real food abcs - whole grain

March 26, 2014

real food abcs - whole grain

W for Whole Grain

Whole grain can be a real food in your diet and is a staple in many peoples. But the word whole in whole grain can be confusing. Here I talk about what whole really means in a real food diet.

Whole grain
Whole milk
Whole foods
Whole wheat
Whole meal
Whole protein
Whole eggs
Whole fruit

The use of the term whole when describing food has skyrocketed. You see "whole" all over food packages, in ingredients lists, in ads. But does whole food really = healthier, real food? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

Whole Grain

At least in the case of whole grains it is a bit easier. The term whole grain means that all parts of the grain were used.  
...100% of the original kernel – all of the bran, germ, and endosperm – must be present {in the same balance} to qualify as a whole grain. (source)
Because all parts were used, you will get more vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids with a whole grain over a processed grain. Whole grain includes wheat, along with rye, spelt, millet, corn and many more.

But sometimes on a food package you will see the term Multi-grain, 7 grain, maybe 12 grain. None of those terms guarantee the whole grain was used. That is when it is important to read the ingredients list. The ingredients list should still say whole grain, otherwise it is not.

The other thing to remember is that ingredients lists are always listed from most to least by weight. So something made with whole grains could have 10 other ingredients first, including white flour. Just because something is made with whole grain, it doesn't mean that it has a lot.

A good resource for learning more about whole grains is

And just for fun, a created a quick slideshare presentation on the term "whole." Feel free to share it.

Whole food doesn't always mean healthy food! from suzyhomemaker

For more real food tips, nutrition, natural living and more: