Buyer Beware: What You Need to Know About Whole Grain

Buyer Beware: What You Need to Know About Whole Grain

You’re walking down the grocery aisle and you see a box with the words, “Contains Whole Grain!” on it. It must be good for you, right? Not necessarily because not all grains are created equal.

What exactly is a whole grain? Short answer – whole grain is nature-made, while process is manmade. A whole grain contains three parts – bran, germ and endosperm. During the refining process, the endosperm is typically the only portion left resulting in a significant loss in protein and other key nutrients. Food manufacturers then add refined products to the endosperm. In contrast, the whole grain is much healthier for you and is packed with the protein, nutrients and vitamins you need.

Companies will use marketing suggesting a product contains whole grain but you have to actually review the nutritional label to see if this is true. Simply look in the ingredients section to verify a product has whole grains really in it. Search for “whole wheat” or “whole grain” to verify. If the word “whole” is missing, it means the product is processed, less nutritious and not really a whole grain. Stay away from “enriched,” “refined” or “processed” words on food labels.

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