Monday, February 15, 2010

Beware of Whole Grain Impostors

Whole grain foods have a solid place in the healthy diet, providing B vitamins, Vitamin E, magnesium, iron and fiber, as well as other valuable antioxidants not found in some fruits and vegetables. Most of these goodies are in the germ and the bran of the grain. That’s why you need whole grains, because they include the germ and bran. Refined, or processed, grains have been milled, stripping these benefits away.

Whole grains fill you up quicker and make you feel full longer, so they’re excellent for diets.

Refined grains, by contrast, are simple carbs that are related to increased hormone-negative breast cancer risk.

BUT, we can easily get tricked into thinking our food is made with healthy whole grains when, in fact, they are made of their less-healthy, refined cousins.

Here’s a quick guide to make sure you’re getting the right stuff.

• Look for the word “whole” on the label, ideally as the first ingredient.

• Look for items with at least three grams of fiber per serving.

And watch out for trick words that make processed grains look like they are whole grains:


Honey grain

All wheat

These are usually NOT whole grains. White flour is all wheat, and it is a processed carb that can put you at risk of hormone negative breast cancer. And honey grain and multi-grain are usually just fancy versions of simple carbs.


Anonymous said...

Great post!

You can also use the Whole Grain Stamp, created by the Whole Grains Council and located on many food items, to steer clear of "whole grain imposters." Check it out:

Any other questions, feel free to contact us! - Alison

Patricia Prijatel said...

Yep, I should have mentioned the stamp. Thanks for the reminder.

Kim said...


Thanks for the info...I work with wellness and your blog was well written and so easy to understand! Thanks.