Most of us know that eating a diet that’s rich in whole grains is one of the best ways to get fiber, anti-oxidants and other nutrients that can help fight weight gain, cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Unfortunately, finding whole-grain foods that live up to their promises can be hard to find. Such is the case with whole-grain bread.
These days store shelves are filled with labels of “made with whole grains” and the market for such foods is expected to grow nearly 7% per year to an estimated $46 billion by 2022 in the US alone. The problem is that in Australia and the US, many of these “wholesome” foods aren’t full of 100% grains that they claim to be. Here are some ‘red flags’ to look out for:
When the label says “made with whole grains”
This sounds like it’s made wholly of whole grains when in fact, it usually is made with very little whole grains. This just means the food contains some whole grains. Most of the product could, in fact, be made up of refined flours. Look for the label that says “made of 100% whole grains”.
Even superfine flours can be called ‘whole grain”
Only three parts of a grain need to be present in a food for it to be called “whole grain” – even if those grains have been made into a refined flour. Studies have found that the body doesn’t respond the same to whole grains that are highly refined as opposed to when the kernel is left intact. The body absorbs finely ground grains more quickly which spikes your body’s blood sugar level and in turn produces fat.
The word “Multigrain” can be misleading
We’ve been conditioned to think that more is better and such is the case with grains. However “multigrain” doesn’t specify whether the grains are whole or refined. Any food with just a small amount of grains can use the term “multigrain” regardless of how nutritious (or not) the grain actually is.
Fiber content claims can be misleading
While truly whole grains contain a good source of fiber, which as we know is great for regulating digestion and how full you feel, unfortunately, many grain-based foods fiber added to them that is not naturally occurring. This fiber is made from cellulose or inulin, which may not have the same health benefits as the naturally occurring kind.
Not all grains are created equally
Not all foods that have whole grains are healthy foods. Many cereals and snack bars, for example, can be made with whole grains but also include large amounts of sugar, trans-fats, salt and other artificial ingredients.
Cheers to choosing wisely!
If you’re interested in reading more about this check out http://time.com/4639314/the-case-against-whole-wheat-and-whole-grain-bread/