This leftlet explains what wholegrain foods are, and the benefits of eating them.


Wholegrains are seeds of cereal plants which can be found in; wheat, oats, barley, rice, quinoa and maize.

The grain is made of thee constituent parts:

  1. Endosperm which is a key source of starch.
  2. Bran which is a rich source of dietary fibre, B vitamins and phytochemicals
  3. Germ which is a concentrated source of protein, healthy fat, vitamins B and C.

Some studies have demonstrated that a healthy approach to eating which incorporates wholegrain can reduce the risk of:

  • Heart disease.
  • Stoke
  • Certain cancers.
  • Obesity

Inclusion of wholegrain foods can be better for managing blood glucose levels, as they often have a lower Glycaemic Index. However, as wholegrains contain carbohydrates they will affect blood glucose, so it is important to consider portion sizes.

Recommended Amounts 

It is recommended to eat at least 3 servings of wholegrains each day, with 1 serving including the following:

  • 25g porridge oats.
  • 1 bowl muesli (34g).
  • 1 bowl wheat based breakfast cereal (30g).
  • 1 large slice multigrain bread.
  • 1 slice rye bread.
  • 3 oatcakes.
  • 23 g uncooked brown rice or whole wheat pasta.

For a food to be classified as wholegrain, it must contain 51% or more wholegrain ingredients.

When looking at labels, be cautious of terms such as; whole wheat, granary and multigrain as they offer no guarantee the products is made from wholegrains. To be certain, look out for the term wholegrain.

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