Visit our Recipes page to find some quick, easy and nutritious sandwiches using delicious fresh-baked HOLSUM bread.
“MyPlate” is the new plate-shaped symbol which is part of a comprehensive nutrition message designed to offer easy to understand nutrition recommendations. “MyPlate” is divided into four sections representing the basic food groups, with a circular symbol representing dairy. The USDA recommends making half your grain intake whole grains. Visit the MyPlate website.
For more information on the other food groups, visit the links below:
Grains are an important part of a healthy diet. Eating grains, especially whole grains, provide health benefits. Grains provide nutrients are bodies need to be healthy and strong. The following health information is provided by the USDA.
What are Grains?
Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grain is a grain product. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits are examples of grain products.
Grains are divided into 2 subgroups, whole grains and refined grains.
Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel – the bran, germ, and endosperm. Examples include:
bulgur (cracked wheat)
Refined grains have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ. This is done to give grains a finer texture and improve their shelf life, but it also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins. Some examples of refined grain products are:
Most refined grains are enriched. This means certain B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid) and iron are added back after processing. Fiber is not added back to enriched grains. Check the ingredient list on refined grain products to make sure that the word “enriched” is included in the grain name. Some food products are made from mixtures of whole grains and refined grains.
Health Benefits of Grains
Consuming whole grains as part of a healthy diet may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Consuming foods containing fiber, such as whole grains, as part of a healthy diet, may reduce constipation.
Eating whole grains may help with weight management.
Eating grain products fortified with folate before and during pregnancy helps prevent neural tube defects during fetal development.
Grains are important sources of many nutrients, including dietary fiber, several B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate), and minerals (iron, magnesium, and selenium).
Dietary fiber from whole grains or other foods may help reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Fiber is important for proper bowel function. It helps reduce constipation and diverticulosis. Fiber-containing foods such as whole grains help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories.
The B vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin play a key role in metabolism – they help the body release energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates. B vitamins are also essential for a healthy nervous system. Many refined grains are enriched with these B vitamins.
Folate (folic acid), another B vitamin, helps the body form red blood cells. Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant should consume adequate folate from foods, and in addition 400 mcg of synthetic folic acid from fortified foods or supplements. This reduces the risk of neural tube defects, spina bifida, and anencephaly during fetal development.
Iron is used to carry oxygen in the blood. Many teenage girls and women in their childbearing years have iron-deficiency anemia. They should eat foods high in heme-iron (meats) or eat other iron containing foods along with foods rich in vitamin C, which can improve absorption of non-heme iron. Whole and enriched refined grain products are major sources of non-heme iron in American diets.
Whole grains are sources of magnesium and selenium. Magnesium is a mineral used in building bones and releasing energy from muscles. Selenium protects cells from oxidation. It is also important for a healthy immune system.