Why Should We Eat Whole Grains?
🌾🏷Food labels contain a wealth of information: calories, serving size, and the amounts of fat, sugar, vitamins, and fiber contained in a food, among other things.
🌾🏷But do consumers know how to effectively use this information? A recent study showed that some consumers are struggling, especially when it comes to understanding whole grains.
🌾🏷Why should we eat whole grains?
Whole grains refer to the entire grain kernel, including the bran, germ, and endosperm. The process of refining grains removes most of the bran and germ, leaving the endosperm (white flour). Each component of the whole grain contributes different nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other health-promoting compounds.
🌾🏷Whole grains offer a complete package of health benefits, unlike refined grains, which are stripped of valuable nutrients in the refining process. Studies show that they decrease our risk for several chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and death from any cause.
Whole grains are also a rich source of vitamins and minerals.
🌾🏷Tips for selecting whole grain products
- Don’t rely on front-of-the-package marketing.
- Do not assume that darker is better. Products that are darker in color are not necessarily whole grains.
- Check the ingredients list
Know what the labels really mean
If the label says,
- 🍚100 percent whole grain no refined flour
- 🍚Made with whole grains, may contain a little or a lot of whole grains
- 🍚Good source of whole grain 15 to 25 percent whole grain
- 🍚Multigrain - a mixture of grains, possibly all or mostly refined grains.