Whole grains have become popular for the health conscious, but make sure you know how to select your whole grains correctly.
“20 grams of whole grains, 35% of your daily value of fiber, oat bran, nine grain, low fat blueberry”, don’t these terms sound healthy?
Unfortunately, you can’t believe everything you read……
Read Your Label
- Look for the first ingredient to say whole wheat, whole oat, or whole brown rice flour. This ensures that most of the product is made from true whole grains.
- Check the total amount of carbohydrates. Anything more than 30 grams of carbohydrates equals more than 2 grain servings.
- Check the grams of sugar. Anything more than 5 or 6 grams of sugar is starting to get high.
- Look for more than 2 grams of fiber.
- Scan the label for trans fat which is listed as “partially hydrogenated oils”. If you spot trans fat, don’t buy the product.
Stay Away from These Fooling Grains
- Starbuck’s Apple Bran Muffin: 350 calories, 9 g fat, 520 mg sodium, 64 g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 34 g sugar
- Dunkin’ Donuts Reduced Fat Blueberry Muffin: 410 calories, 10 g fat, 620 mg sodium, 75 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 40 g sugar
- Publix Apple Bran Muffin (similar to grocery store bakery muffins): 290 calories, 16 g fat, 36 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 23 g sugar
- Kellogg’s Low Fat Granola Original (without Raisins) Multi-Grain cereal: 190 calories, 3 g fat, 40 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 14 g sugar
- Nature Valley Strawberry Yogurt Bars: 140 calories, 4 g fat, 26 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 14 g sugar
- ZonePerfect Blueberry Pomegranate Protein Bar: 210 calories, 6 g fat, 230 mg sodium, 24 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 16 g sugar
- Keebler Multigrain Club Crackers: ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), VEGETABLE OIL (COTTONSEED AND PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL WITH TBHQ FOR FRESHNESS), SUGAR, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, TOASTED DEFATTED WHEAT GERM, WHOLE WHEAT, CONTAINS TWO PERCENT OR LESS OF OAT BRAN, SALT, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, LEAVENING (BAKING SODA, SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE), CORN SYRUP, DEGERMINATED YELLOW CORN FLOUR, SODIUM SULFITE, SOY LECITHIN.
These are just a few examples. What you will notice is that the sugars are most commonly high. The next most common problem is that there are just not enough high quality whole grains without having to add all of the extra processed ingredients.
Solution to the Problem
Who says you have to buy these foods? Try making a fruit oatmeal from home, or make your own muffins or bars with whole wheat flour or almond meal. A trick is to use some stevia in your baking to reduce the sugar content.
Seek out new healthy ingredients, eat most foods from home, and practice moderation in your choices.
Have you been fooled by whole or multigrain foods?