Monday, April 11, 2011

What is a whole grain?

Whole grains are in. They are rich in dietary fiber, loaded with vitamins and minerals, and keep us "moving" -- if you get my drift. They also fill you up, which can help anyone trying to lose some pounds.

But of course, once a food becomes popular, all the major food companies jump on the bandwagon -- and when that happens, it's wise to pay attention to what you are eating. Many manufacturers are trying to fool us, calling their products "wheat," which makes us think it's better for us than a loaf of Wonder's white. Most bread is made from wheat, so if it has that label, there is absolutely nothing new. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel -- and that's what you should be after.

If you really want a whole grain cracker, cereal, bread, rice or pasta, the first ingredient listed should be whole rye, whole oats, whole wheat, whole barley, whole cornmeal or graham flour. If the list starts with "wheat" or "enriched wheat," drop the bag or box. This is not whole grain.

Nothing could be simpler.

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