For the New Year my husband vowed to make the same changes as many others - He wanted to eat and live healthier. I have to admit I am very proud of him because he has been doing incredibly well. I wish I had just half of his will power. His change has however made a big difference in how I shop and has really opened my eyes to products and even packaging as a stroll down the grocery store aisles.
Would you believe the main thing that jumped out at me down the cereal aisle was the big whole grain check mark on General Mills Cereals. I always knew Cheerios were a healthy choice but looked at Lucky Charms as less "good for you". Who knew it had more whole grain then any other ingredient. Oh, and believe me either way, I personally would not have stopped eating it, but it's nice to know I'm getting some much needed whole grain into my diet.
In fact Dietary Guidelines recommend people get at least 48 grams of whole grain in their daily diets. According to Dr. Travis Stork, emergency room physician and host of "The Doctors," identifying whole grain products can be challenging. Shoppers can look for nutritional cues on the front of the box, but they need to read the ingredient list to know if they are getting enough whole grain. Ingredient lists detail ingredients in order of prevalence, and if the words "whole grain" are followed by a grain like wheat or oats, it means the food contains more whole grain than any other single ingredient.
The whole grain markings on packaging was something I took note of walking down the aisles but really had no clue how much whole grain each product contained. Thanks to Dr. Travis Stork, General Mills and Myblogspark I now have some clue. Dr. Stork says it's really quite simple and tells us how to determine if your cereals have whole grain as a first ingredient;
- Start Early!The Dietary Guidelines recommend people get at least 48 grams of whole grain in their daily diets. Get a jump-start on the day´s nutrition by incorporating whole grain into your morning routine. For instance, when choosing cereal make sure whole grain is listed as the first ingredient. One easy choice is cereal with the white check, which have more whole grain than any other single ingredient.
- Make Simple Swaps.Choose whole grain versions of the foods you love. Great options include whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread or even whole grain crackers. Also, try different types of whole grain. Use brown rice instead of white rice as a side dish at dinner or popcorn, which is a whole grain, for a snack.
- Don´t Judge a Food by Its Cover.The front of food packages provide good nutritional cues, but don´t forget to read the ingredients and check the nutrition label and side labels for additional health information. Cereals with the white check even include the amount of whole grain per serving on packaging.
Pretty simple cues to look for and changes to make right?
We were sent 5 boxes of General Mills brand cereals with whole grain as the top ingredient. Cereal such as; Lucky Charms, Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Total and Cinnamon Toast Crush. We are a big cereal family and these were some of our favs. My husband claimed the Cheerios and Total and of course my daughter snatch up her Lucky Charms - Come to think of it maybe we should work on "sharing" for the New Year as well ;-)
To help with choosing products with whole grain, General Mills developed "Fast Lane for Whole Grain," an online educational game. Consumers can navigate virtual grocery store aisles and identify products that have whole grain as the first ingredient, with the option to enter a sweepstakes to win one of each of the 50 cereals with the white check. For more information on the importance of whole grain and a chance to enter the "Fast Lane for Whole Grain" sweepstakes, visit www.WholeGrainNation.com.
Win It: Want even more chance to win? One lucky reader of my blog will win 5 boxes of General Mills cereal with the white check!