What is the difference between whole grain and refined grain products?

Whole grains contain the whole grain, which is made up of bran, germ and endosperm. Refined grains are ground (ground to make flour or flour) so that the bran and germ are removed. Whole grains offer a “full package of health benefits,” unlike refined grains, which are deprived of valuable nutrients in the refining process. All grains begin their life as whole grains.

In their natural state when grown in fields, whole grains are the whole seed of a plant. This seed (also called “grain”) is made up of three edible parts (the bran, the germ and the endosperm) protected by an inedible shell that protects the grain from attacks of sunlight, pests, water and diseases. A study revealed that inconsistent food labeling means that foods identified as “whole” are not always healthy.

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