Identifying Whole Grains

Most people have heard that whole grains are good for their health. However, recognizing them can be a challenge. Here are a few tips to help you recognize a whole grain: 

• Some grains are almost always whole: Amaranth, Buckwheat, Millet, Oats, Quinoa, Brown/wild Rice, Sorghum, Teff, Triticale.  

• Some grains can be whole: Barley, Corn, Rye, Wheat. Whether or not they are whole grains depends on how they are processed. 

• A whole grain is one with all parts of the original kernel present, in original ratios.  

• Different processing methods like polishing, pearling, or refining remove part of the grain.  

• Brown color is not a great way to judge the whole grain status of a product.  

• Instead, look for grains that say 100% whole wheat, 100% whole grain, or are from the “usually whole” category listed in the first bullet. 

• Often, whole grain products are marked with the whole grain stamp indicating they are made with 100% whole grain, 50% whole grain, or contain whole grain.  

Whole grains come with an abundance of nutrients and are worth seeking out! 

Interested in learning more about whole grains? Check out the Whole Grain Council’s website.

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