Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
You start your day with steel-cut oats and end it with whole-wheat pasta. And, maybe, throw in some popcorn for good measure. No? Well, you're not alone when it comes to slacking in the whole grain and fiber department. In fact, CBS News reported on a study from the University of Minnesota in St. Paul that suggests out of 9,042 people surveyed, only 3% of children and teens and about 8% of adults ate the recommended three servings per day. Even more interesting is the percentage who ate no whole grains at all: 39% and 42%, respectively. This number likely includes both people who abstain from all carbs (including whole grains) for health reasons and people who simply consume processed grains (like white flour) instead of the WG variety. In case you're not exactly sure how much of the hearty stuff you should be consuming, youngins need 19-to-25 grams of fiber, while the rest of us require 21 to 35. However, it's important to remember that there are plenty of foods packed with fiber that aren't grains — fruits, fresh veggies, even nuts, are all great sources of fiber, too.
Part of the problem is that a lot of people are choosing the wrong kind of grains — yes, that wheat bread you picked up is pretty sneaky. The whole grain variety goes hand-in-hand with a higher fiber content, so you've got to be fastidious about checking food labels. If you are in need a place to start, consider this: Oats are have some of the highest fiber content in the whole grain family. Guess we know what you're having for breakfast tomorrow. (CBS News)