September 15, 2008

Not The Whole Truth

When it comes to determining whether a particular brand of sliced bread, crackers, or cereal is 100% whole grain or not, the popular recommendation is to look at the ingredient list.

If "whole wheat flour" appears as the first ingredient, the advice goes, you are dealing with a whole grain product.

Although this is both true and accurate (and I myself have given such a recommendation), food companies are starting to wise up.

They know consumers are seeking whole grain foods, but they want to continue using refined white flour.

Their solution? Confuse, confuse, and confuse some more!

There are now plenty of products on store shelves marketed as "whole wheat" that are not 100% whole grain, but rather a mix of whole wheat flour and white flour.

A look at the ingredient list reveals that while "whole wheat flour" is listed as the first ingredient, "unbleached enriched flour" (AKA white flour) is second or third.

A true whole grain product ONLY contains whole wheat (or any other grain) flour. Don't accept cheap knock-offs!

A quick way to spot the tricksters? Any product that states it is "made with whole grains" is usually a combination of refined and whole grain flours.

As you know, I am a big fan of the Whole Grains Council's stamp system.

This particular portion of their website
lists brands displaying their stamp (a "100%" stamp is a guarantee that you are getting a true-to-form whole grain food.)

Definitely worth bookmarking!

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