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- Healthy Aging Month
- Adults Sources of Nutrients Research Study
- “Building-A-Better Sandwich” Research Study
- Grains Contribute Shortfall Nutrients and Nutrient Density in Older US Adults Research Study
The Ingredients Inside the Sandwich – Not the Bread Itself – are the Leading Contributors of Calories, Fat and Sodium: Americans can significantly and positively impact their consumption of calories, fat and sodium by making more deliberate decisions about sandwich ingredients. By building a better sandwich on either whole grain or enriched grain bread, American children and adolescents can take in fewer calories, fat and sodium than they typically consume in sandwiches now.
Grain Foods Pack More of a Nutrient Punch Than a Caloric One: All grain foods contributed less than 15% of all calories in the total diet, while delivering greater than 20% of three shortfall nutrients – dietary fiber, folate, and iron – and greater than 10% of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin A.
Powerful Nutrient Mix: Grain foods are the foods we love that love us back – finally, we can enjoy bread again! The nutrient contribution of all whole and refined grain food products, including breads, rolls and tortillas and ready-to-eat cereals, can play a key role in helping American adults meet recommendations for underconsumed nutrients and nutrients of public health concern.
Grains are Associated with Helping you Keep Trim: Adults who mostly get their grains from cooked cereals, pasta, and rice weighed 7 lbs less than adults who eat almost no grains.
Grains are Good For You: People who eat certain grains consume significantly less saturated fat & added sugars than people who eat virtually no grains.
Grains are Good For You: People who eat certain grains can consume more fiber, calcium, magnesium and vitamin D than people who eat almost no grains.
Grains As Part of a Healthy Eating Pattern: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020
The DGA recommends healthy eating patterns building on nutrient-dense foods. These patterns help people create eating plans that meet their individual needs and include a variety of food groups such as grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy and protein.
Breaking Down Fiber: How Much Fiber is in Your Favorite Foods Infographic
Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet! Here’s everything you need to know on fiber in everyday foods, recommended levels and how to add more fiber to your diet.
Get to Know the Good in Grains: Get to know the good in grains. Grains provide overall positive nutrient benefits that shatter the claim that grains are empty calories. Americans, ages two years and older, consume 2,110 calories on average per day. And grains only account for 15% of these calories. If you take a look at the Daily dietary nutrient contribution from grains, they provide 11% of protein, 7% of total fat, 23 of fiber, 8% of sugar, 31% of folate and iron, 15% of sodium, 14% of magnesium, 23% of niacin, 13% of calcium and phosphorus and 7% of potassium. Grains also provide 12% of Vitamin A and 13% of Vitamin B12, 9% of Vitamin E and 8% of Vitamin D.
In addition, grains contribute to 31% of the daily dietary recommended amount of thiamin and 16% of zinc. Furthermore, grain foods only account for 20% of total carbohydrates in the American diet. Sweet bakery products come in at 7%, followed by ready-to-eat cereals at 4%. Rolls, buns and savory snacks make up 3% and cooked cereals, bagels and English muffins, crackers and tortillas make up 1%.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that men consume 38 grams of fiber per day and that women take in 25 grams of fiber per day. Unfortunately, 95% of Americans do not meet fiber intake recommendations. But grains can help. They are the largest source of fiber in the diet of most Americans. Grains and grain-based foods provide more fiber than fruits and vegetables. Fruits offer about 10% fiber and vegetables provide about 16% fiber compared to the 40% fiber that grains offer.
Breads, rolls, and tortillas offer 13% of the daily fiber contributed by grains. Yeast breads offer 8%, ready-to-eat cereals offer 5%, quick breads, bread products and cooked cereals offer 2% of the daily fiber and cooked grains offer 1%.
Grains are Good For You: The Benefits of Buns
Grains are good for you. Buns and rolls contribute less than 2% of total calories while providing vital nutrients including fiber, calcium, folate and iron. If you are interested in increasing your fiber intake, try eating a whole grain bun or roll and include fiber rich vegetables to reach your fiber goals.
Grains Are Good For You: How Grains Compare
Grains are good for you. Pasta and rice is responsible for 2% of the caloric contribution of common grain foods in the diet. Rolls and buns are responsible are also responsible for 2% of the common grain foods in the diet. Breads and tortillas contribute 7%, pizza contributes 4% and sweet baked goods are responsible for 6% of common grain foods in the diet.
Dairy vs. Grains: Grains are on par with other nutrient dense foods. When you compare milk and dairy with grains, they are very similar. Grains offer a very close amount of protein compared to milk and dairy. Protein is important because it aids in the development and maintenance of bones, muscles and skin. Although milk and dairy has more calcium, which supports bone health as well as circulatory and hormonal activity, grains offer more zinc which supports a healthy immune system. The amount of Vitamin B2 that milk and dairy and grains offer is extremely similar. Vitamin B2 aids in cell development and converts food into energy. Overall, grains offer a significant amount of these nutrients – protein, calcium, Vitamin B2 and zinc.
Grains Are Good For You: Grains are good for you. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Data, grains and grain-based foods provide 40% of fiber in the American diet.
Sandwiches are a great vehicle for nutrient delivery:
Sandwiches are a great vehicle for nutrient delivery. And sandwiches also contribute only 2% of carbohydrates in the daily diet.
Grains are Good For Your Daily Diet: Do you want to understand how breads impact your daily diet? This infographic explains the breakdown of nutrients you get in your daily diet. Grains make up 50% of your calories. They provide you with 60% of your daily carbohydrates, 80% of your fiber, 20% of the sugar you need and 80% of the folate you should have each day. In addition, breads provide 70% of the iron you need and 50% of the sodium you should have each day.
Grains On the Go:If you have experienced the grumble of mid-afternoon hunger, here are some healthy options that will satisfy your cravings and get you the energy you need, when you need it.
- Two brown rice cakes with two tbsp. of crunchy peanut butter
- Four homemade pita crisps with 4.5 oz. bean dip
- Four rye crisps with four tbsp. of hummus
- One cup homemade snack mix
- One lemon blueberry yogurt muffin
- One raisin scone
- Two oz. tortilla chips with two oz. of salsa
- Two oz. pesto bagel chips
- One cup of dry whole wheat cereal
- Sixteen wheat crackers with one oz. cheddar
Each of these snacks offer protein, fiber and a healthy amount of calories.
In case you don’t know, your diet should consist of 25-30 grams of fiber. It helps you feel full and tide you over until your next meal.
Protein is easy to add to your on-the-go snacks with foods such as cheese, beans and peanut butter. USDA MyPlate recommends most people consume between 5-6 oz. of protein per day.
Common Sense Servings: The USDA recommends adults consume six to eight servings of grains daily, with half of their servings as whole grains. This seems easy enough unless you don’t know what a serving looks like. When it comes to whole grain varieties, eat one cup of ready-to-eat rice cereal, ½ cup of cooked brown, white or wild rice or about three puffed rice cakes. A serving of these whole grain foods will provide you up to 2.5 grams of fiber, up to 10% of your daily value of magnesium, a mineral that supports a healthy immune system and protein ranges of 2-2.5 grams.
If you are eating rye, the recommended serving sizes include one slice of rye bread, about three rye crisps, or six rye crackers. If you eat these items, you will get up to five grams of fiber, up to four grams of protein and Vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B9, which support metabolism.
The serving sizes for wheat are as follows: ½ cup of cooked whole wheat pasta, ½ English muffin or mini bagel or 1 slice of wheat bread. You’ll get between 1-2 grams of fiber, 2-3 grams of protein and a great source of antioxidants including lutein, zeaxanthin and selenium which reduces cellular waste products.
If you are eating oats, you should serve yourself one slice of oat bread, one ounce of uncooked oats or a ½ cup cooked hot oatmeal. A serving of oats will provide up to 4.2 grams of fiber, almost three grams of protein, and 10% of the daily value of selenium, an essential micronutrient that plays a role in thyroid function.
Whole corn servings include: one cup ready-to-eat-corn cereal, ½ cup cooked cornmeal or three cups of air-popped popcorn. Any of these food items will get you up to 4.5 grams of fiber, up to 25% of the daily value of niacin, a B-vitamin that’s important for protecting your DNA and around 2-5 grams of protein.
Folic Acid in Your Shopping Cart: Folic acid helps maintain a healthy diet and can take the steps toward preventing birth defects. One cup of pasta or cereal, two whole eggs, ½ cup of broccoli or beans and two slices of white bread are all great options when you are trying to reach your daily folic acid intake goals.
The Whole Grain Story: Whole grains are a hot topic, but what’s all the talk about. So what’s in a grain? Well, it all starts in a field, where whole grains grow as the kernel of the plant. The kernel is made up of three distinct parts, each offering a unique nutrient profile. The bran contains satiating fiber along with essential vitamins and minerals. The endosperm stores starch – a carbohydrate that serves as a source of energy. The germ houses vitamin E, antioxidants and healthy fats. Any food that is labeled “whole grain” on the package must contain all three parts of the kernel in roughly the same proportion as they occur naturally.
Whole grains don’t normally go straight from the field to your kitchen. There are three types of milling. Whole includes popcorn, brown rice and quinoa. Flour includes whole wheat flour, cornmeal and buckwheat flour. Cracked milling results in bulgur, oatmeal and barley grits.
According to the NPD Group Report, breakfast accounts for over 56% of all whole grain consumption in the United States.
Choosemyplate.gov took a look at America’s favorite whole grains. They include: barley, wild rice, popcorn, whole wheat rolled oats and buckwheat.
Grains really power your body. The fiber found in grains helps satiate hunger, improve digestive health and may protect against certain cancers. B Vitamins from grains are vital to metabolism. And minerals including iron, magnesium and phosphorus are all prevalent in whole grain foods and keep cells healthy.
One way to support prenatal health is to eat enriched grain foods. They can supply folic acid for a lowered risk of some birth defects.
Two times more folic acid is found in enriched grains compared with whole grains.
Starting in the 1960’s, scientists started studying the link between folic acid-rich foods and lowered risk of neural tube defects (NTDs). In 1998, this research led to FDA-mandated fortification of enriched grain foods with folic acid to help reduce NTDs. After the study, the effects were immediate. After just five years, the prevalence of NTDs has been reduced by 36%.
NTDs form during the first three weeks of pregnancy, but folic acid enriched grains help prevent them from the time of conception. Expectant mothers, even those who don’t know it yet, can help protect their babies by simply eating the foods they love.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, women’s consumption of enriched grain foods, not prenatal supplements is responsible for this significant decline. And fortification was recognized as one of the top ten public health achievements of the first decade of the 21st century.
Enrich your Heart Health with Whole Grains: This infographic will help you understand how eating more whole grains can improve your health, especially since a majority of Americans do not consume enough fiber which is necessary to support heart health. 90% of Americans fall short in meeting recommendations for dietary fiber intake. By simply eating a bowl of cereal or slice of wheat bread, you can incorporate whole grains and fiber into your daily diet.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent, one in four American deaths is caused by cardiovascular disease. Around 600,000 people die from cardiovascular disease in the United States every year.
Whole grain foods including bread, buns, tortillas, pasta and brown rice can help keep your heart healthy and contribute to your daily fiber needs. Compared to the fiber found in fruits and vegetables, fiber from cereal grains may be uniquely beneficial for heart health. When you are adding whole grains to your diet, at least half of the grains on your plate should be whole grains. Fill approximately one quarter of the plate with grains. In other words, a serving of whole grains should be a half cup of cooked brown rice, 100% whole-grain pasta or cooked hot cereal such as oatmeal. A one cup serving of ready-to-eat cereal, one slice of 100% whole grain bread, one small (tennis ball sized) muffin and one quarter cup of uncooked pasta are all great measurements for a serving of whole grains.
Adding whole grains into a diet has been found to help people maintain healthier body weight and lower the amount of dangerous abdominal fat.
Enriquece tu salud del corazón con granos enteros: Una de cada cuatro muertes estadounidenses es causado por enfermedades cardiovasculares. Aprenda más sobre cómo comer más granos enteros pueden mejorar la salud del corazón.
Holiday Tastes and Traditions: See how your holiday traditions stack up to how other Americans plan and prepare their Thanksgiving dinner.