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Whole Grains

Whole grains are the seeds of grasses. The grass family is one of the largest plant families on our planet (more than 10,000 kinds) and one of the most abundant. Grasses grow on all continents including Antarctica, and have always been a major food source for the human race as well as for many of the other animals who share our world.


Whole grains were the first food humans learned to cultivate, marking our transition from hunter-gatherers to agricultural societies. The various grasses that grew in different parts of the world - rice, corn, wheat, rye, oats, quinoa, amaranth, teff, millet - became the "staff of life" for ancient societies. Our ancestors relied heavily on grains because they are easy to grow and store; and they are excellent food, providing lots of carbohydrates for energy plus protein, fat, vitamins and minerals.


Today we have dozens of varieties of whole grains, and a huge array of whole-grain products to choose from. There are so many choices that you don't ever need to eat foods made from refined grains (white flour, white rice or milled corn) that have had valuable nutrients and fiber removed. If you are concerned about gluten sensitivity, see Gluten Free Diets.

If you are trying to lose weight or are diabetic, try to use actual whole grains (whole seeds such as brown rice, wild rice or barley) as often as possible. These are marked with the symbol.

Read more about these wonderful foods in the Using Whole Grains section.


Whole Grains
Buckwheat groats
Corn, dried
Kasha, whole (buckwheat)
Kashi (mixed grains)
Oat groats, rolled or steel cut oats
Popcorn (air popped)
Rice, black, Japonica
Rice, brown, basmati
Rice, brown, jasmine
Rice, brown, long grain
Rice, brown, medium grain
Rice, brown, short grain
Rice, brown, other varieties
Rice, wild & brown mix
Rye Berries
Wheat berries, all varieties
Wheat berries, sprouted
Wild rice
Any other whole grains (seeds)
Whole Grain Productss
Couscous, whole wheat
Wheat, cracked
Wheat germ
Whole grain pastas
Whole grain breads
Whole grain cereals
Other whole grain products

July 30th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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