September is Whole Grains Month and this year the Whole Grains Council is celebrating under the theme “Whole Grains: The World Tour.” Whole grains are an important part of some of the world’s healthiest diets. If you haven’t yet made half of your grains whole, now is a great time to start.
Better for people and planet
Whole grains have been tied to improved health in many studies and current recommendations suggest that we choose whole grains for at least half of the grains we eat. Whole grains are a part of the Mediterranean Diet, DASH diet and other healthy eating patterns across the world. Whole grains were also identified as part of a Planetary Health Diet in the recent EAT-Lancet report. Whole grains could help us feed more people with less land through lower water requirements, improved soil fertility and reduced waste.
Whole or not?
Sometimes whole grains are obvious, but other times it can be a little tricky to identify whether or not a food has whole grains. When shopping, looking for the Whole Grain Stamp can be a quick and easy way to identify whole grains. The stamp will also let you know how much whole grain is in the product. While all foods with the stamp have whole grains, not all whole grains will carry the stamp. Specific statements like “100% whole wheat” or “14g of whole grain” can also lead you to whole grain foods. Be cautious of vague use of the words “whole grain” like “made with whole grain” because you might only be getting a small number of whole grains. The following words in the ingredient list also let you know there are whole grains present: whole grain [name of grain], whole wheat, the whole [other grain], stoneground whole, brown rice, oats, oatmeal (including old-fashioned oatmeal, instant oatmeal), wheatberries. Ingredients are listed in order, so the earlier in the list, the more the food contains.
Join the Conversation
Inspire others and get inspired by using and following #wholegrainsmonth on social media. If you tried a new whole grain recipe or dish and enjoyed it, post it. Looking for some menu inspiration for dinner? Search the hashtag for recipes and serving ideas.