In case you’re still not sure, here’s some tips from Neil Zevnik, Private Chef & Food Writer.
For flour, cornmeal and such: Look for “whole grain.” Avoid the words “refined,” “enriched,” “bleached” and “bromated.”
For cereals: Make sure the first ingredient is designated “whole” — whole corn, rice, etc. (Try my new favorite — Uncle Sam’s Whole Wheat Berry Flakes with Wild Strawberries.) Oh, and watch out for the sugar content.
For breads: Read that label! Again, the first ingredient should be a “whole grain.” Just because it’s brown doesn’t mean it’s whole grain — molasses may have been used to give it that “whole wheat look.”
Buy and cook products that are, by their nature, whole grains: brown rice, rolled oats, quinoa and popcorn — yes, popcorn!
By this time, we all pretty much know that we’re supposed to be eating whole grains, and lots of them. But if you’re anything like me, your notion of exactly what constitutes a “whole grain” (as opposed to what, a “partial grain” or a “half-hearted grain”?) is seriously fuzzy.
A recent tour of the wonderful Bob’s Red Mill in Portland, Ore. opened my eyes to all sorts of new information — though it’s old information really, since the milling of grains has been going on for millennia. As far back as the Greek and Roman civilizations, water-powered mills were grinding whole grains to make an array of tasty and healthful foodstuffs.