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Whole Grains

Why Should I Eat Whole Grains? · Whole grains contain dietary fiber which may reduce the risk of heart disease, some types of cancer, diabetes and other health concerns. · Whole grains contain vitamins and minerals that have specific functions in the body.

What is a Whole Grain?


·      A whole grain is the entire edible part of the grain including the bran, endosperm and germ.  The bran makes up the outer layers of the grain and contains dietary fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants and trace minerals. The endosperm is the inner part of the grain and contains protein and carbohydrate with a minimal amount of vitamins and minerals.  The germ is small but it is the seed that sprouts to generate a new plant.  It contains B vitamins, trace minerals, antioxidants and healthy oil.

·      Examples of whole grain include whole wheat, oats, brown rice, buckwheat, sorghum and quinoa.

·      Read the food label to determine if a product is a whole grain. 


How Do I Eat More Whole Grains?


·      Start with breakfast.  Enjoy a bowl of oatmeal or include a whole grain bagel or whole wheat toast with breakfast.

·      At lunch enjoy as a sandwich made with whole wheat bread (not just wheat bread which may not be whole wheat).  Or have a wrap made from whole wheat. 

·      At dinner substitute brown rice for white rice, whole wheat pasta for refined pasta or enjoy a whole grain salad like tabbouleh which is made from whole grain bulgur or a salad made with whole wheat couscous.

·      For snacks enjoy a muffin made with whole wheat, whole grain crackers or whole grain air popped popcorn.


Becky Varner, MS RD LD

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