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What Are the Different Whole Grain Sources?

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  • Written By: Brandon May
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 17 July 2017
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There are many different types of whole grain sources, and many common sources like breads, crackers and cereals often make their way into an average person's diet. Whole wheat is considered a whole grain, and can be found in pasta, cereal and muffins, and is heavily promoted due to its high fiber content. Gluten-free sources of whole grains include buckwheat, quinoa and corn, and these can also be found in many common cereals, breads and pastas. Since nutrition information on food products categorizes white flour with the term wheat flour, it should be noted that a product can only be a whole grain if the first ingredient says whole wheat.

Breads made with whole wheat, oats and rye are one of the most popular whole grains sources, and are commonly used to make sandwiches, toast and bread crumbs. For a bread to be a whole grain bread, the first ingredient must list whole wheat, as the term wheat alone usually means it is refined from its whole source. Whole wheat crackers, puffed brown rice and whole grain breakfast cereals are common whole grain sources for many individuals, promoted for their fiber and added vitamins and minerals. Gluten-free breads, crackers and cereals can also be made from whole grains, many of which include corn, brown rice, sorghum and quinoa.

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All varieties of pasta can also be good sources of whole grains as long as the pasta is made from whole grain wheat or another unrefined grain source. Brown rice pasta and buckwheat pasta are good gluten-free whole grain sources, as are quinoa, corn and millet pasta. Commercial or homemade muffins can also be good whole grain sources as long as these items contain predominately unrefined wheat or other whole grains. Although white flour is still wheat, it is not considered a whole grain since the germ and the endosperm have been removed during processing.

Oatmeal is a popular whole grain cereal that can be used in many recipes and is common in health circles for its proven benefits in cholesterol reduction. Other whole grain sources that aren't commonly known, like buckwheat and quinoa, are both high in fiber and protein and can be used to replace rice and oats in some recipes. Since unrefined corn is considered a whole grain source, corn chips, tortillas and whole grain cornmeal are all considered to be good whole grain sources. Cereals containing puffed wheat can also count as a whole grain source, yet most nutritionists do warn against these types of breakfasts cereals due to their high sugar content.

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