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Get healthy with grains!

get healthy with grains

  • Whole grains contribute carbohydrate, dietary fibre, healthy fat, B vitamins, and minerals to our diet.
  • Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide recommends that you make at least half of your grain choices whole grain every day.
  • Whole grains provide an important source of fibre to the diet. Fibre is found in plant foods — grain products, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds.
  • Remember to increase your intake of fibre gradually and to drink plenty of water.

There are two kinds of fibre:



  • may help to manage blood glucose (blood sugar) levels;
  • may help to lower bad cholesterol;
  • sources of soluble fibre include soy nuts, grains such as barley and oats, some fruits (e.g. orange, apricots) and vegetables (e.g. asparagus, sweet potatoes), beans such as navy beans and black beans.
  • helps to aid in digestion;
  • sources of insoluble fibre include whole grains, wheat bran, fruit, vegetables.

Include a variety of fibre-containing foods in your diet every day to get the benefits of both types of fibre.

Fibre may help to:

  • Lower bad cholesterol.
  • Manage blood glucose (blood sugar).
  • Manage body weight.
  • Keep bowels moving regularly.
  • Lower the risk of some types of cancer.

Fibre content of some common foods:

1 medium pear 5.0g
1 medium apple 2.6g
1 medium banana 2.1g
Broccoli, 1/2 cup cooked 2.3g
Peas, 1/2 cup frozen cooked 3.7g
Baby carrots, 8 raw 2.3g
Kidney beans, 1/2 cup boiled 6.2g
Pearl barley, 1/2 cup cooked 2.0g
All Bran cereal, 1/2 cup 11.8g
Bran Flakes – type cereal, 1 cup 10.0g
Oats, 3/4 cup cooked large flake rolled oats 3.8g
Whole grain bread, 1 slice 2.6g
Whole wheat bread, 1 slice 2.4g
White bread, 1 slice 0.8g
Whole wheat spaghetti, 1 cup cooked 4.8g
White spaghetti, 1 cup cooked 2.7g

Strategies to get more fibre in your diet:

  • Start your day with a high fibre cereal or a bowl of oatmeal.
  • Choose whole grain bread instead of white bread.
  • Enjoy whole grain or whole wheat English muffins, wraps, or buns for a sandwich at lunch.
  • Choose whole grain or whole wheat pasta instead of white pasta.
  • Add barley to soups and stews.
  • Choose to eat the whole fruit rather than drinking juice.
  • Enjoy a variety of your favourite raw vegetables at lunchtime.


Recommended amount of fibre per day


 Children 1-3 years 19 grams
 Children 4-8 years 25 grams
 Boys 9-13 years 31 grams
 Boys 14-18 years 38 grams
 Girls 9-13 years 26 grams
 Girls 14-18 years 26 grams
 Men 19-50 years 38 grams
 Men 51 and over 30 grams
 Women 19-50 years 25 grams
 Women 51 and over 21 grams
 Pregnant women 28 grams
Breastfeeding women 29 grams

Sources: Canadian Nutrient File, 2010; Dietary reference intakes: Reference Values for Macronutrients, Health Canada 2006; Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide.