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What food label terms should I avoid when buying whole grains?

Stefanie Sacks, MS
Nutrition & Dietetics
When buying whole grains, you want to avoid bleached flours and choose ingredients that are intact and whole. Watch me explain why whole grain labels can be confusing, and what to look out for in the ingredient list.
Not all foods that tout whole grains or whole wheat provide it in the healthiest form. Here are a few fake-out words and phrases to watch for:
  • Made with. It may have a drop of whole grains, but unless it's made entirely with them, you won't reap all the potential benefits.
  • Multigrain. This tells you nothing about whether the grains are whole or refined. Getting 38 different grains isn't much good if they're all refined.
  • Whole grain. If the label doesn't say "100% whole grain," it may have many grain blends. Bad words to see paired with "flour": enriched, bleached, unbleached, semolina, durum, and rice.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.