whole grains i can get at a local supermarket?

i'm beginning to like this health craze, whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables.


Posted Answers


I don't know if some on the list below are available at all local markets.

Corn, including whole cornmeal and popcorn
Oats, including oatmeal
Rice, both brown rice and colored rice
Sorghum (also called milo)
Wheat, including varieties such as spelt, emmer, farro, einkorn, Kamut, durum and forms such as bulgur, cracked wheat and wheatberries
Wild rice

What are whole grains and why are they so important? I've heard that whole grains can help prevent some health conditions such as heart disease. Is that true? Can whole grains help me lose weight? Are whole grains more nutritious than enriched grain products – I really like white bread? How do I know if I am really getting a whole grain product?

What are whole grains?
The bran is protective covering of the grain and provides fibre, B vitamins, and minerals.

The germ nourishes the seed and is the source of new growth in the plant. It provides mostly vitamins, including B vitamins and vitamin E, minerals and healthy fats.

The endosperm is the inner seed and supplies energy from carbohydrate and protein, and also provides small amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Whole grains contain health promoting phytonutrients such as antioxidants, lignins, and plant sterols. Whole grains include whole grain bread (whole wheat bread in Canada can have about 70% of the wheat's germ removed), whole oats/oatmeal, whole-grain corn, brown and wild rice, whole rye, whole-grain barley, bulgur, triticale, buckwheat, millet, popcorn and quinoa.

Why are whole grains so important?
People who eat more whole grains tend to have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke, diabetes, cancer and digestive disorders. Soluble fibre such as that found in whole oats and oatmeal helps reduce blood cholesterol and control blood sugar levels. Eating insoluble fibre such as that found in wheat bran helps keep your digestive system healthy and prevent constipation.

Eating plenty of whole grains may also help you manage your weight by helping you to feel full longer. A few studies have found that men and women who ate more whole grains weighed less than those who consumed fewer whole grains. However, it is important to keep in mind that eating whole grains might not help you lose weight, especially if you eat more food than your body needs.

Are whole grains more nutritious than enriched grain products?
Whole grains tend to provide more healthful components such as phytonutrients and fibre, which are lacking in enriched products. However, enriched grain products are nutritious as they have some of the essential nutrients lost during processing added back to them. For example, enriched pasta, bread, cereal and rice have iron and B vitamins added as well as folic acid. Whole wheat and whole grain flour are not enriched with folic acid in Canada.

How do I know I am getting a whole grain product?
Choosing whole grains can be easier than you think if you read food labels. Follow these two simple steps:

Check the ingredient list on food labels for bread, rolls, bagels, tortillas, cereals, pasta, rice and crackers. To make sure whole grains are the main ingredient, they should appear first on the ingredient list. Look for "whole grain whole wheat flour", whole rye, whole oat or oatmeal, whole corn, whole barley, etc. Don't be fooled by multigrain products, which may include a variety of different grains but may not include whole grains. Also, some foods claiming to be made with "whole grain" may be mostly refined grain with just a little whole grain.
Look for higher fibre whole grains. Foods labelled "whole grain" are not always high in fibre. Check the Nutrition Facts table on package labels to find the amount of fibre per serving and choose the higher fibre products. To be considered a "source" of fibre a food has to provide at least 2 grams of fibre in the serving size stated on the Nutrition Facts table. A "high fibre" food must contain 4 grams of fibre or more per serving.
How can you eat more whole grains?
Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide suggests you make at least half of your grain products choices whole grain Here are some ways you can achieve this:

Have oatmeal or other whole grain cereals for breakfast.
Choose whole grain bread including rolls, bagels, tortillas and pita bread for sandwiches or wraps.
Try whole grain pasta instead of regular pasta - the nutty flavour is delicious!
Use whole grain couscous, bulgur, barley, brown rice or quinoa in salads.
Add barley, brown rice or whole wheat pasta to soups.
Try brown rice instead of white rice or (mix them half and half)
Substitute whole wheat or triticale flour for white flour in baking.
Use millet or bulgur in tabbouleh.

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