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Make a whole grain New Year's resolution

New year, new food

Every year, people make a New Year’s resolution with their health and body in mind, but it’s usually along the lines of “lose weight” or “get healthy.” Breaking your goals down into small, doable bits makes it easier to get to that ultimate achievement. Whole grains can not only help you lose weight, but evidence shows they might help lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Here’s how you can make your New Year’s resolution to eat more whole grains achievable.

Woman slicing homemade bread

Start small

If you don't like the taste of whole grains now, odds are they just need some getting used to. Start by baking and cooking with whole grains. Whole grain flour is a great way to add a bit of heart-healthy taste to your everyday meals and desserts. If you eat a lot of rice, making the switch from white to brown rice is a delicious and nutritious way to get a bit healthier with your cuisine -- Asian-inspired and otherwise.

Snack on whole grains

It's easier than you think, and you might already be doing it. Yummy foods like popcorn and granola are whole grains, but before you cuddle up with a big bowl of "butter blasted," the only healthy kind of popcorn is in its plainest form. However, there are ways to jazz it up. Combine popcorn, granola, dried fruit and nuts for a tasty midday treat that will keep you away from the vending machine.

Shop only whole grains

When it comes to bread, rice and other grain-packed foods, skip the white stuff and go right for the darkest, grainiest foods you can find. Then keep nothing else in the house. White bread is packed with sugar and bleached flour, and is missing many of the vitamins, nutrients and benefits of whole grains. Keep only whole grains in the house and your goal will always be in mind -- and easier to reach.

Open your mind

Many people are picky eaters, but some argue that whole grains actually taste better. They have richer flavors and textures, but you might be conditioned to only eat the whitest grains, packed with sugar, flour and other fillers. Everything takes some getting used to, and whole grains are no exception. Just open your mind to the idea that there are other kinds of grains out there, and soon you'll be enjoying the benefits of whole grains, too.

More healthy eating tips

Must-have healthy foods for 2011
Fill up on these fiber-rich foods and eat less
Best disease prevention tips for women

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