Why Whole Grains Are So Confusing.
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Boston, MA (PRWEB) January 24, 2013
Doctors Health Press, a division of Lombardi Publishing Corporation and publisher of various natural health newsletters, books, and reports, including the popular online Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin, is reporting on a new study, published in Public Health Nutrition, finding that standards for classifying foods as “whole grain” are inconsistent and even misleading.
As Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin (http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/food-and-nutrition-articles/why-whole-grains-are-so-confusing) notes, experts say to eat at least three servings of whole grains a day to lower risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. But as this new study shows, there is no one standard to separate what is refined and what is whole in the grain world.
As the article “Why Whole Grains Are So Confusing” reports, this study, out of Harvard University, is the first to evaluate how healthy whole grains are based on definitions used by the government and food companies.
The Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin article outlines the ways officials and the food industry define “whole:”
- Any product with at least eight grams of whole grains per serving can be marked with the “Whole Grain Stamp”
- Any product that lists a whole grain as the first ingredient listed is a whole grain
- Any product with a whole grain listed as the first ingredient without added sugars in the first three ingredients
- Any product with the word “whole” before any grain in the ingredient list
- Any product that meets the “10:1 ratio,” meaning total carbohydrates to fiber is less than 10 to 1, about the same ratio as whole wheat flour
According to the article, researchers compiled 545 grain products in two major U.S. grocers.
They comprised bread, bagels, English muffins, cereal, crackers, cereal bars, granola bars,
As Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin reports, the products featuring the Whole Grain Stamp were higher in fiber and lower in trans fats. But, they had far more sugar and calories than products without the stamp.
According to the article, the researchers found the 10:1 ratio, courtesy of the American Heart Association, to be the best indicator of a grain’s healthfulness. These products were higher in fiber and lower in trans fats, sugar, and sodium, while their calories were not higher than products that didn’t meet the ratio. According to the 10:1 ratio, if there is less than 10-times the amount of carbohydrates than fiber in a grain product, it is healthy and most likely contains whole grains.
(SOURCE: Mozaffarian, R., et al., “Identifying whole grain foods: a comparison of different approaches for selecting more healthful whole grain products,” Public Health Nutrition, published online January 4, 2013.)
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