Refined grains, such as white flower, are missing important parts of the grain that contain vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber. While eating starchy foods may be detrimental to your health, you can at least choose to eat whole grain starches. Skip the processed foods and go for whole grain!
What are whole grains?
According to the Whole Grains 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.
This definition means that 100% of the original kernel – all of the bran, germ, and endosperm – must be present to qualify as a whole grain.”
How do I know if I’m buying whole grain?
Some foods may claim to be whole grain on the packaging but are actually processed. Look for the following as the first ingredient on a food label:
- Brown rice
- Buckwheat flour
- Bulgur (cracked wheat)
- Quinoa Sorghum
- Triticale Millet
- Whole grain barley
- Whole grain corn/corn meal
- Whole farro
- Whole oats/oatmeal
- Wild rice
- Whole rye
- Whole wheat flour
May products that “contain” whole grain – according to the label – are not actually made primarily with whole grains. When looking for whole grain cereals, choose those with less than 6 grams of sugar and more than 3 grams of fiber per serving.