Multi-grain. What does it really mean? Does the product contain whole grains? You would think so, but the multigrain claim can be slapped on a loaf of bread and not contain one whole grain! Many “multi-grain” breads only contain multiple refined grains. The FDA does not require companies to use whole grains in multi-grain products such as bread, so the consumer is frequently fooled by misleading claims.
What should we do as consumers?
Read the ingredient list carefully. Is every grain a “whole grain”? The ingredient list should specifically say “whole “ before the name of the grain. It’s also a good idea to look for the claim “100% whole grain”. This statement is actually regulated by the FDA to assure consumers that all of the grains in the product are indeed “whole grains”.
Why Whole Grains?
A whole grain consists of three parts: the bran, the endosperm and the germ. Refined grains are processed which removes the bran (the outer layer) and endosperm. The only part of the whole grain that remains is the germ, which means it is no longer a whole grain. During this refinement process, the whole grain is stripped of phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Research has shown that including more whole grains in your diet can help reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. Why eat empty calories found in refined grains when there is the option to eat whole grains that are delicious and healthy?