Grain Products How Much

Hit your "carb" goal with nutrient-rich foods! Just how much do you need from the Grains Group? Specific advice for you depends on your age, gender, height and weight, and your level of physical activity. If you need 2,000 calories a day, the recommended daily amount adds up to 6 ounces of grain products. Check "MyPyramid: Food Intake Patterns" in the Appendices for the amount that matches your calorie level.

At least half of your daily grain choices should be whole grain. Most Americans consume enough grains, but few as whole grains. Look for "whole" before the grain name on the ingredient list.

One Ounce of Grain Equals: In general, an ounce is 1 slice of bread, or 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or 1/2 cup of cooked rice, pasta, or cereal. Specifically, here's what an ounce means:

  • 1 regular (1 ounce) whole-grain or enriched bread slice, or 1 small slice French bread, or 4 snack-size slices rye
  • 1 (1-ounce) bagel
  • V2 English muffin
  • 1 small (2-inch diameter) biscuit, 1 small (21/2-inch diameter) muffin
  • 5 whole-wheat crackers, or 2 rye crispbreads, or 7 square or round crackers
  • 1 ounce ready-to-eat cereal (1 cup flakes or rounds, or 1 ^4 cup puffed)
  • V2 cup (made from l ounce dry) cooked oatmeal
  • V2 cup cooked barley, bulgur, millet, quinoa, or other whole grains
  • V2 cup cooked (made from 1 ounce dry) rice or pasta
  • 1 (6-inch) corn or flour tortilla
  • 3 cups popped popcorn
  • 1 ^V^-inch diameter) pancake, or 2 small (3-inch diameter) pancakes

MyPyramid Pointers

Choose grain products by the company they keep! Make at least half your choices whole grain for their fiber and other benefits. Go easy on those made with more fat, cholesterol, and added sugars, such as croissants, pastries, doughnuts, hush puppies, fried rice, and regular tortilla chips.

  • Make pasta, rice, or other grain foods, especially their whole-grain versions, center stage at your meal or snack. Add flavor and nutrition with vegetables, small amounts of seafood, lean beef, or skinless poultry, or fresh herbs.
  • Boost your whole-grain choices: whole-grain or oat bread for sandwiches, oat cereal for breakfast, brown rice as a stir-fry side dish, whole barley in soup, or bul-gur in salads and casseroles.
  • Opt for bagels, bread sticks, English muffins, Italian bread, hamburger buns, pita bread, or corn and flour tortillas—especially their whole-grain counterparts. Ease up on croissants, doughnuts, and sweet rolls.
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