What's behind the whole grains label

So, you are striving to follow the USDA Food plate and get six one-ounce servings of grain, with over half of those servings being whole grains? How do you find that much whole grain when you are grocery shopping? Conveniently, the stamp shown to the right was created by the Whole Grains Council as a way to assist those consumers who are trying to improve their health by eating more whole grains.

Eating three whole grain food products labeled “100% Whole Grain” reaches the whole grain daily recommendation (16 grams = 1 serving), as does consuming six products labeled with ANY Whole Grain Stamp (8 grams = ½ serving).

Whole grains can come in several different forms: whole, cracked, split, or ground. They can be milled into flour or used as ingredients in breads, cereals, or other foods. If a food label declares that the product contains whole grains, regardless of the Whole Grains Stamp, the “whole grain” part of the food inside is required to have essentially the same ratios of bran, germ and endosperm as the harvested kernel does before it is processed.

The Whole Grains Council established guidelines for manufacturers to be able to utilize the stamps on their products – they must be members of the Whole Grains Council, file each participating product with the Council, and legally abide by the rules and guidelines of the stamp program. Therefore, that guarantees, you, the consumer, that if the product you are purchasing has this distinguishable black and yellow stamp on it, it then contains at least half a serving of whole grains.

As of August 2012, the Whole Grains Stamp is on over 7500 different products in 36 countries. The Stamp is already present on a variety of products, including: bread, cereal, cake, cookies, crackers, granola, soups, stuffing, pie crusts, tortillas, chips, energy bars, pretzels, popcorn, pasta, flour, bagels, veggie burgers, mixes, wraps and more.

So, to help steer that shopping cart toward the proudly displayed Whole Grains Stamp, please visit: http://www.wholegrainscouncil.org/find-whole-grains/stamped-products for more information.

Information from: Go with the Grain, www.foodpyramid.com and Whole Grains Council