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How to Identify Whole Grains on Labels

Label Able: Identifying Whole Grains

Unless there is a whole grain stamp on the foods you buy, when a package claims it is whole grain, it doesn't necessarily make it really made from whole grain. So what is a health-conscious consumer to do? Well use this handy little chart I've created to make the guessing process a little easier.

Label Buzz Words: Whole Grain?
whole grain [name of grain], whole wheat, whole [other grain], stoneground whole [grain], brown rice, oats, oatmeal (including old-fashioned oatmeal, instant oatmeal), wheatberries Yes! Eat up.
wheat flour, semolina, durum wheat, organic flour, multigrain (may describe several whole grains or several refined grains, or a mix of both) Maybe. Because some parts of the grain could be missing, you could be missing the benefits of whole grains.
enriched flour, degerminated (on corn meal), bran, wheat germ, flax, sunflower seeds, soy, chickpeas. No. It's not to say that bran, wheat germ, flax, sunflower seeds, soy, chickpeas and unhealthy, they're just not whole grains.

Not sure the name of common whole grains? I've already made a list, so check it out.


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EmyAnne EmyAnne 8 years
My Heart to Heart Kashi cereal lists 'Whole Oat Flour' as it's first ingredient. Does that count as a whole grain? It's made from a whole grain, but it'd be better if it said something like: whole oats; right? Several of my cereals list "whole -some grain- flour" as the first ingredient. Is this a trick?
aragornrain aragornrain 8 years
But bran, wheat germ, flax, sunflower seeds, soy, and chickpeas aren't grains at all, are they? Soy and chickpeas are beans, and sunflower seeds are obviously seeds, for example.
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