Have you ever wondered what a whole grain actually is? We hear the term and think ‘oh that’s something made with whole grains in it or with brown flour’ but what exactly does the term ‘whole grain’ really mean?
What many of us may not realize is that there is no complete, legally endorsed definition of what comprises whole grain. Which means, for instance, that 35% whole grain on one food label could mean something quite different than 35% whole grain on another. There is now an updated definition – termed HEALTHGRAIN — that is a step toward creating a common understanding of what “whole grain” implies. Current definitions are often incomplete, lacking descriptions of the included grains and the permitted flour manufacturing processes.
“Most cereal products, like white bread, pasta, and biscuits, are based on flour after removal of bran and germ, the two parts of grain kernels containing most of the dietary fibre and other bioactive components. In the past decade, consumers have been rediscovering whole grain-based products and the number of wholegrain products has increased rapidly.” – you can find an abstract of the study here or my copy of the actual report is here. (more…)