New Buzzword in Grains? “Intact”
Customers everywhere are embracing whole grains for their many health benefits, and rightfully so. But ask yourself: Does that slice of bread, pizza crust, breakfast cereal or energy bar boasting whole grains truly contain whole grains? Officially, yes. But in fact, that claim in many cases is a bit of a misnomer.
No one’s pulling the wool over your eyes. Indeed, all the parts of the grain kernel—germ, endosperm and bran—are in there, as dictated by law. Often, however, the parts are separated during processing to create flour or another base product that’s both user-friendly and customer-pleasing. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is okay with that, because grains that have been ground, cracked, flaked or otherwise processed are “whole” as long as all three edible parts are still present in their original proportions.
But breaking down a grain alters its glycemic index (GI), which measures how quickly foods can be converted into blood sugar. Foods with a higher GI can make maintaining a healthy weight more difficult, which over time can have consequences from obesity that include heart disease, increased stroke risk, diabetes and more. Conversely, when the kernel is left intact, it “burns” at a slower rate than a processed grain in the gut. That sustained burn extends energy from more-complex carbohydrate while creating a greater, longer-lasting feeling of fullness and satiety.
The bottom line? Food products labeled “whole grain” are good. But products that contain intact whole grains are better.
InHarvest is leading the call for diners and customers to choose intact whole grains whenever and wherever it makes sense. To that end, the company offers dozens of marketable, chef-crafted foodservice recipes featuring intact whole grains and grain blends for all dayparts via its website www.InHarvest.com.