1 inches)

– Crackers: 5 whole wheat crackers, 2 rye crispbreads, 7 square or round crackers

– English muffin: muffin

– Oatmeal: cup cooked, 1 packet instant, 1 ounce (? cup) dry (regular or quick)

– Pancakes, waffles: 1 (4 inch diameter), 2 small (3 inch diameter)

– Popcorn: 3 cups, popped

– Rice, pasta: cup cooked, 1 ounce dry

– Tortillas: 1 small flour (6 inch diameter), 1 corn (6inch diameter)

What are the health benefits? – Consuming whole grains as part of a healthy diet may reduce the risk of heart disease, help with weight management, and reduce constipation. Grains are important sources of many nutrients, including dietary fiber, several B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate), and minerals (iron, magnesium, and selenium).

By Lisa Franzen-Castle, PhD, RD Extension Nutrition Specialist

University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension


1 egg

1 cup low-fat milk

1/3 cup canola oil (or other oil)

1 cup flour

1 cup oatmeal

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

cup raisins or dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)

Cooking spray or butter/margarine to grease muffin cups

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Mix the egg, milk and oil in a small bowl. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, oatmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and dried fruit. Pour the egg-milk-oil mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir just until the ingredients are moistened. Do not overmix; the batter will be lumpy. Spray or grease each cup in the muffin pans. Fill each muffin cup half full of batter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the muffins are golden brown.

If freezing, cool muffins completely before wrapping in foil or placing in freezer bags. Thaw at room temperature or reheat in the microwave or oven. To reheat in the microwave, unwrap the muffin, place on a microwave-safe plate or paper towel, and heat on high about 30 seconds for each muffin.

Makes 12 muffins. Each muffin has 180 calories, 7 grams (g) of fat, 27 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 330 milligrams of sodium.

From NDSU Food Wise

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