WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHOLE GRAINS
September is Whole Grains Month! Whole grains provide important health benefits and are a healthy addition to any diet. But what exactly are whole grains and how are they different from their refined counterparts? Here’s what you need to know.
Whole grains are found in their natural state growing on the farm and are actually the edible seed of the plant. They consist of three edible parts: the endosperm or starchy part of the grain kernel, the germ, or embryo which is where the plant sprouts from, and the protective outer layer known as the bran layer. The bran has most of the fiber along with B vitamins, vitamin E, minerals like magnesium, antioxidants and phytonutrients. The germ also contains B vitamins and minerals, but in addition it has some protein and healthy unsaturated fats. The endosperm is mainly carbohydrate. Whole wheat is a type of whole grain.
All whole grains, including whole grain pasta, are composed of the entire kernel — all three components in their entirety. Research shows that as part of a healthy diet, whole grains may reduce the risks associated with heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and obesity, promote healthy aging and increase longevity.
For healthy adults, the greatest health benefits come from consuming approximately one three-ounce serving of whole grains daily (or three one-ounce servings), which is why the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend making half your grains whole grains.
It’s easy to get a healthy dose of whole grains with whole grain pasta. Check out our recipes here and try swapping out white pasta for whole grain!