What do whole wheat, whole grain and multigrain mean?

- We live in a world where it's getting easier to eat healthy and learn about your food's ingredients. For that reason, Orwashers Bakery owner Keith Cohen is stepping up his store's whole grain options. Cohen admits that making whole grain products is a bit more expensive, but that it is totally worth it because that is what his customers want.

"Grain bread metabolizes very differently for people and really with modern diet a lot of people are not getting enough fiber and they're not getting the nutritional benefits in their daily eating," Cohen said.

Registered dietitian Lindsay Rosen warns that when it comes to bread products, many people don't actually know the difference between whole wheat, whole grain and multigrain.

"What I tell my clients is that wheat bread, bread that just appears brown, is basically glorified white bread," Rosen said. "So what that means is it's white bread dyed brown. We think it's healthy because it's brown. That's not the case."

So the word "wheat" isn't enough. Lindsay said you want the word "whole" to always come before it. Also, "whole wheat" means it's the whole form of wheat, which is just one type of grain. "Whole grain" could mean it's the whole form of any type of grain. 

"It could have millet, rye, barley, flax," Rosen said.

Multigrain means several grains together, but if it doesn't have the word "whole" in front of it, processed grains could be in the mix.

Lindsay's advice for when you want to buy whole wheat or whole grain products is to always check the labels, most specifically the ingredient list. She said what you buy should always be in its whole form. Also, it should have at least 3 grams of dietary fiber.

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