How do you identify whole grain products?
- Look for the Product Symbol, such as Healthier Choice Symbol endorsed by the Health Promotion Board that reads “Higher in Whole-Grains” or the “Whole Grain” stamp by the Whole Grain Council in the US.
- Check the description on the packaging for these terms: Whole grain, whole wheat, sprouted whole grain wheat flour, wholemeal, brown rice, oats or oatmeal (including instant oatmeal). All of these are whole grain products as they contain all parts of the grain.
What are terms that may be confused with whole grains?
- Enriched flour, bran, wheat germ and high-fibre do not describe whole grain foods.
- Multigrain can be several whole grains or several refined grains, or a mix of both. So, multigrain products may not always have whole grains.
- These terms may not refer to whole grains either: Wheat, wheat flour, durum wheat, organic flour, semolina and stoneground.
As whole grains help in weight control, can we eat them without restriction?
Whole grains are not free from or low in carbohydrates. While they help to boost the feeling of fullness, whole grains do contain similar energy values as their refined counterparts. They should, therefore, be included as part of your overall meal plan.
Is it advisable for very young children to eat whole grains?
There are concerns about feeding whole grains to children below two years old. This is because the amount of phytates, a compound found in whole grains, can bind to minerals before they are absorbed. It is also harder for the body to digest food with phytates.
The high-fibre content in whole grains also increases the feeling of fullness, which may affect the appetite of young children who need to obtain sufficient nutrients for growth.
However, for an overweight child, eating whole grains may help to control food intake.
Ways to integrate whole grains into your diet:
- Opt for different types of whole grain bread each week.
- Eat whole grain cereal with milk or yogurt, or mix it with other breakfast cereals.
- Add brown rice or oats to white rice when cooking at home.
- If you don’t like brown rice, try red, black and purple rice. There are manyvarieties on the
shelves today. ‘
- Cook with whole grain noodles or pasta instead of refined varieties. The taste is generally similar, though these may have a nutty flavour.
- When baking, replace half of white or plain flour with whole wheat flour in your recipes for cupcakes and cookies.