It’s widely agreed that when considering whole grains vs refined grains, choosing whole grains is the better way to go. But do you know why? And do you know the difference between whole grains and refined grains?
Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel—the bran, germ, and endosperm. Whole grains haven’t had their bran and germ removed by milling, making them better, natural sources of fiber.
Refined grains have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ. This is done to improve shelf life and give grains a finer texture, but it also removes dietary fiber, iron, vitamins and other nutrients.
Many refined grains are said to be “enriched.” Enriched grains and refined grains that have been refortified with certain vitamins or iron, which are added back into the grain mixture after it was been processed. Importantly, fiber is not added back into enriched grains, meaning that enriched grains are devoid of one of the most important components of whole grains. Many ready-to-eat cereals that claim to be whole grain have less than 2 grams of Fiber and lots of added sugar.
Numerous studies have shown the health benefits of whole grains, ranging from improved heart health to better weight management. The USDA recommends getting at least half of your daily grains from whole grains.
So, in the battle of whole grains vs refined grains,