B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, fiber, antioxidants – these are just a few of the benefits people enjoy when they consume whole grain products. September is National Whole Grains Month and it is a time to better understand, cook, eat, and enjoy whole grain foods. The Grains for Health Foundation is proud to be working toward making grains more available in your local grocery stores, schools, and businesses.
Many of us have heard of whole grains and refined grains, but what is the difference between them? Grains are made of three main parts: the bran, endosperm, and germ. A refined grain is stripped of its outer shell, the bran, as well as the germ that lies next to the endosperm. In the United States, refined grains have added vitamins and minerals, but some positive qualities of whole grain products are not able to be added. A whole grain product is made with the bran, endosperm, and germ. Because the bran and germ are present, whole grain products have more fiber and antioxidants than their refined grain counter-parts.
The USDA recommends Americans make half of their grains whole grain products. In MyPlate, which replaced the Food Pyramid, the USDA shows a little more than a fourth of their example plate to be grains. http://www.choosemyplate.gov. Some of the whole grain products they list on their website include whole wheat tortillas, wild rice, rolled oats, and quinoa.
From us to you – happy eating!