How to Spot Real Whole Grain Products with the Whole Grain Stamp

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Whole Grain StampThe Whole Grains Council has created an official packaging symbol called the Whole Grain Stamp that helps consumers find real whole grain products.

There are two different Stamps, the Basic Stamp and the 100% Stamp. Both however will tell you how many grams of whole grains are in the product.

  • If a product has the 100% Stamp, then all its grain ingredients are whole grains. There is a minimum requirement of 16 grams.
  • If a product has the Basic Stamp, it contains at least 8 grams of whole grain, but may also contain some refined grain. It also contains extra bran, germ, or refined flour.

Your goal is to eat a total of 48 grams of whole grains daily.

Some products don’t have the Stamp yet. So first, check the package label. Many whole grain products not yet using the Stamp will list the grams of whole grain somewhere on the package, or say something like “100% whole wheat.” Clues: Whole grain ___, whole wheat, whole___, stoneground ___, brown rice, oats, wheatberries.

Be skeptical if you see the words “whole grain” without more details, such as “crackers made with whole grain.” The product may contain only minute amounts of whole grains and some healthy parts of the grain may be missing. Clues:  Wheat, semolina, organic flour, enriched flour, stoneground, multigrain.

If the first ingredient listed has the word “whole” it is likely that the product is predominantly whole grain. If there are several grain ingredients, the situation gets more complex.

Can you determine if a product is truly whole grain from fiber content? NO. Fiber content varies from grain to grain. And high-fiber products sometimes contain added fibers without actually having much if any actual whole grain. Both fiber and whole grains have been shown to have health benefits. But they’re not interchangeable.

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