Whole grain versions are really better

Whole grain - fully healthy and fully tasty!

What exactly is whole grain?

Every grain of grain, whether wheat, barley, rye or maize, consists of three layers: the outer layer, the endosperm and the germ. The surface layer and the germ are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and high-quality protein. In addition, there are secondary plant substances and unsaturated fatty acids in the germ. The endosperm, on the other hand, consists mainly of starch and gluten. It makes up about 80 percent of all cereal grains.

Whole grain means that a food contains all three components. For example, while white flour (extract flour) sifts out the outer layers and germs, whole grain flour uses the whole (whole) grain.

Whole grains can be used to make bread, pasta, pearl barley, pastries, nibbles, oat flakes or rice. The greater the proportion of wholemeal flour in the food, the more vitamins, minerals, fiber and secondary plant substances are contained.

By the way: Whole wheat flours do not have a type number.

Good for heart attack, stroke, colon cancer and diabetes

Due to the high quality ingredients, whole grain products have many positive effects on health. Studies show that people who consume 30 grams of whole grain products two to three times a day have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, respiratory and infectious diseases.

Whole grain products can also have a positive effect on body weight and composition.

Whole grain products keep you full longer thanks to the high amount of fiber and support digestion. A slice of wholemeal bread contains three times as much fiber as a slice of white bread.

The German Nutrition Society (DGE) therefore advises regular consumption of whole grain products.

Watch out for wholegrain biscuits and breakfast cereals

When it comes to calories, whole grain products are no less than products made from extract flour. In the case of pastries or mueslis, you should also take a closer look at the list of ingredients. Because these are not necessarily healthier. Even if the products are based on whole grains, they can contain a lot of sugar.

If you want to put whole-grain products on your menu, you should therefore use the whole-grain version of pasta, bread or rice.

Whole grains - not everyone can tolerate it

However, whole grain products are not tolerated equally well by everyone.

It can happen that people who have previously consumed bread, cakes and pasta made from extract flours and then switch to whole grains have digestive problems for the first time. The reason for this is that the digestive system first has to get used to the previously "unknown" whole grain. Here it can help to gradually include the unusual foods in the menu and to start with heated, finely ground products.

Sometimes it also depends on the type of grain: Perhaps you can tolerate a millet dish better than whole-grain rye bread, for example? Have you ever tried other types of grain such as emmer, spelled or kamut? See for yourself which products are getting you and which are not.

People who suffer from celiac disease, sprue or wheat sensitivity do not have to go without whole grains. Millet, amaranth, rice, corn, quinoa or buckwheat are gluten-free. Spelled, einkorn, emmer, kamut, oats or barley can be used as alternatives to wheat.

The darker the flour, the more whole grain?

A rule of thumb says: "The darker the flour, the more whole grain it contains". However, you shouldn't just rely on the color of the bread. People like to cheat a little with coloring ingredients such as malt syrup or sugar couleur to make the bread look healthier.

If you want to be on the safe side, consider testing the bread dough, the crumb, instead. If it looks nice and juicy and springs back after being pressed in, it is most likely wholemeal dough. Bread crumb made from white flour remains flat after being pressed in.

The crumb color of the wholemeal bread is also more gray-brown and not too red-brown.

Last but not least, the name also reveals a “fake” whole-grain bread. Because wholemeal is only included where it is really labeled. The term “whole grain” is legally protected. Names such as whole grain, whole grain or whole grain clearly indicate whole grain products, while “grain corner” or “spelled crust” alone do not provide any information about them. Imprints such as “Mehrkorn” or “Bran” are often misunderstood and mistaken for whole grains.

Whom you buy your bot from the bakery, it makes sense to ask which bread is whole grain.

By the way: The degree of grinding of the flour does not provide any information about whether it is whole grain. Whole wheat flour can also be ground very finely. (you)

Status: June 2019