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Holy Moly, Whole Grains!

Whole grains are packed with nutrients, including fiber, protein, B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals (iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium). A diet rich in whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer. Research also suggests that consuming fiber-rich foods might boost weight loss by helping you feel fuller after you eat.

But most of us eat only about half as much fiber as we should. Nutrition guidelines recommend 25 to 38 grams per day; the average American consumes only about 14 grams. It’s not hard to boost your fiber intake.

Where to get the good stuff
In addition to fruits and veggies, you’ll find whole grains in bread, smart snacks like popcorn—and even in some packaged foods like our EatingWell frozen entrées. If you’re reading this, chances are you also read food labels…but if you don’t, start now!

In our meals you’ll find goodies like whole grain cavatappi (Vermont Cheddar Mac & Cheese), 9 grain orzo (Creamy Pesto Chicken), brown rice (Korean Inspired Beef), and whole grain wild rice (Chicken & Wild Rice Stroganoff). Starting this summer, look for our new entrées with whole wheat gnocchi (Gnocchi with Garden Vegetables) and multigrain pasta (Thai Style Peanut Chicken).

And when you have time to whip up something from scratch, check out these delicious high-fiber whole grain recipes from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell magazine. We’re big fans of the Overnight Oatmeal and Whole Wheat Pizza Dough. Yum!

Follow EatingWell™ frozen entrées on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for tips, ideas, news and more.

Why Getting Plenty of Protein Matters

You probably know that protein fills you up and keeps you satisfied longer. But beyond staving off hunger pangs, why is protein important?

What is protein & why do you need it?

Protein—which is composed of amino acids—plays a major role in your body. It’s a powerful nutrient that gives you energy and helps build, maintain and repair body tissues. The body does not store amino acids like it does carbohydrates and fats, so it needs a daily supply. The protein in the foods you eat is digested into amino acids that can be used to replace the proteins in your body.

How much do you need?

Current guidelines from the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine suggest a range between 10% and 35% of your daily calories. That translates to a Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of about 46g for women and 56g for men. Many people try to eat more than that, often to help feel full or repair muscle tissue, but if you eat a balanced diet with a mix of food sources, you are likely getting enough protein.

Where can you get it?

Complete proteins, which provide all the essential amino acids, come from animal sources (think eggs, milk, meat, poultry and fish) and soy (like tofu and tempeh). Most plant proteins, such as legumes and nuts, are incomplete proteins but can be combined—rice and beans, anyone?—to hit the mark.

Many of our EatingWell frozen entrées contain lean animal proteins: chicken, beef and pork raised without antibiotics and dairy from cows never given growth hormones.* You’ll also find plant proteins like garbanzo beans, wild rice, spinach and broccoli in our meals. Even our vegetarian Vermont Cheddar Mac & Cheese entrée packs 17g of protein!

We may be biased, but we think you should also try these delicious low-calorie, high-protein recipes and snack ideas from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell magazine. (Our fave: Breakfast Tacos!)

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* No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST treated and non rBST treated cows.