Understanding Whole-grain vs Multi-grain

Food marketers are quite good at highlighting the “healthy” aspects of their products.  So it can be confusing to figure out which claims are legit and which are marketing fluff.  I’m here to help.

Today let’s review the two types of “healthy” grains you’ll see on food packaging:  Multi-grain and Whole-grain.  One is definitely better than the other.

The good one: Whole-grain.  The schematic above shows a typical grain.  The outer shell, called bran , is dense with vitamins and minerals.  The inner endosperm is relatively nutritionless.  In processed food, the outer shell is removed, thereby removing the healthiest part of the grain.

Whole-grain indicates the nutritious bran has not been removed.  Hence, it’s the whole grain. This is definitely good.  When a product claims whole-grain, you can feel comfortable knowing the product is healthier than it’s non-whole grain cousin.

Multi-grain is simply the use of more than one type of grain in a product.  Typically all of the grains used are processed and missing-the-good-for-you-bran.  It sounds good, multi-grain.  But it’s just spin by food marketers to try to make their food seem healthier.  Don’t waste your money.

There you have it.  You are now wiser in the ways of the grocery.  Go forth….


3 responses to “Understanding Whole-grain vs Multi-grain

  1. Pingback: Eat by Stars: Pimento Cheese Spread | Essentials of Nutrition

  2. Pingback: Eat by Stars: A Bad Chef | Essentials of Nutrition

  3. Pingback: Healthy Every Week Challenge: Eat More Whole-Grains Wrap Up » How To Make Healthy Food

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