Whole Wheat versus Whole Grain

“Don’t eat white bread.” “Don’t eat sugary cereals.” “Don’t eat processed flour.”

It seems like the volume has been turned up against refined grains in recent years, and that’s not a bad thing, especially when there are so many better, healthier options. Before considering the options, though, let’s take a quick look at whole grains.

Whole grains—wheat, buckwheat, amaranth, millet, quinoa, brown rice, and whole oats, for example—comprise the three parts of a grain: the germ, the bran, and the endosperm. The germ is where a new plant germinates from. Not surprisingly, it contains protein, minerals, and healthy oils. The bran contains fiber, vitamin B, and anti-aging polyphenols (antioxidants), and the endosperm contains carbohydrates (starch) and protein.

Refined grains are stripped of their beneficial germ and the bran, leaving only the starch, which is why they’re being frowned upon more and more.

The argument really isn’t whole wheat versus whole grain, however, because whole wheat is a whole grain, though not all whole grains are whole wheat.

What about whole grain versus multigrain? A multigrain product will simply have more than one type of grain in it, but it may not necessarily be whole grain. This is where it gets a little tricky: read nutrition labels and look at ingredients carefully. Are the grains listed simply as, say, flour or oats, or does it say whole wheat flourwhole rice flour, or whole oats? Opt for grain products with high fiber content and low sugar and salt. These types of grain products are sometimes packaged as “heart healthy.”

You don’t have to give up your Froot Loops cold turkey. Maybe start by adding a whole grain cereal to your current cereal, or, better yet, try a whole grain cereal and add fresh organic fruit or berries to sweeten things up.

Whether you’re preparing food from scratch or purchasing prepared foods and snacks, Inspired Organics has a host of whole grain products to consider—from organic white or tri-colored quinoa to organic whole wheat rotini, organic white corn tortilla chips and organic Toasted O’s whole oat cereal.