The truth about whole wheat and 'whole-grain' bread

   Many will tell you that eating a diet rich in whole grains is one of the best ways to get fiber, anti-oxidants and other nutrients that can help fight weight gain, cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Bus as it is, only 8% of U.S adults eat the three servings a day recommended by the federal government.Complicating things is the fact that finding foods that live up to their whole-grain and high-fiber promises can be tough. Grocery-store shelves are bulging with breads, cereals, crackers and even pizza dough bearing claims that they’re “made with whole grains,” and the market for such foods is expected to grow nearly 7% per year, to an estimated $46.2 billion by 2022.The problem is that many of those products aren’t the wholesome foods brimming with 100% grains that they appear to be, thanks to few standards for guiding whole-grain claims. The term whole grain is now largely meaningless.If you want to make the healthiest shopping choices, heed the following advice from leading health experts and learn to decipher ingredient labels. Keep an eye out for these five factors. 1. “Made with whole grains” is a red flag. If whole grains are listed first, great. But if the next two or three are refined flours, it’s probably not a very healthy choice. 2. Even superfine flours can be called “Whole Grain.” Researchers believe that the digestive system absorbs finely milled grains more quickly, and since grains are carbohydrates, that sends blood-sugar levels spiking, which may contribute to weight gain and even diabetes. Whole kernel grains take longer to digest and may help in avoiding unhealthy states. 3. Fiber-Content claims can be misleading. Too many grain-based foods are bulked up with added fiber, in the form of cellulose or insulin, which may not have the same health benefits as the naturally occurring kind present in grains when they’re intact. 4. Multigrain is a very tricky word. We’re wired to think that anything that says multi grains must be a healthy choice, right? Maybe not. Multigrain says nothing about whether grains are whole or refined. 5. Not all whole grains are healthy. Just because something contains whole grains doesn’t mean it’s a health food. Cereals and snack bars, for example can be made with whole grains-but can also be loaded with sugar, salt and artificial ingredients.