All About Whole Grains: 101

Glossary:

Legumes: plants in the pea or bean family, which produce an elongated pod containing large starchy seeds. Examples: green peas, kidney beans, and peanuts.

Whole Grain: The entire kernel of grain including the bran layers, the germ, and the endosperm.

Bran: The protective outer layers of whole grains. It is a concentrated source of dietary fiber.

Germ: The embryo or sprouting portion of a kernel of grain. It contains oil, protein, fiber, and vitamins

Endosperm: The largest portion of a kernel of grain. It is primarily starch and serves as a food supply for the sprouting seed.

Added Sugar: Sugars and syrups that have been added to foods during processing or preparation

Fiber: A mixture of indigestible cabohydrates and lignins that is found in plants.

During refining and processing steps, many of the nutrients and other healthy components (phytochemicals) of the kernel are lost. The whole grain includes the bran, the germ, and the endosperm (starch). In the body during digestion and absorption all sources of foods containing sugars and starches are converted eventually to glucose, thereby affecting blood glucose. Fiber is not digested for the most part thereby providing no energy source for the cells. The current theory is that some fibers can be digested by the bacteria found in the microbiome.

Note: If the bran and germ are removed during processing, look how much fiber is removed from the whole grain (about 18.3 grams). That leaves 4 grams in the endosperm.

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