Are you confused about whole grains?
I’m sure by now you’ve heard that whole grains are good for you, but do you know why? And more importantly, can you spot a whole grain when you see one?
It seems like everything has the term “whole grain” on it, even cookies and other snack foods! This makes it confusing to figure what you should be putting in your grocery cart when you want the health benefits of a true whole grain. Print out this handy guide to whole grains and use it the next time you shop!
Whole Grain vs. Refined Grains
Whole grain contains the entire kernel including the fibrous bran and the germ. This makes them rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and unsaturated oils. Refined grains have the bran and germ stripped away, removing most of the B vitamins, fiber and vitamin E. They may make light, fluffy breads that have a long shelf life, but they are nutritionally bankrupt.
Why Choose Whole Grains?
Identifying Whole Grains
- Eating whole grains in place of refined grains lowers cholesterol, tryiglycerides and increases insulin sensitivity, substantially lessening your risk of heart attack or stroke.
- Studies have shown that eating 2-3 servings of whole grains per days lowers your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 20-30%.
- The fiber in whole grains keeps your colon healthy by preventing constipation and diverticular disease.
With phrases like “whole grain goodness” popping up on food packaging everywhere you will need to read food labels carefully to find the real whole grains. Whole grain products list the main ingredient as “whole wheat”, “whole oats”, “whole rye”, etc. Use the following list to find other healthful whole grains at your local Harris Teeter.
** Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. **
- Corn (cornmeal and popcorn included)
- Oats (oatmeal included)
- Rice (brown and wild)
- Whole Wheat (note: the term 'cracked wheat' usually refers to a wheat that has been chopped, crushed or refined)