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'Whole grain' and 'whole wheat' labels can be deceiving

Published May 02, 2013 by Personal Trainer Network

'Whole grain' and 'whole wheat' labels do not always translate to 'healthful food'. For example, something legitimately labeled as 100 percent whole grain such as Original Wheat Thins contains sugar, malt syrup, and invert sugar in addition to the whole grains.

The FDA's guidelines simply 'recommend' that a product be labeled as whole grain or whole wheat when all of the flour ingredients are from whole grain or whole wheat flours.

The term multigrain simply means simply means 'more than one grain', but not necessarily 'whole' grains. E.g.: Pepperidge Farm's 12-grain Farmhouse bread has 12 different grains, but the first ingredient is unbromated unbleached enriched wheat flour (white flour).

Whole wheat will be listed as 'whole' wheat. If it reads enriched wheat flour, unbleached wheat flour, and unbromated wheat flour it means white flour.

Another way to identify whole grain products is to look for the Whole Grain Council's Whole Grain Stamp, which is on foods that contain at least half a serving (8 grams) of whole grains. The black and yellow stamp lists the number of grams of whole grain per serving, and if all of the grain is whole grain, it will include a '100%' banner.

In conclusion, commercial banners just give you part of the information, check the nutrition fact label and the ingredient list to get the whole picture.

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