Home » Nutrition » Healthy Eating » Whole Grains Explained

Whole Grains Explained

Download PDF

What is a whole grain?

  • All grains come from nature as whole grain
  • Whole grains are made up of three layers:
    • Bran: Contains vitamins, antioxidants, fiber
    • Endosperm: Contains carbohydrates and protein.

It is the part used to make flour.

  • Germ: Contains vitamins, minerals, protein & healthy fats.

Why eat whole grains?

  • Provides long lasting energy
    • Fiber lowers your risk of heart disease, diabetes & stroke. It also lowers C – reactive protein, an inflammatory marker.
    • Helps to keep your weight stable.
    • Provides phytochemicals

How much should you eat?

  • minimum of 3 to 4 ounce equivalents a day for adults

 What is a serving of a whole grain?

  • 1 oz. whole grain ready to eat cereal
  • ½ Cup whole grain cooked cereal
  • 1 oz. slice whole wheat bread
  • ½ Cup cooked brown rice
  • ½ Cup cooked whole wheat pasta
  • 2 Cups air popped popcorn
  • 1 oz. whole grain crackers

What to look for at the grocery store”

  • Look for the 100% WHOLE grain stamp
  • Read the ingredient list – look for the word “WHOLE” or “100% WHOLE” before it lists the flower, for example, whole rye.  It should be the first ingredient listed.

 False Advertising

  • Many packages may say “WHOLE” grain but the food really contains a small amount of whole grain.  Sometimes as little as a ½ teaspoon. Make sure the “WHOLE” grain is the first ingredient on the list.
  • Steer clear of products that list “enriched flour,” “wheat flour,” “de-germinated” (on corn meal), “bran”, or “wheat germ;” these are not whole grains.
    • Just because the product is brown, doesn’t mean it is healthy.  The color may come from added sugars or colors.

 Try a Variety of Whole Grains

Amaranth          • Barley

Buckwheat        • Millet

Quinoa              • Rye

• Muesli               • Sorghum

• Teff                   • Kamut

• Triticale            • Oats

Brown Rice/Wild Rice

Popcorn             • Bulgur

For insights on how to create healthier habits for your family and on successfully getting your kids to eat more good foods, read our nutrition expert interviews.

Enjoy this Article? Share the Love!

Explore More Healthy Living!

Comment on Whole Grains Explained

Leave a Reply