Whole Grains vs Refined Grains
Difference between whole grains and refined grains is something that you should know about when you are adding grain to your meal. Whole grain and refined grain are classifications of grains. An overwhelming majority of foods that we eat such as bread, oatmeal, pasta, breakfast cereals and even tortillas, come from grains. All such recipes are made up of grains such as wheat, rice, cornmeal, barley or any other cereal grain. Grains are classified as whole grains and refined grains depending upon their processing. Whole grains are preferred over refined grains because of many reasons; mainly because of health benefits. Let us see what the difference between whole grains and refined grains is.
A grain has three main body parts.
Bran – this is the outer protective coating, which is rich in fibers and nutrients.
Germ -This is the seed part and hence it is rich in vitamins and minerals as it is able to support new life.
Endosperm – Mainly contains energy in the form of proteins and starches.
What are Whole Grains?
Whole grains are so called as they are whole and all three main parts are intact. This is why they are nutritious and wholesome for our bodies. Whole grains are far more nutritious and healthier than refined grains. Our bodies get more vitamin B, E and folic acid from eating whole grains. Whole grains, containing fibers are good for our bodies as they help us in reducing our weight. Some examples of whole grains are Brown rice, oatmeal, popcorn, muesli, whole wheat bread, and wild rice.
What are Refined Grains?
On the other hand, refined grains are polished, but in the process, lose their bran and germ. What is done then is enriching these grains with supplements such as vitamins and minerals after milling, but they still do not have the same nutritional value as whole grains. So refined grains have a better looking texture and also have a longer shelf life, but they lose on important nutrients such a vitamin B, iron, and fibers. Some very important minerals such as magnesium and zinc, which are present in whole grains are removed from refined grains. So, they lose much of their nutritional value. It is not possible to add fibers to refined grains that they lose in the process of milling. Some examples of refined grains are noodles, crackers, Macaroni, Spaghetti, cornflakes, white bread, and white rice. When buying refined grain products, make sure that the label has the word enriched in the grain name. Otherwise, you may end up eating something that is not nutritious in any way.
What is the difference between Whole Grain and Refined Grain?
• Whole grains retain all three body parts of a grain namely bran, germ as well as the endosperm whereas refined grains lose bran and germ during milling and are left only with endosperm.
• Whole grains are more nutritious than refined grains.
• Whole grains also contain fibers and some important minerals such as magnesium and zinc, which get deleted from refined grains.
• Refined grains have a better texture and longershelf life than whole grains.
• Examples of whole grains are Brown rice, oatmeal, popcorn, muesli, whole wheat bread, wild rice.
• Examples of refined grains are noodles, crackers, Macaroni, Spaghetti, cornflakes, white bread and white rice.
- Oatmeal via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
- White bread by Sannse (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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