The 1:10 Rule for Choosing Whole Grains

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Current scientific evidence indicates that whole grains play an important role in lowering the risk of chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and also contribute to body weight management and gastrointestinal health.

Determining whether a product you are considering purchasing is indeed whole grain can be confusing. One way is to use the whole grain stamp.

Another way to determine carbohydrate quality has been developed by a recent Harvard study which offers a simple way to increase the odds of choosing wisely. Look for less than a 10-to-1 ratio of “total carbohydrates” to “fiber” on the nutrition label of whole-grain products. For every 10 grams of carbohydrate there should be at least one gram of fiber. Why 10:1? That’s about the ratio of fiber to carbohydrate in a genuine whole grain—unprocessed wheat.

Divide the grams of carbohydrates by 10. If the grams of fiber is at least as large as the answer, the food meets the 1:10 rule.

In the nutrition label shown here, for example, one serving of this whole-grain roll has 23 grams of carbohydrate. Divide that by 10 and you get 2.3. It also has 5 grams of dietary fiber, which is greater than 2.3. That signals a healthy whole-grain food.Roll Label for Whole Grains

Whole grain bread and cereals are great ways to eat whole grains.

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