Whole Grain the Whole Story
Whole grains are an important part of a healthy balanced diet. And it’s not just hype or a fad. So what is whole grain exactly? Well, the clue is in the name…Whole grains are the complete grain, with all its nutrients. Unlike refined grains, nothing has been taken away.
What about white?
When grains are refined to make ‘white’ products, like white bread, and white rice and pasta, the outer parts of the grain are thrown away and only the middle section is used. It’s fine to eat refined foods – don’t panic! – they’re good for you too, they just don't contain as many nutrients as their whole grain sibling.
Bran: The fibre-rich outer layer contains protein, B vitamins and antioxidants
Endosperm: The starchy bit in the middle includes protein and carbohydrates for energy, and some B vitamins
Germ: Packed with nutrients, the inner part contains B vitamins and vitamin E plus minerals like magnesium, and omega-6 fatty acids.
Wheat is the most widely grown cereal grain. It’s grown on over 17 per cent of the total cultivated land in the world, and is the staple food for 35 per cent of the world’s population. It provides more calories and protein in the world’s diet than any other crop.
Pop goes the kernel!
Popcorn is simply a puffed-up whole grain. It’s made from a special type of corn called ‘zea mays everta’ – the only type of corn that can ‘pop’. Try popping your own corn at home with the kids – great fun!
Whole grain or not whole grain?
Grains are everywhere! Drive out into the countryside in summertime, and you’ll see fields of wheat, oats, barley and corn (for rice, which is grown in waterlogged paddy fields, you might have to travel a bit further….).
But when you’re back in town, staring at the supermarket shelves, how can you tell the whole from the not-so-whole? You may be surprised that some of the foods you’d imagine to be whole grain, actually aren’t.
These are whole grains
These aren't whole grains
- Corn meal
- Corn grits
- Pearled barley
- White rice
Go whole grain!
So whole grains are an important part of a varied, balanced diet for your whole family – and they taste great too! Go whole grain!
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We've tried to answer as many of your questions as possible. You can search them all here:
How can I find foods made with whole grain?
Two things to remember: • Look for food labels where the word 'whole' appears in front of the name of the grain, like “whole wheat” or “wholemeal bread”. • For foods with more than one ingredient, make sure whole grain is listed towards the top of the ingredients list. The further up the list it is, the more whole grain has been used in the recipe. And look out for the percentage of whole grain. You should find this in the ingredients list too. It’s easy to know if a Nestlé breakfast cereal is made with whole grain: just look out for the Green Banner and whole grain tick on top of the box.
Why does Nestlé label vegetable oil?
Because it’s industry practice to label seasonal oils (oils that aren’t consistently available across the year). In Europe it’s now mandatory to detail the types of vegetable oils used in a food product. So it’s no longer permitted to use the term “vegetable oil” on a label.
What should be in a complete breakfast?
A complete breakfast should include a balance of nutrients from each of the major food groups. As a guide, it might look like this:
- 1 grain-based starchy food
- 1 dairy food
- 1 portion of fresh fruit
- 1 glass of water
- Optionally, an additional source of protein Nestlé breakfast cereals are a nutritious breakfast choice as they are:
- A source of fibre and whole grain
- Low in fat (most have low levels of all types of fat, including saturates)
- Fortified with vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, calcium and iron
- A lower calorie per kilojoule, fat and sugar choice than many other breakfast food options
Do breakfast cereals contain too much saturated fat?
No. Breakfast cereals aren’t a major source of saturated fats, and contain no added trans fats. Some grains, such as oats, can be higher in fats – but these are naturally present in the grain, and tend to be ‘good’ fats, not saturated fats.
What are the health and nutritional benefits of Nestlé Gluten Free Corn Flakes?
As well as being a healthy choice for people who want to reduce the amount of gluten in their diet, or have coeliac disease or a gluten intolerance, Gluten Free Corn Flakes are fortified with B-vitamins, folic acid and iron.
We'd love to hear your comments about Nestlé cereals, so please let us know what you think, we always appreciate hearing from you.
Nestlé Customer Care
Nestle Malta, Pantar Road, Lija
LJA 2021 Malta
Phone lines are open 8am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8am to 3.30pm on Friday.