The Difference Between Whole Wheat and Whole Grain
Whole wheat, whole grain, nine grain, and multigrain – we’re confused. Let’s hash out the details to determine what the best choice is the next time you’re at the grocery store.
Whole wheat items are made from the entire wheat kernel. Breads, pastas, bagels, crackers, muffins, and foods listed as whole wheat are made solely with the wheat grain. Unrefined wheat features a host of important nutrients.
However, the standard for most wheat products available in the United States are processed into 60 percent extraction – meaning that 40 percent of the original wheat grain was removed. The 40 percent that gets removed during this process is typically the most nutrient-rich part of wheat, the bran and germ of the whole grain kernel.
There are some 100 percent whole wheat products available that include all three part of the grain kernel: the brand, endosperm, and germ. The health benefits rank much higher and are a good source of dietary fiber and magnesium.
Products like breads and pastas made of whole grains can be made out of any type of whole grain kernel. A full grain includes three parts: brand, endosperm, and germ. These three parts must all be part of the grain to be considered a whole grain. Common grains included in whole grain items may be wheat, spelt, oats, or barely.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study focusing on the importance of choosing whole wheat rather than refined wheat to maintain a healthy body weight.
Many studies urge consuming at least three servings a day of whole kernel grains to significantly lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type II diabetes.
When selecting bread, pasta, or other grain products during your next grocery store visit, check the ingredient list. If it lists “wheat flour” or “enriched flour,” this means the product was made mostly of white flour. If it lists “whole wheat flour,” you’re making a healthy choice.
Purchase bulk of whole grains like barley, wheat berries, or bulgur wheat kernels and cook them for a true non processed option.
Consume products that contain the entire portion of the grain, whether it whole wheat or whole grain. You’ll rep nutrition benefits thanks to vitamins and minerals found in each part of the kernel.
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