• amoxicillin 30 capsules http://foggiachat.altervista.o..._kwd=81937 cephalexin liquid tretinoin price cephalexin oral suspension
  • order baclofen online http://www.nanoqam.uqam.ca/ico...ccess-rate albuterol atrovent http://www.nanoqam.uqam.ca/ico...-pregnancy http://www.nanoqam.uqam.ca/ico...ol-inhaler
    commande de cialis en belgique le generique du cialis levitra prix au quebec http://innovezdanslesimplants....age=360101 achat cialis en ligne fiable viagra generico indiano http://www.cricyt.edu.ar/sismo...lly-prezzo viagra casera http://www.cricyt.edu.ar/sismo...gra-kaufen levitra tarif clic toile viagra bestellen in deutschland continue batterie lithium moto pas cher

    More Numbers, More Problems

    Behold the latest curveball thrown at supermarket shoppers — “grams of whole grains”.

    When this trend first started in early 2007, I inwardly cringed and hoped for its quick disappearance.  Far from it — I keep seeing it on more and more products!

    It is my suspicion that with whole grains and fiber being the latest hot topics, food manufacturers hope to confuse shoppers looking to increase fiber intake by boasting about the grams of whole grains in their foods — two very different concepts.

    Consider this your “advertising-proof” tutorial on whole grains.

    Let’s start at the beginning.

    According to MyPyramid (also known as 2005’s “food pyramid 2.0”), adults who ate 2,000 calories per day should consume 6 servings of grains.  The USDA defines a serving of grains as one ounce (28 grams). Remember that figure, it will come in handy very shortly.

    MyPyramid distinctly called for half of those 6 grain servings to be whole (i.e: oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat cous cous, barley, etc.), rather than enriched (i.e.: white bread, white rice, etc.).  Strangely, the recommendation wasn’t “at least three whole grain servings,” but simply “three.”

    This is where it all starts to get confusing.

    If one ounce equals 28 grams, and we are asked to make three grain servings (AKA three ounces) whole, then the recommended daily intake of whole grains adds up to 84 grams (28 grams x 3 servings).

    Alas, if you look up whole grain serving recommendations, you’ll see a daily suggestion of 48 grams per day.  Some simple math (48 grams divided by 3 servings) tells us, then, that one serving of whole grains equals 16 grams.

    “But I thought one serving of grain equaled 28 grams.  Why isn’t a serving of whole grains also 28 grams?” you may wonder.

    Well, most whole grain products contain a variety of ingredients; not just flour.  It turns out, in fact, that a one-ounce serving of whole grains contains, on average, approximately 16 grams of flour (the other 12 grams are other ingredients, including yeast, salt, oils, etc).

    Although food labels do not list grams of whole grains, you have two ways of finding this information out.

    One is by claims on the packaging (such as the “Now with 5 grams of whole grains per serving!” stated on boxes of Teddy Grahams).

    Usually, though, these claims are made by products that sprinkle a little whole wheat flour on top of a product that is virtually refined grains.

    Considering that you need at least 48 grams a day, 5 grams is a pretty pathetic figure to bother writing about in such large font.

    The other is via the Whole Grains Council stamp (pictured at top left), which specifically lists the grams of whole grains per serving in a product.

    Some companies are still using old versions of the stamp, which classified foods as “good” (8 – 15 grams of whole grains per serving) or “excellent” (16 or more grams of whole grains per serving).

    What about fiber? How does it tie into all this?  An item high in whole grains is high in fiber, but products high in fiber are not necessarily high in whole grains.

    An Atkins chocolate peanut butter bar, for instance, contains a whopping 10 grams of fiber.  Since this is a low-carb bar, you certainly won’t find whole grains flour anywhere on the ingredient list.

    So how is this value achieved? Thanks to a polysaccharide known as cellulose.  Keep in mind that while this kind of fiber helps keep things moving, there are specific substances in whole grains that have been targeted in nutrition research as helpful in reducing the risk of several diseases.

    So, how do you put all this together without going insane?  Simple. Try to consume 25 – 30 grams of fiber from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds every day.  Generally, the foods that boast “x grams of whole grains per serving!” claims are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    Share

    2 Comments

    1. Anonymous said on May 6th, 2008

      Right on — REALLY right on, Andy, and thanks for digging out these snarls in govt whole grains descriptions.
      It was what drove us to the stamp idea — consumer surveys were clear that they wanted to eat more whole grains, but were frustrated at trying to find “legitimate” whole grain foods products.
      We all thank you for this clear-headed thinking!
      Oldways and WGC team

    2. staypuftman said on March 31st, 2010

      Good thoughts – and you didn’t even wander into the murky world of soluble versus insoluble fiber. I sure do wish those labels were more reflective of what people should eat.

      A better layout could be:

      Total Carbs
      Grains:
      Whole:
      Refined:
      Sugars:
      Naturally Occurring:
      Added Sugars:
      Fiber:
      Soluble:
      Insoluble:

      I feel like those are the big groups people are looking for, at least of those that are looking.

    Leave a Reply

    Trackbacks