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We encourage all WGC members to draw on the whole grain resources and information available on the WGC website. If you’d like to share one of our graphics or handouts, just contact us and tell us what you’d like to reproduce and we’ll get back to you quickly with the appropriate permissions/ﬁles.
When Whole Grains Month comes around each September, it’s great to freshen up your website with interesting new content touting the beneﬁts of whole grain. We can’t do your programming for you, and we leave the ﬁnal choice of graphics to you, but we can provide content that hits the spot.
suggested Content for Whole Grains Month: Whole Grains FAQ
Q. What exactly is a whole grain?
A. A whole grain is any cereal grass that contains all three of its original edible parts – the ﬁber-and-nutrient-rich outer bran, the germ (which is the seed of a new plant), and the starchy endosperm.
Q. Why are whole grains good for me?
A. Because they contain three to ﬁve times as much of a range of key nutrients that are lost when grains are reﬁned, by removing the bran and germ.
Q. What does that mean for my health?
A. Repeated studies show that people who eat more whole grains lower their risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and a number of other chronic diseases. Other studies indicate that teens who eat more whole grains get less acne, and kids cut their risk for asthma. Also, because whole grains help you feel full longer, those who eat them tend to control their weight more successfully.
Q. If so much of the healthy stuﬀ is in the bran and germ, why are grains so often reﬁned?
A. Reﬁned grains have a longer shelf life, and they’re easier to cook with and make products with. And people who are used to the blander taste of reﬁned grains may take some time to get accustomed to the fuller, nuttier taste of whole grains.
Q. Most wheat ﬂour is “enriched,” though. Doesn’t this mean the lost nutrients are added back in?
A. No. Dozens of nutrients are lost when grains are reﬁned, and only ﬁve are added back (in diﬀerent amounts from the original) through enrichment.
Q. Is whole white wheat ﬂour whole grain, or reﬁned?
A. It’s a whole grain (or it wouldn’t have whole in its name). White wheat is a special albino variety of wheat, lighter in color and milder in ﬂavor. It’s easy to be confused, as reﬁned or enriched ﬂour – containing only the endosperm – is often referred to as “white” ﬂour. Whole white wheat ﬂour contains all the bran, germ, and endosperm, however, so you’re getting all the same good nutrients that are in traditional (red) whole wheat.
Q. How much whole grain should I eat every day for good health?
A. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that all of us enjoy three or more servings of whole grains daily – that we make at least half our grains whole. A “serving” is one-half cup of cooked 100% whole grain pasta, grain or hot cereal, a cup of ready-to-eat 100% whole grain cereal, or a slice of 100% whole grain bread. If you’re eating foods that are not 100% whole grain, these measurements don’t apply – so just consider 16g of whole grain ingredients as a serving, and look for a total of 48g or more of whole grains in your daily meals and snacks.
Q. What’s the easiest way to ﬁnd whole grain foods?
A. Look for the Whole Grain Stamp. It’s on thousands of products on your grocer’s shelves. It clearly states the number of grams of whole grain in every serving of the food, making it simple to get to 48g daily. An even easier approach: Skip the math, and just make sure every grain food you buy bears the Whole Grain Stamp. The Stamp always guarantees a half serving or more of whole grains per portion, so “following the Stamp” as you choose six grain foods daily ensures that you’ll get at least three servings of whole grain.
Q. What is Whole Grains Month all about?
A. Every September is Whole Grains Month, the perfect time to ramp up your knowledge and enjoyment of whole grains to the next level. Try a few new whole grain products. Switch your sandwich to whole grain bread. Experiment with new whole grain recipes. Many whole grain products are on sale during September, so you can save your pennies and your health at the same time.
© Oldways and the Whole Grains Council, www.wholegrainscouncil.org
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