Fueling Good

The Expert Nutrition Blog

Translating Whole Grains & MyPlate


We hear we need to eat more whole grains, but that can get confusing when you step foot into the grocery store. Why does it really matter? Here’s the whole story:

A whole grain has three parts—the bran, endosperm and the germ. The bran is the tough outer layer that surrounds the entire kernel; this is what boosts the fiber in whole grains. The endosperm, or starchy middle layer, is an energy source of carbohydrates. The germ is in the very center of the grain and it holds nutrients like potassium, selenium, magnesium and unsaturated oils. When a grain is refined, the germ and bran are removed and the starchy endosperm layer remains. Refining the grain makes breads and baked goods even softer.

The USDA recommends that we make at least half of the grains we eat whole grains. Arnold has made it easy for us to do that with the many whole grain varieties that they have available. Some grains contain a mixture of whole grains and enriched grains, and others contain 100% whole grains. Look for the Whole Grain Council’s “Whole Grain” stamp on your products to know that you are making a nutritious choice.

"According to MyPlate, grains should take up ¼ of your plate, with protein foods taking up ¼ and fruits and veggies filling the remaining half."

Eating whole grains like bread, rice, pasta and potatoes provide balance to the diet. According to MyPlate, grains should make up ¼ of the plate. Protein foods such as meat, fish, poultry, beans and tofu should represent ¼ of the size of a standard plate and fruits, and veggies should fill the other half.

MyPlate also emphasizes consuming a source of calcium like cheese, yogurt or milk 3 times per day to support bone health. Below, I’ll show you how to put all these recommendations together to build a nutritious plate!

Easy Meal Ideas for MyPlate

Egg & Avocado Toast

Southwest Chicken & Salsa Pocket Thins + Carrot Sticks & Hummus

Cream Cheese & Chive Finger Sandwiches

Easy Margherita Pizza Thins + Grilled Chicken Salad

How do you balance your plate? What is your favorite meal that incorporates all the food groups? Tell us on Facebook!