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Wholegrains - Why Are They So Nutritious?

Wholegrains - Why Are They So Nutritious?

In the second of three articles, Nutritionist Charlie Parker gives tips on why choosing wholegrain over refined grains is a healthier choice, and how to make that choice.

What does wholegrain actually mean?

Wholegrain means the entire grain, which includes 3 edible parts: the germ, endosperm and bran. Together these provide fibre, which is found in the outer layer (the bran), carbohydrate in the central part (the endosperm), fat, vitamins and minerals in the inner part (the germ).

Why are wholegrains considered to be so nutritious?

During the milling process to refine cereals and make them ‘whiter’, the bran and the germ are often removed but in wholegrains they retain these parts, so they can contain more nutrients than refined cereals. Wholegrains contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, protein, essential fatty acids such as omega 3, B vitamins, Vitamin E and minerals like selenium and copper. So choosing wholegrain over refined grains is a healthier choice.

Bulgur and Herb Salad
Bulgur and Herb Salad

What are wholegrain cereals?

  • Whole wheat and whole wheat flour 
  • Whole oats and whole oat flour 
  • Whole cornmeal and whole corn flour 
  • Whole rye and whole rye flour 
  • Whole barley (not pearled barley)
  • Whole spelt
  • Quinoa. Try our Greek Style Quinoa Salad recipe
  • Bulgur wheat. Our Bulgur and Herb Salad makes a great side 
  • Buckwheat 
  • Brown rice, brown rice flour and wild rice (and most other coloured rice are also wholegrain)
  • Popcorn 
  • Millet
  • Ancient grains such as; Amaranth, Whole Kamut, Whole Farro and Freekeh


Tips on increasing wholegrain in you diet 

  • Include wholegrain starchy carbohydrates at most meals
  • Switch from refined starchy carbohydrates to wholegrain varieties (Choose from the list above)
  • Look out for the words ‘wholegrain’ on breakfast cereal and bread
  • Snack on wholegrain oat or rice cakes, rye crispbread or plain popcorn

Greek Style Quinoa Salad
Greek Style Quinoa Salad

Charlie Parker 2018

Charlie Parker is devoted to making healthy eating easier through developing healthier products and tools that trigger behavioural changes. Visit her website

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