Whole grains are an important part of any diet. To understand the term “whole grain” it is important to understand the anatomy of a grain. The Whole Grains Council tells us that a grain kernel consists of three parts, the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. A whole grain has all three parts of the kernel in tact. Sometimes grains are refined, meaning one or more parts of the kernel has been removed. The problem with refined grains is that when a part of the kernel is removed, so is a part of the dietary fiber, iron, and B vitamins naturally found in grains. To put more simply, a whole grain still has all its parts and all it’s nutrition. A refined grains is missing some of it’s parts which lowers it’s nutrition. To get the nutrition that we need in our diet, choosemyplate.gov encourages us to make at least half our grain servings each day from a whole grain source.
For more great information on whole grains visit www.wholegrainscouncil.org.
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Certified Nutrition Education Assistant