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Healthy Eating Jump-Start Day 19: Go for whole grains


Have you made a resolution to eat better and lose weight? Follow our month-long program of daily nutrition tips, created by dietitian Leslie Beck to change your lifestyle for January - and beyond. And to get your fitness on track, try our personal trainer-designed Boot Camp 2012 program .

DAY 19: Go for whole grains

Eating foods made from whole grains is linked with protection from heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Whole grains contain all parts of the grain: the outer bran layer where nearly all the fibre is, the germ layer that's rich in vitamins and minerals, and the endosperm that contains the starch.

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Research suggests that you need to eat at least three servings of whole grains each day to reap their health benefits. One serving equals: one slice of whole-grain bread, 30 grams of breakfast cereal, ½ cup cooked whole-wheat pasta or ½ cup cooked whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, millet.

Ideally, most – if not all – of your grain choices should be whole grain.

Your homework today: Replace all "white," refined grains with a whole grain. The following tips can help you do so:

  • Buy breakfast cereal, breads and crackers that list a whole grain such as “whole wheat,” “whole oats, “whole rye” or “rye meal” as the first ingredient. Even better, choose products made entirely of whole grains. (If you order your sandwich at lunch on rye bread, it’s likely made from refined flours.)
  • Try whole-wheat or brown rice pasta instead for white pasta.
  • Instead of white rice for dinner, substitute brown rice, wild rice or quinoa.
  • Add ground flaxseed to smoothies, hot cereal, yogurt or applesauce.
  • Try one new whole-grain food each week such as barley, kasha (buckwheat groats), millet, brown rice or quinoa.

Want more information related to today's tip? Read on:

Want a smaller waist? Try replacing your grains

Brown bread vs. white: Are darker foods always better?

Chef Michael Smith's recipe: whole-grain pancakes

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Chef's recipe: whole grain crusted apple pie

Missed earlier days? It's easy to get caught up.

DAY 18: Don't eat after 8 p.m.

DAY 17: Eat an afternoon snack

DAY 16: Track your calories

DAY 15: Ban sugary drinks

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DAY 14: Eat an orange vegetable

DAY 13: Add ground flaxseed to your diet

DAY 12: Eat one vegetarian meal

DAY 11: Pass on the salt

DAY 10: Plan next week's meals in advance

DAY 9: Eat a leafy green vegetable

DAY 8: Drink a cup of green tea

DAY 7: Snack on fruit

DAY 6: Use a smaller plate

DAY 5: Eat more veggies

DAY 4: Practise eating slowly

DAY 3: Boost fibre at breakfast

DAY 2: Drink a large glass of water before each meal

DAY 1: Keep a food diary for the next seven days

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