The whole grain definition as endorsed by the Whole Grains Council is as follows: Whole grains or foods made from them contain all the essential parts and naturally occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed. If the grain has been processed (cracked, crushed, flaked, extruded, floured or cooked), the food product should deliver approximately the same rich balance of nutrients that are found in the original grain seed.
The definition as accepted by the American Association of Cereal Chemists, (AACC) is as follows: Whole grains shall consist of the intact, ground, cracked or flaked caryopsis whose principal anatomical components – the starchy endosperm, germ and bran – are present in the same relative proportions as they exist in the intact caryopsis.
When consumed in a form including the bran, germ and endosperm, the following grains are examples of whole grain foods. This is not a complete list, but it includes the most familiar whole grains.
Oilseeds like Flax are not considered whole grains by the AACC International or the FDA.
Why is it important to eat grains, especially whole grains?
Eating grains, especially whole grains, provides health benefits. People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Grains provide many nutrients that are vital for the health and maintenance of our bodies.