Fiber Diet: Whole Grain or Multi Grain

Most people assume that both whole grain and multi-grain means the same thing. Firstly, let’s look at the definition of these two words.

Whole grain:  Food contains all parts of the grain in the same proportions found in nature. If the grain has been processed (e.g., cracked, crushed, rolled and/or cooked), the food product should give about the same amount of nutrients found in the original grain.

Multi-grain:  Food containing more than one type of grain. The grains may be in whole form, or they may be refined.

When grains go through the refining process they lose almost all of the germ and bran and are left with mostly the endosperm. The endosperm is the least nutritious part of grain.

Anatomy of a grain

Whole grains have minimal processing and provide better fiber and nutrition compared to refined grains. Some examples of whole grains (including the bran, germ and endosperm) include:

  • Brown rice
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat

In conclusion, it is important to check the ingredient labels. In some cases you will see that the packaging does not indicate the percentage or amount of the ingredients in the food. Whole grain might not mean 100% whole grain, neither does Multi-grain mean that it can’t be a mixture of 100% whole grains.

Here’s a useful table you can use as a guide the next time you go shopping.

whole grain

Image source

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