How do I know when a food really is Whole Grain?
Food manufacturers sure do make it difficult to know which foods are really whole grain. Why? Because they know that’s what people are looking for on labels. Sure, more foods are made with them nowadays, but that does not mean all are created equal. Don’t be fooled by the tricky labeling. Here are some “whole” grain disguises you should look for:
100 Percent Wheat: The “100 percent” sure is catchy to the eye, but what it doesn’t say is “whole wheat”. Because it just says “wheat”, it could contain a little, a lot, or no whole grains at all.
Multigrain: You see this and think “Nice! I’m getting a bunch of different grains.” But the issue with this one is that it’s not telling you if the grains are whole or refined.
Whole Grain: This may seem like it’s legit. I mean it says exactly what you’re looking for. However, if the label doesn’t say “100 percent whole grain,” it may have many blends. You don’t want to see the words enriched, bleached, unbleached or rice flour.
Good Source: This means it has 8 grams of whole grains per servings, which is half of a full serving of what a real whole grain is. Eight grams of whole grains may have as little as 1 gram of fiber.
Made with: This literally means they could have just used a drop. I mean, technically, they aren’t lying. It was, in fact, “made with” a drop of whole grain. So sneaky!
GEEZ, SO WHAT DO I LOOK FOR!?
The best option is to choose foods that are naturally whole grains. Some foods are always whole grains, like oatmeal, brown rice, wild rice and popcorn.
Otherwise, make sure the label reads “100 percent whole grain” or “100 percent whole wheat”. This will ensure that you are receiving all three essential parts of whole grain (bran, germ and endosperm) as well as the vitamins, minerals and fiber that comes with it. Even with this label, however, you still need to make sure that there are no added sugars.