This category includes quinoa, which is technically a seed, and buckwheat, which is actually a grass. Both of these grains can serve as healthy alternatives to whole grains.
What Makes Whole Grains Different from Refined Grains? Nutritional guidelines recommend choosing whole grains over refined grains. however, what exactly distinguishes whole grains from refined grains?1 Whole grains contain the majority of the grain as it was grown by the grain plant. The outer casing or inner seed is removed from refined grains through processing—refinement.
Whole grains and the flour that is produced from them do not produce baked goods that are light and fluffy, so food product manufacturers may tend to avoid them for some products. Whole grains and the original grain parts contain fiber as well as other nutrients and are beneficial to health.
What is a grain exactly?
Wheat, corn, rice, sorghum, barley, millet, rye, and oats are all examples of grains. The harvest consists of the grain plant’s seed, also known as the kernel. It contains three sections:
Bran: The stringy shell covering the whole portion
Endosperm: The starchy portion of the grain that is immediately beneath the bran Germ: The part of the seed that has the potential to develop into another grain plant. The endosperm is the largest part of the kernel, while the germ is the smallest. The germ is the only part of the kernel that contains healthy fats; the rest of the kernel contains nutrients. The majority of the fiber in the kernel is found in the bran.
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What about grains without gluten?
The three gluten grains (wheat, barley, and rye) must be avoided if you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity4. Other grains are fine as long as they have not been cross-contaminated with glutinous grains (common with oats).
Refined-Grain Gluten-Free Flour Despite the fact that some manufacturers of gluten-free products use whole gluten-free grains to make healthier bread, the vast majority of gluten-free products that are available on the market are made with refined gluten-free flour.
Because of this, many people who eat gluten-free don’t get enough fiber or B vitamins.5 If you don’t eat gluten, you might have to look for other ways to get these nutrients.
Whole-Grain Gluten-Free Flour Whole-grain gluten-free flour is an option. King Arthur Flour, for instance, produces a certified gluten-free flour blend. However, the majority of cup-for-cup gluten-free flours contain refined grains, the most common of which is white rice.
Also, when you talk about gluten-free whole grains, you should know that some of the things we think of as “grains” are actually completely different kinds of plants.