What about whole grain?


Whole grain, Whole wheat, something else?

Yes – to all the above!

Look for whole grain
– whole grain is good – it contains the added nutrients found in the part that is stripped off to make processed or “white” flour.  Whole grains are contrasted with refined grains.  The refining process removes many nutrients, including fiber.  If it’s called enriched grains or flour, that means that some of the nutrients lost during processing are added back in.

Whole wheat?
-Whole wheat is good – even better if it’s organic.   You have to read labels and look for whole wheat to be listed as the first ingredient.   If it’s listed further down the ingredient list, it may be included, but not as one of the primary ingredients.

Read labels
-Watch out for terms like made with or includes or stoneground or multigrain or variations on those.  Just because those are included, does not mean that the whole grain is used – it can be stoneground or include multiple grains, but still not use the whole grain.  You have to read the labels to know for sure – the key phrase to look for is made with 100% whole grain.

Made with Natural Ingredients
The only thing this means is that it includes some natural ingredients – it may also contain a lot of other things you don’t want to consume – you have to read the labels!  According to the FDA website – the FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives.

Which whole grains?
Some of my favorites include amaranth, barley, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, quinoa, rice, rye, oats (including rolled oats), sorghum, teff, triticale, wheat, and wild rice.  I prefer these to be organic, but for reasons we’ll cover in another post.

Look for whole grain versions of  your favorite grain based foods (bread, pasta, tortillas, etc.)  you get more nutrition, a lower glycemic load and glycemic index which could affect risk for diabetes and obesity, and the risk of colon and breast cancer.

Questions, comments, or your own observations?

I look forward to hearing from you – leave a comment below.


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