All grains start life as whole grains.
In their natural state growing in the fields, whole grains are the entire seed of a plant. This seed is made up of three key parts: the bran, the germ and the endosperm.
What makes whole grains healthy?
Whole grains are composed of the entire kernel the bran, germ and endosperm and are an important source of antioxidants, fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and numerous other vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. As part of a healthy diet, whole grains may reduce the risks associated with heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and obesity.
Whole grains may be eaten whole, cracked, split or ground. They can be milled into flour or used to make breads, cereals and other foods. If a food label states that the package contains whole grain, the "whole grain" part of the food inside the package is required to have virtually the same proportions of bran, germ and endosperm as the harvested kernel does before it is processed.
Where can you find whole grains?
USDA's MyPlate suggests consuming at least three one-ounce servings of whole grains each day, but currently Americans are only consuming about one. Use this helpful Whole Grain Product Finder to make finding whole grains a snap.