Section Title

Using Whole Grains

Tips for Buying

  • Choose foods that name one of the following whole-grain ingredients first on the label’s ingredient list:

brown rice              


rolled oats



whole-grain (barley, corn, sorghum)



whole (oats, rye, wheat)

  • Bread can be brown because of molasses or other added ingredients. Read the ingredient list to see if it is a whole grain.
  • Read the food label. Look for higher amounts of fiber and fewer added sugars. Terms that indicate added sugars (such as sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, or raw sugar).
  • Most sodium in the food supply comes from packaged foods, including breads. Use the Nutrition Facts label to choose foods with lower sodium. Foods with less than 140 mg sodium per serving can be labeled as low sodium foods.

Tips for Using

  • Eat whole-wheat bread instead of white bread.
  • You can use brown rice as stuffing for baked green peppers or whole-wheat macaroni for your macaroni and cheese.
  • Use whole grains in mixed dishes, such as barley in vegetable soup and bulgur wheat in casseroles or stir-fries.
  • Create a whole grain pilaf with a mixture of barley, wild rice, brown rice, broth and spices. For added flavor, stir in toasted nuts or chopped dried fruit.
  • Substitute whole wheat or oat flour for up to half of the flour in pancake, waffle, muffin or other flour-based recipes.
  • Use whole-grain bread or cracker crumbs in meatloaf.
  • Try rolled oats or a crushed, unsweetened whole grain cereal as breading for baked chicken or fish.
  • Try an unsweetened, whole grain ready-to-eat cereal as croutons in salad or in place of crackers with soup.
  • Freeze leftover cooked brown rice, bulgur, or barley. Heat and serve it later as a quick side dish.
  • Add whole-grain flour or oatmeal when making cookies or other baked treats.