We all know that we should be eating more whole grains. Fibre is critical to a healthy digestive system and whole grain carbs like whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa or oatmeal help to slow digestion and provide longer-lasting energy.
It would seem that processed food manufacturers are excited to be helping us out – so many products now tout labels that say “Made with Whole Grain”. Isn’t it wonderful that we can eat a handful of cookies and be getting our daily recommended amount of fibre at the same time?
Not so fast. Just because there are some whole grains in the cereal, bread or cookies you’re buying doesn’t mean they’re necessarily good for you. Check the nutritional labels of your purchases. Ingredients on processed foods are listed by quantity, so we’re looking to see that the first ingredients include the term “whole grain”. In the case of a cereal, we want to see “whole grain oats” or “whole grain wheat”, and we want those ingredients to be the first ones on the list, not down with the preservatives we can’t pronounce. Unscrupulous manufacturers may continue to make their products with refined white flour and toss in a small percentage of whole wheat flour as well. Technically that product is “made with whole grain”, but it’s not 100% whole grain.