Whole grain, the whole story

Whole grain

 

The word is out … whole grain is good for us. And it’s not just hype or a fad. So what is whole grain exactly? Well, the clue is in the name…Whole grains are the complete grain, with all its nutrients. Unlike refined grains, nothing has been taken away.

 

 

 

Whole grain partsWhat about white?

When grains are refined to make ‘white’ products, like white bread, and white rice and pasta, the outer parts of the grain are thrown away and only the middle section is used. It’s fine to eat refined foods – don’t panic! – they’re good for you too, they just don't contain as many nutrients as their whole grain sibling.

Bran: The fiber-rich outer layer contains protein, B vitamins and antioxidants.

Endosperm: The starchy bit in the middle includes protein and carbohydrates for energy, and some B vitamins.

Germ: Packed with nutrients, the inner part contains B vitamins and vitamin E plus minerals like magnesium, and omega-6 fatty acids.

 

Whole grain or not whole grain?

Grains are everywhere! Drive out into the countryside, and you’ll see fields of wheat, oats, barley and corn (for rice, which is grown in waterlogged paddy fields, you might have to travel a bit further….).

But when you’re back in town, staring at the supermarket shelves, how can you tell the whole from the not-so-whole? You may be surprised that some of the foods you’d imagine to be whole grain, actually aren’t.

 
 
  
 
bowl pop cornbowl buckwheat

These are whole grains

  • Bulgur wheat
  • Cracked wheat
  • Durum wheat
  • Buckwheat
  • Spelt
  • Whole barley
  • Hulled barley
  • Naked barley
  • Whole corn
  • Whole oats
  • Rolled oats
  • Porridge
  • Oatmeal
  • Oat flakes
  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice
bowl white ricebowl flour

These aren't whole grains

  • Bran
  • Corn meal
  • Polenta
  • Corn grits
  • Pearled barley
  • White rice
 

 

Go whole grain!

spoon whole grain

 

 

 

So whole grains are an important part of a varied, balanced diet for your whole family – and they taste great too!

Go whole grain!