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.

Rate this page

Give us your feedback on this page