Difference between Multigrain, Whole Grain, and Whole Wheat

Key Difference: Multigrain is a term used when a product incorporates more than one grain in the ingredients, but the grains used may not be whole. Whole grain basically means that that whatever grain is used is being used whole, so it also includes all of the fiber, vitamins and everything else that the grain comes with. The whole wheat label means that the wheat that is used in the product is whole and unrefined, leaving the healthy endospearm and bran.

Once upon a time, eating healthy was considered as an individual choice, it has now become a mainstream trend. Now, many people are learning the benefits of eating right and leading a healthy lifestyle. Whole grains, organic, low carbs, sugar free and many such words are now creeping up on people’s shopping lists. Gone are the days of unlimited take outs, people are now learning to make easily and healthy meals at home.

Making the choice of healthy eating is just the start, now comes the hard part of actually following through. Healthy options also come with many new terms and confusion. Many things falsely promote themselves as healthier options, but are actually not. Hence, it is utmost important to understand what one is purchasing. The first thing that needs to be changed is bread and flour that is used as it is an important part of everyone’s meal. People who are looking at healthy flour and bread options often come across words such as multigrain, whole grain, whole wheat. To an untrained eye these words mean the same, but they are actually not.

The three words actually mean different things and one should look at the ingredients when they purchase something. The term multigrain is often touted as the healthier option but it is actually not always a healthier option. Multigrain is a term used when a product incorporates more than one grain in the ingredients. So, multi grain could include wheat, barley, corn, etc. However, the catch is that the grains used may not be whole so the product ends up becoming unhealthy. Refined grains do not have any health benefits, so if a product uses refined anything, it usually means that the product is not really a healthier option.

On the other hand whole grain and whole wheat are much healthier options. A rule of thumb to understand the difference between these two words is that whole wheat is a type of whole grain, while not all whole grains are whole wheat. Whole grain basically means that that whatever grain is used is being used whole, so it also includes all of the fiber, vitamins and everything else that the grain comes with.

The whole wheat label means that the wheat that is used in the product is whole and unrefined, leaving the healthy endospearm and bran. Unrefined products also have many more nutrients like B vitamins and trace metals like iron, zinc, and copper. However, one must be careful not to confuse a product that has a label of ‘100 percent wheat’ with ‘whole wheat’. These are not the same thing! 100 percent wheat basically means that the product only uses wheat and not other grains, but the wheat can be unrefined as well. The best way is to purchase a product is to look for whole wheat in the ingredient list.

It is often best to read the ingredient list before purchasing a product. There are a lot of companies that provide false or exaggerated information on their products.

Comparison between Multigrain, Whole Grain, and Whole Wheat:

 

Multigrain

Whole Grain

Whole Wheat

Includes

May or may not include the endospearm and bran

Includes the endospearm and the bran in addition to the grain

Includes endospearm and the bran of wheat

Limited to one grain

Not limited to only one grain

Full grain is used of one or more grains

Includes all parts of wheat

Health

May or may not be healthy

Is healthy

Is healthy

Refined

Can be refined

May or may not be refined

Unrefined

Image Courtesy: happymomblogger.wordpress.com, grainmaker.com, jessainscough.com

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