Whole Grains Explained
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.
- 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