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-equivalents||Whole Grains in ounce-equivalents|
|19-30 years||8-10 oz-equiv||4-5 oz-equiv|
|31-59 years||7-10 oz-equiv||3.5-5 oz-equiv|
|60+ years||6-9 oz-equiv||3-4.5 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.
|OUNCE EQUIVALENT OF GRAINS|
When available, choose whole grain versions.
|Amount that counts as 1 ounce-equivalent (oz-equiv) of grains|
|Bagels||2″ mini bagel|
|Bagel or pita chips||⅓ cup bagel or pita chips|
|Barley||½ cup, cooked|
|Buckwheat||½ cup, cooked|
|Biscuits||1 small biscuit|
|Breads||1 regular slice of bread1 small slice of French bread 1 small slice of French bread 4 snack-size slices of rye bread|
|Bulgur||½ cup, cooked|
|Challah bread||1 medium or regular slice|
|Chapati||1 small chapati or roti (6″) ½ large chapati or roti (8″)|
|Cornbread||1 small piece of cornbread|
|Couscous||½ cup, cooked|
|Crackers||5 whole wheat crackers 2 rye crisp breads 7 square or round crackers|
|English muffins||½ English muffin|
|Muffins||1 small muffin|
|Oatmeal||½ cup, cooked 1 packet instant 1 ounce (⅓ cup), dry (regular or quick)|
|Pancakes||1 pancake (4½” diameter) 2 small pancakes (3″ diameter)|
|Pasta — spaghetti, macaroni, noodles||½ cup, cooked 1 ounce, dry|
|Popcorn||3 cups, popped|
|Quinoa||½ cup, cooked|
|Ready-to-eat breakfast cereal||1 cup, flakes or rounds 1¼ cup, puffed|
|Rice||½ cup, cooked 1 ounce, dry|
|Tortillas||1 small flour tortilla (6″ diameter) 1 corn tortilla (6″ diameter)|
To find the right amount of grains for you, visit https://www.myplate.gov/myplate-plan. Go for more grains this Men’s Health Month – and all year!