Whole Grain Goodness 0
Posted on 19, February 2018
in Category Tips
Can you spot a whole grain food? It may not be as easy as it seems, but there are a few ways to make sure that half your grain serving are whole grains.
What are Whole Grains?
According to the Whole Grain Council, “whole grains or foods made from them contain all the essential parts and naturally-occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed in their original proportions. If the grain has been processed (e.g., cracked, crushed, rolled, extruded, and/or cooked), the food product should deliver the same rich balance of nutrients that are found in the original grain seed.”
What foods are whole grains?
Most commonly known whole grains include:
- Corn, including whole cornmeal and popcorn
- Oats, including oatmeal
- Rice, both brown rice and colored rice
- Wheat, including varieties such as spelt, emmer, farro, einkorn, Kamut®, durum and forms such as bulgur, cracked wheat and wheatberries
What are sprouted grains?
The grain portion of the plant is its seed. There are three layers, including the germ, endosperm and bran. The germ is the part that sprouts and feeds on its starchy outer layer called endosperm. Both the germ and endosperm layers are encapsulated by bran. The sprouting process increases the amount and access to (known as bio-availability) key vitamins and minerals found in grains. Sprouted grains are also easier to digest than their whole-wheat counterparts, making them a desirable option for individuals with wheat sensitivities. Individuals with a wheat or gluten allergy should still avoid sprouted grains.
How to identify products with whole grains
The most reliable method to check for whole grains is to read the ingredients label.
Look for the word “whole” listed before a grain type to indicate that a whole grain is the primary ingredient.
100% Whole Grain food label means 100% of grains used in the product are whole grain.
Made with Whole Grain label means that the product contains whole grain ingredients, but is not the primary ingredient.
What about gluten?
Though often confused for whole grains, gluten is the name of the combination of proteins found in wheat products. Gluten is found most commonly in wheat, barley, and rye. Individuals with a gluten sensitivity or allergy should avoid these three grains.
Learn more about whole grains from the Whole Grains Council http://wholegrainscouncil.org