Men, How Many Servings of Grains Should You Be Eating?

Healthy meals and snacks can fuel strong bodies and minds for men – and Men’s Health Month is a perfect time to revisit your food choices.

Nutrient-dense grain foods are a foundational food in a healthy diet for men (and women!). Grain-based foods are a main source of carbohydrates – the brain and muscles primary energy source – as well as providing essential nutrients such as B vitamins, fiber, iron, magnesium, and zinc.  According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) MyPlate, the amount of grains consumption, whole and refined, depends on your age, sex, height, weight, and overall physical activity. While most Americans are eating enough grain foods, they aren’t consuming enough whole grains. For men specifically, the general daily recommendation by age is:  

 Total Grains in ounce-equivalentsWhole Grains in ounce-equivalents
19-30 years8-10 oz-equiv4-5 oz-equiv
31-59 years7-10 oz-equiv3.5-5 oz-equiv
60+ years6-9 oz-equiv3-4.5 oz-equiv

What counts as an ounce-equivalent (oz-equiv) of grains?

The table below provides examples of specific amounts that count as one ounce-equivalent of grains.

When available, choose whole grain versions.
 Amount that counts as 1 ounce-equivalent (oz-equiv) of grains
Bagels2″ mini bagel
Bagel or pita chips⅓ cup bagel or pita chips
Barley½ cup, cooked
Buckwheat½ cup, cooked
Biscuits1 small biscuit
Breads1 regular slice of bread1 small slice of French bread 1 small slice of French bread 4 snack-size slices of rye bread
Bulgur½ cup, cooked
Challah bread1 medium or regular slice
Chapati1 small chapati or roti (6″) ½ large chapati or roti (8″)
Cornbread1 small piece of cornbread
Couscous½ cup, cooked
Crackers5 whole wheat crackers 2 rye crisp breads 7 square or round crackers
English muffins½ English muffin
Muffins1 small muffin
Oatmeal½ cup, cooked 1 packet instant 1 ounce (⅓ cup), dry (regular or quick)
Pancakes1 pancake (4½” diameter) 2 small pancakes (3″ diameter)
Pasta — spaghetti, macaroni, noodles½ cup, cooked 1 ounce, dry
Popcorn3 cups, popped
Quinoa½ cup, cooked
Ready-to-eat breakfast cereal1 cup, flakes or rounds 1¼ cup, puffed
Rice½ cup, cooked 1 ounce, dry
Tortillas1 small flour tortilla (6″ diameter) 1 corn tortilla (6″ diameter)

To find the right amount of grains for you, visit Go for more grains this Men’s Health Month – and all year!