Whole Grains Defined

Whole grains – and the foods made from them – contain all essential parts of the grain seed. They have 100 percent of the original kernel, which includes the bran, germ and endosperm.

All three kernel layers must be intact to qualify as “whole grain.” Because these layers are complete, whole grains contain more nutrients than grains that have been stripped of the bran and germ layers through processing.

Wheat, oats/oatmeal, rye, barley, corn, brown rice, bulgur, millet, quinoa and sorghum are grains commonly available in whole form.

Many whole grains are good or excellent sources of dietary fiber, which may help improve blood cholesterol levels, and lower risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity and Type II diabetes.

For additional information on whole grains visit www.wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101.