Chiropractic for Life

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The Whole Truth About Whole Grains

We hear a lot about the health benefits of whole grains these days.  And food manufacturers know we’re listening.  Unfortunately, some manufacturers are using this trend to their advantage by liberally and questionable using the term “whole grain” to describe their products.  Make sure you’re armed with the whole truth about whole grains before your next trip to the grocery store.

So, what’s the secret to finding whole grains on the grocery-store shelves?  Dr. Smith suggests that you first examine the front of the package.  If just the phrases “wheat,” “whole grain” or “contains whole grains” appear, most likely only a fraction of the product consists of whole grains.  Instead, look for claims like “100% whole grain” or “complete whole wheat.”  Also, don’t be fooled by “multi-grain” options, which often contain mostly refined grains.

After inspecting the front of the package, next check out the ingredient list.  The first ingredient and only flour listed should contain the word “whole,” such as “whole wheat,” “stone-ground whole grain,” “whole rye,” “whole-grain pumpernickel” or “whole oats.”

Next, consider the second ingredient.  Even if the primary ingredient is a whole grain, if the second is a form of refined grain, such as “wheat flour” or “enriched flour,” then the product may still contain a large mix of refined flour.  And don’t be fooled by healthy-sounding ingredients, such as “unbleached wheat flour,” “durum wheat,” “cracked wheat” or “bran.”  In addition, just because a product is organic does not mean it is whole grain.

Again, whole grain should be the first ingredient and only flour listed.

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