The Difference Between Whole Grains and Refined Grains

by Galin Djagarov July 07, 2020

The Difference Between Whole Grains and Refined Grains

 

All sorts of grains are decent providers of complex carbs and essential nutrients, yet whole grains are generally touted as the healthiest type of grains, which makes them a necessary part of a well-balanced diet.

Grains are innately rich in fiber, and they leave you feeling satisfied and happy, making it simpler to sustain appropriate body weight.

However, we're sure that everyone's heard that whole grains are healthier than refined grains. 

But have you ever wondered why? 

I've rounded up all the differences that come to mind between whole grains and refined grains. 

 

What Do We Know About Whole Grains?

Whole grains are the grains that are fully preserved, as their name suggests. They weren't segregated into or modified into their core parts.

For instance, a grain kernel comprises three parts: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. 

If the kernel still includes these three segments without modification, it is regarded as a whole grain. Several of the most popular whole grains are wheat, maize, buckwheat, oats, brown rice, and barley.

These grains are considered to be organic and have not undergone any intensive industrial processing.

 

What Do We Know About Refined Grains?

If one or other parts of the grain are taken away or altered in any manner, that grain does not remain a whole grain anymore. 

Corn that has absent or changed sections is classified as processed oil. 

For instance, white bread is a form of refined grain as it lacks both the bran part and the germ part. In comparison, all three elements are retained by brown rice, so it is a whole grain.

But many refined grains are enriched and fortified as well. 

This implies the incorporation of additional nutrients with certain essential nutrients that don't exist naturally in them.

Enriched grains lose fiber, and they are not an ideal option since many essential vitamins and minerals are missing through manufacturing, though they have residues of nutrients.

 

Why Are Whole Grains Considered a Healthy Option? 

Bran and germ are, by definition, the healthiest parts of the grain kernel, which is the reason for declaring whole grains as the healthier choice.

The bran has many layers of fiber-rich tissue. It also includes B vitamins, enzymes, essential micronutrients. 

The germ is the tiniest whole grain part. Like bran, B vitamins, phytonutrients, and metabolites are found in the germ and vitamin E. 

The endosperm is the most detailed part of the plant. The endosperm is recognized for its complex carbs and its proteins. It also includes vitamins and nutrients, though not as many as those present in germ and bran.

 

Why Are Refined Grains Considered Less Healthy than Whole Grains?

Consuming whole grains will bring a lot of health benefits, and you will waste a ton when you prefer processed grains. Refined grains have only about a quarter of the nutrient content as compared to whole grains. This includes grinding the grain and starch, robbing it of essential nutrients. 

The cycle of enrichment helps to reinstate nutrients into the final product. The additional nutrients are not the same as those derived, so they are not in similar proportions as the vitamins and minerals that exist naturally.

 

Final Word 

Grains are a staple food source and an essential part of a well-balanced diet. However, the significant difference between whole wheat grains and refined grains is the nutrient content, which is greater in whole grains, making them the healthier option. 

Galin Djagarov
Galin Djagarov


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