5. Cook One New-To-You Whole Grain (Then Try Another One!)
We all know we should be swapping out refined grains for whole grains—“make half your grains whole” is the USDA’s recommendation for this food group. But I suggest taking that challenge one step further. Rather than merely opt for whole-wheat toast…again, why not try grains you don’t normally eat? Wild rice, polenta, amaranth—there are lots of whole grains out there, each delivering a different flavor, texture and nutrition profile (in general, though, whole grains deliver healthy carbohydrates, your body’s main energy source, as well as fiber, vitamins and minerals). Plus, people who eat plenty of whole grains tend to be leaner and have a lower risk of heart disease than those who don’t. This is probably because whole grains contain antioxidants, phytoestrogens and phytosterols that are protective against coronary disease.