Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

a view of a wheat field during sunset

Whole Grain

Whole Grain the Whole Story

Whole grains are an important part of a healthy balanced diet.[1] 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.

Illustration of a whole grain

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.

Discover some fun facts about whole grain

These are whole grains

a bowl of pop corn



  • Bulgur wheat
  • Whole corn
  • Cracked wheat
  • Whole oats
  • Durum wheat
  • Rolled oats
  • Buckwheat
  • Porridge
  • Spelt
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole barley
  • Oat flakes
  • Hulled barley
  • Brown rice
  • Naked barley
  • Wild rice

These aren't whole grains

a bowl of white rice
  • Bran
  • Corn meal
  • Polenta
  • 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!

Find out more about switching to whole grain

a bowl of white rice

cereal brands& Products


We've tried to answer as many of your questions as possible. You can search them all here:

Do Nestlé products in emerging countries have more salt than products in developed/developing countries?

For the last 15 years we’ve been working to reduce the sodium (which is the major component of salt) in our breakfast cereals across the world, because we want to keep on making them more nutritious. Achieving consistency on all products, in all countries, takes time - so some may have more sodium than others. Our aim is for all our cereals – globally – to have the same reduced levels of sodium, with a target of less than 135mg per serving in all our children’s products.

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

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.

I’ve heard a low GI diet can help me lose weight. Is this true?

It’s too early to say. The science in this area is still emerging. There is evidence that low GI foods take longer to digest and help you feel satisfied for longer, but none that you’ll eat fewer calories at the next meal.

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.


We'd love to hear your comments about Nestlé cereals, so please let us know what you think, we always appreciate hearing from you.

Return Address

If you are unhappy with your purchase, please return it to:

Consumer Services
YO91 1XB.

Consumer Service

Call our Consumer Services careline free on:

00800 0789 0789.

Phone lines are open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.


You can now also contact us via Twitter: