About Whole Grains

Whole Grains details

Whole Grains Defined:

100% Whole Grains, including wheat, rye, oats and other grains, contain all parts of the kernel:

• The Bran: the multi-layered outer covering of the grain kernel that protects the germ and endosperm. The bran contains phenolic compounds, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.2

• The Endosperm: the largest part of the kernel which is ground to make white flour and other refined grains. The endosperm provides energy for the rest of the plant and contains carbohydrates (starch), protein, vitamins, and minerals.1,2

• The Germ: the tiniest part of the kernel, which would grow new wheat if planted. The germ contains vitamins, some protein, minerals, and fat.2

When all parts of the kernel are ground together, the result is 100% whole grain flour.1,3,4

Did You Know?

You can determine if a product is whole grain by looking at the ingredient legend.

Look for the words “whole” or “100% whole” before the name of the grain or flour to determine if the product is whole grain.

Many popular-selling wheat, rye, oat and multi-grain breads contain enriched white flour, bleached white flour, enriched wheat flour or unbleached wheat flour that are NOT whole grains. Descriptive words, such as multi-grain or stone-ground, do not necessarily mean that the product is whole grain either.14 Always check the ingredient listing to be sure. If the words “whole grain” do not appear at the beginning of the list of ingredients but somewhere later in the list, the product is made with some whole grains, but may also contain refined grains.

Is It Whole Grain or Not?


 

Recommended Amounts of Whole Grains

How many grain foods are needed daily?



According to the USDA’s MyPlate: “The amount of grains you need to eat depends on your age, sex, and level of physical activity. Recommended daily amounts are listed in the chart. Most Americans consume enough grains, but few are whole grains. At least half of all the grains eaten should be whole grains.
    Daily 
recommendation*

Daily minimum amount


of whole grains

Children 2-3 years old 3 ounce equivalents 1 ½ ounce equivalents
  4-8 years old 5 ounce equivalents 2 ½ ounce equivalents
       
Girls 9-13 years old 5 ounce equivalents 3 ounce equivalents
  14-18 years old 6 ounce equivalents 3 ounce equivalents
       
Boys 9-13 years old 6 ounce equivalents 3 ounce equivalents
  14-18 years old 8 ounce equivalents 4 ounce equivalents
       
Women 19-30 years old 6 ounce equivalents 3 ounce equivalents
  31-50 years old 6 ounce equivalents 3 ounce equivalents
  51+ years old 5 ounce equivalents 3 ounce equivalents
       
Men 19-30 years old 8 ounce equivalents 4 ounce equivalents
  31-50 years old 7 ounce equivalents 3 ½ ounce equivalents
  51+ years old 6 ounce equivalents 3 ounce equivalents

*These amounts are appropriate for individuals who get less than 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity, beyond normal daily activities. Those who are more physically active may be able to consume more while staying within calorie needs.
Source: USDA MyPlate http://www.choosemyplate.gov/foodgroups/grains_amount_table.html
Last Modified: June 4, 2011

  • Less than 5 percent of Americans consume the minimum recommended amount of whole grains, which for many is about 3 ounce-equivalents per day. On average, Americans eat less than 1 ounce-equivalent of whole grains per day.4
  • Only 35 percent of Americans age 12 and over met their total grain recommendation, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).3
  • In general, a slice of bread counts as a 1 ounce equivalent serving of grain food.3,4
  • One ounce is approximately 28 grams.

 

 

Whole Grain Council Stamp

  • Look for the Whole Grain Stamp on Healthy Life products to find out the number of grams of whole grain in a serving. There are two types of Whole Grain Stamps:
  • Basic: 8-15 grams of whole grain per serving
  • 100%: ALL grains in the product are whole grains and the product has a minimum of 16 grams per serving

Whole Grain Stamp

Our Healthy Life products that qualify for the whole grain stamp are:

  • Original 100% Whole Wheat Whole Grain Bread (14g per 2-slice serving)
  • Original 100% Whole Wheat Whole Grain Flaxseed Bread (14g per 2-slice serving)
  • Original Sugar Free 100% Whole Wheat Bread (18g per 2-slice serving)
  • Original Light Multi-Grain English Muffins (10g per English Muffin)
  • Soft Style 100% Whole Wheat Bread (28g per 2-slice serving)
  • Soft Style 100% Whole Wheat 1/2 Loaf (25g per 2-slice serving)
  • Soft Style Made with Whole Grain White Bread (10g per 2-slice serving)
  • Soft Style 100% Whole Wheat Hot Dog Buns (24g per 1 bun)
  • Soft Style 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Buns (24g per 1 bun)
  • 100% Whole Wheat English Muffins (27g per English Muffin)


WHOLE GRAIN SOURCES:

  1. American Cancer Society. “Shopping List: Basic Ingredients for a Healthy Kitchen” http://www.cancer.org/Healthy/EatHealthyGetActive/EatHealthy/shopping-list-basic-ingredients-for-a-healthy-kitchen Last Revised: 05/16/2011
  2. American Society for Nutrition: “Putting the Whole Grain Puzzle Together: Health Benefits Associated with Whole Grains – Summary of American Society for Nutrition 2010 Satellite Symposium” By: Satya S. Jonnalagadda, Lisa Harnack, Rui Hai Liu, Nicola McKeown, Chris Seal, Simin Liu, and George C. Fahey – The Journal of Nutrition, First published online March 30, 2011 http://www.wholegrainscouncil.org/files/ASNsummary2010.pdf
  3. International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC). “Whole Grains Fact Sheet” 10/15/2009 http://www.foodinsight.org/Resources/Detail.aspx?topic=Whole_Grains_Fact_Sheet
  4. U.S. Department of Agriculture & U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. December 2010 http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2010.asp
     

 

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