When you’re on a vacation and you get ready for breakfast at the hotel you’re staying, do you also tend to get dubious and lost when the manager asks you about your bread preference? Like, what, whole grain and whole wheat aren’t the same things? Yes, we all are well aware of that feeling.
But don’t worry because you have landed on the ultimate guide about whole grain and whole wheat, so the next time you would know what bread you’re having!
What is the difference between whole grain and whole wheat?
Technically, both whole grain and whole wheat contain all the three parts there are of the grain kernel namely the bran, the endosperm, and the germ. But this is where the principal difference between whole grain and whole wheat tends to strike as the former consists of other grains, however, whole wheat on the other hand only refers to wheat kernels which are not infused with any other grains.
That being cleared, let’s get to the properties and characteristics of both the grains on an individual basis for a better understanding of both.
Unlike refined grains which only contains the endosperm, whole grains are those types of grains that contain all three parts of the grain kernel.
Whole grains can include various types of grains, some of which are listed below:
- Brown rice
It contains high amounts of fibre and magnesium, which is why it is considered to be a healthier alternative than white rice as the latter is artificially enriched with nutrients while the former is naturally rich in such nutrients.
This is one of the major cereal grains that are grown and besides food products, barely is also cultivated for animal fodder and as a source of malt for beer.
This is the by-product in the form of coarse flour that is made out of either steel-cut oat grains or milled ones.
These are small-seeded grasses that are useful in a variety of ways as grains for fodder, cereal crops, or as a source of human food. Millet in its natural form is considered to be a gluten-free product
Whole grain products/foods
Usually, whole grain products tend to have the whole grain stamp on the packaging. But in case if the stamp isn’t there, you should always check on the back of the product packaging and go through the ingredients where you would be able to identify whether or not the product is a whole grain one.
Here is a list of some whole grain snacks for you:
- Whole-grain cereal
- Whole grain toast/crackers
- Whole grain croissants
- Whole-grain muffins
- Whole grain bread
- Whole grain oats/oat products
Whole grains are jam-packed with fibres and nutrients including potassium, magnesium, iron, high amounts of protein and B vitamins, etc… and as these are naturally rich with such nutrients. These are considered to be healthier than almost any other type of grain.
A diet which contains sources of whole grain has even shown to reduce the risk of certain diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. It also significantly helps in getting rid of belly fat.
Overall these tend to improve the digestive health and functioning of your body.
All wheat products are also whole grain, however, not all whole grain products are whole wheat. This is because whole wheat only refers to the wheat kernel which has been left completely intact without being mixed with any other grains, unlike whole grains that are harvested in their original form.
These are present in two distinct forms namely whole form or ground form and the latter is the flour form which tends to retain all the parts of the seed.
Whole wheat products
Here is a list of some whole wheat products:
- Whole wheat bread
- Whole wheat pasta
- Whole wheat crackers
- White whole-wheat bread
Whole wheat benefits
Although whole grain is considered to be a healthier option, whole wheat still has plenty of benefits. It contains a great amount of dietary fibre and proteins along with other important nutrients. This is also why it is regarded as the better choice than regular wheat is.
Besides, whole wheat also contains various antioxidants, minerals, as well as vitamins.
Ways to include whole grain/wheat products in your regular diet
Almost any other product can be transformed into a whole-grain one and all you need to do for that is either buy such a product or use whole grain/wheat flour in the place of your regular flour!
Here are some fun and delicious ways to make your diet a little more on the lines of whole grain:
- The best way is to start your day with a whole grain breakfast; make yourself some whole wheat pancakes or have some whole grain bread/toast with a refreshing glass of juice or smoothie.
- Use whole-wheat tortillas instead of regular ones and make a yummy dinner healthier!
- Shop for whole grain bakery products. Be it bagels, doughnuts, muffins, bread, or croissants, opt for the healthier choice and do so even when you’re making these from scratch at your home.
- Instead of white rice, start developing a taste for brown rice and/or quinoa.
- Infuse some barley or brown rice in your soups and/or stews for a nutrient and fibre-rich meal.
- You can even use whole wheat flour while making pastries!
Both whole grain and whole wheat are extremely healthy and whatever food you pair it up with, it is going to grant you numerous health benefits. It might take some time for you to develop a taste for it, but once you do, there is no going back. And the best way to do that is to include it in some or the other way in your diet and keep consuming it in even small amounts but regularly for significant results.