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Whole Grains

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August 15, 2022
Brandi Silver

This is Brandi Silver, FCS agent with the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Burke County Center. Our program today is about the benefits of choosing whole grains.

Whole grains are grains that have the bran, endosperm and germ intact and offer a “complete package” of health benefits. Whole wheat, oatmeal and brown rice are all examples of whole grains.

Refined grains are grains that have the bran and germ removed. White bread, white rice and products made with white flour are examples of foods made with refined grains. The refining process strips away more than half of wheat’s B vitamins, 90 percent of the vitamin E, and virtually all of the fiber. Fortification allows some of the lost nutrients to be added back to the product, but other health-promoting components of whole grains such as phytochemicals cannot be replaced.

When shopping you want to look for the word “whole” in the ingredient list. An easy way to tell if a food product is high in 100% whole grains is to make sure it is listed first or second in the ingredient list. Watch out for wording like, 100% wheat, multigrain, grain blend or “made with whole grain.” These products may contain very little whole grain.

Extension recommends choosing whole grains and other less-processed, higher-quality sources of carbohydrates, and cutting back on refined grains, to improve overall health.

This has been Brandi Silver with the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Burke County Center. For more information, contact us 764-9480.