How to Enjoy Whole Grains When You're Watching Carbs

In an era of consumers following low-carb diets often out of fear vs fact, I want to make sure people understand the importance and benefits of including quality, nutrient-dense sources of carbohydrates as part of any diet.

November is American Diabetes Month, a time to share the importance of diet and lifestyle choices in the prevention and treatment of diabetesResearch has shown that a diet rich in whole grains can lead to weight loss and reduce the risk of several chronic diseases. There is also accumulating evidence showing that whole-grain consumption may be associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and could also improve glucose control in individuals with diabetes. That’s great news for whole grains like sorghum.

How to Balance Your Plate

If you are conscious of the carbohydrate content in your diet, it’s even more important to make sure the carbs you do consume are nutrient-rich, including whole grains, fruit, veggies, nuts, beans and low-fat dairy products. MyPlate guidelines recommend filling one-fourth of your plate with lean protein, one-fourth with whole grains like sorghum and half of your plate with fruits and veggies to help meet nutrient needs. It’s as simple as that. If you are measuring, one-third cup serving of cooked sorghum counts as one bread/starch on the diabetes exchange list.

Easy Tips

For help sticking to a healthy diet, prepare a batch of sorghum and store any leftovers in the refrigerator for quick meals throughout the week. Sorghum can also be cooked in low sodium chicken or vegetable broth for an extra flavor boost in savory dishes. I love to make parfaits for breakfast by adding some milk/nut milk and cinnamon to the cooked sorghum and layering it with Greek yogurt, fruit and nuts or seeds. For lunch or dinner add some to your salads, chili, soups and stews. Make a do-it-yourself grain bowl assembly station where everyone can choose their own fixings from a mix of roasted, frozen, fresh or canned veggies or beans, protein such as chicken, fish, beef or tofu and condiments like salsa, soy sauce, hot sauce, vinegars or salad dressing.

Sorghum Recipes

I always recommend choosing one form of grain/starchy vegetable per meal and surrounding it with lots of healthy produce and protein. Here are some of my favorite recipes incorporating sorghum to enjoy throughout the day:

Balsamic Tuna and Sorghum Salad  

Sorghum, Chicken and Veggie Lettuce Wraps 

Creamy, Crunchy Sorghum and Avocado Salad 

Cherry Coconut Sorghum Parfait

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

As a gluten-free, low FODMAP, non-GMO, American grown ancient grain, sorghum in its many forms is a delicious and nutritious addition to your healthy lifestyle. Make sure to browse the many resources on, including the recipe library for some sorghum inspiration, cooking instructions and more in-depth nutrition information!


Each individual has different medical issues, genetic profiles, activity levels and calorie needs. My suggestions are based on the science we have, but everyone is unique, and you should consult your dietitian or MD for personal dietary recommendations.


1. Penn State. "Whole Grain Diets Lower Risk Of Chronic Disease, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February

2. Murtaugh, M., Jacobs, D., Jacob, B., Steffen, L., & Marquart, L. (2003). Epidemiological support for the protection of whole grains against diabetes. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society,62(1), 143-149. doi:10.1079/PNS2002223

Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, is a nutrition communications specialist, author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club and owner of Nutrition Starring YOU, LLC where she specializes in weight management and prediabetes nutrition. Follow her on social media @LaurenPincusRD and online at


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