How important are whole grains?

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating at least three servings (equivalent to 3 ounces) of whole-grain products per day.  Whole grains consist of the entire grain seed (bran, endosperm and germ).  Usually they are turned into flour and used to make bread, cereals, pasta.  Look for the words “whole grain” on package labels.  Whole grains include foods like oatmeal, whole wheat, popcorn, wild or brown rice, bulgur.  Whole grains provide fiber in the diet and have been shown to help decrease your risk for heart disease and diabetes.

A Serving Size Whole Grain Foods:

  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice or other cooked grain
  • 1/2 cup cooked 100% whole-grain pasta
  • 1/2 cup cooked hot cereal, such as oatmeal
  • 1 ounce uncooked whole grain pasta, brown rice or other grain
  • 1 slice 100% whole grain bread
  • 1 very small (1 oz.) 100% whole grain muffin
  • 1 cup 100% whole grain ready-to-eat cereal

(Suggestions from the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans)

The Whole Grains Council will hold its next conference, titled “Make (at least!) Half Your Grains Whole” on April 20-22, 2009 in Alexandria, VA.

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines call for everyone to make at least half their grains whole. But does our food environment actively reflect this goal? This scientific, culinary and consumer conference will take a close look at grocery stores, restaurants, the media, school lunches, and many other factors that influence our food choices, and detail our progress on whole grains. You’ll also hear from schools, health organizations, foodservice outlets, and more about what really works in promoting whole grains, and why. Join us for practical and positive insights that marketing executives, public health specialists, government policymakers, R&D scientists, chefs and foodservice operators can apply immediately to their work.

For a full agenda and a link to online registration, visit or contact Cynthia Harriman (617-896-4820 or


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