You’re Being Duped by Your Grocery Store! Watch out for Those “Whole Grain” Products!

I was shocked recently when I took a visit to my local supermarket and decided to actually read the labels. Normally, I go about my business, buying whole grain products thinking I’m making a great nutritional decision.Unfortunately, this little shopping trip quickly made me realize that all whole grain products aren’t good for you at all, and you’re being sold a bill of goods by half the products out on the market claiming to be ‘healthy’.

Food made from white flour fall into the category we all try to avoid of bad carbs. These are the bad foods that will make your metabolic level increase and decrease drastically, which is hard on your body. White flour also doesn’t really provide any nutritional value at all; it is pretty worthless in giving your body anything valuable that it can use to sustain energy. White flour turns into sugar just about as soon as you eat it, which makes your blood sugar go up and down.

Whole wheat on the other hand is digested a lot slower than white flour. The reason for this is that it has more fiber in it, which is harder and slower for the body to break down. Because it is a slower process, you get the benefit of the food but your blood sugar doesn’t go up or down rapidly, it is slowly released.

Eating white flour foods is a contributor to obesity and diabetes. Many of the ‘whole grain’ products being advertised aren’t whole grain at all; some are less than 50% whole grain! How is this even legal! Busy people trust the labels to not be false advertising. The food companies have done everything that they can do to sell their products no matter what they may claim and find ways to market their products by testing the boundaries of what is allowed, and what is morally the correct thing to do.

Many people are convinced they are making smart food choices by choosing whole grain products. A quick trip down the bread or pasta aisle will show you a plethora of whole grain products. Over the years, the look of the bread aisle has gone from primarily white breads and pastas to featuring even more of the whole grain variety.

The problem comes in when you really examine the products- most of them are not entirely whole grain. This is the case for the rice, cereals, crackers, and other products that you are buying, thinking you’re making smart food decisions.

The food producers realized that we are all on a quest to make smarter food choices. Obesity and heart disease are epidemics in this country, and our doctors are touting whole grain products to help us live healthier lives. But the food companies also realize that we’re in a hurry, and likely to just buy whatever brand announces “WHOLE GRAIN!!” the largest on the label.

So now that you realize you’ve been duped, what can you do about it? Take time to inspect the labels. If a product really is completely whole grain, it will brag amount it on the label. If a product is not 100% whole grain, you’ll probably see that big “WHOLE GRAIN” label I warned you about, but smaller, you’ll likely see something like “45% whole grain” underneath it in tiny letters.

Another way to tell is if you see a note saying ‘created’ or ‘made’ with whole wheat- that means it may contain some whole wheat, but it isn’t entirely whole wheat. If you see ‘multigrain’, that is also a telltale sign that you’re looking at a product that is only partially whole wheat.

If you’re still having a problem determining what you’re looking at- take a brief look at the ingredient list. The first ingredient should be ‘whole wheat flour’, not flour or wheat flour, which means white flour. ‘Whole wheat flour’ shows that the flour they used to make the product was created using whole grains from wheat.

If you can’t tell, pass on it, and buy another product. There are enough clearly labeled products out there that you should be able to find one that is whole wheat. Whether it takes a few extra minutes, or even a few extra dollars, whole wheat bread, pasta and other items are well worth it.

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Comments

  1. It’s just one disappointment after another. I’ve been paying extra to feed my family the so called “Whole Grain” and now I learn about this. Don’t get me wrong I’m happy to learn the truth, but it’s just so disappointing how these companies get away with false advertising. I hear that it’s the same thing with organic foods. They changed the term for ‘organic’ into something totally different when they deal with the law and now organic isn’t so much organic as it used to mean. Just watch your back people.

  2. Shane, you are right about the whole grain stuff showing the little grains in it. The easiest way to make sure that is what you are getting is to make it your self if you have a bread maker. I want healthy food to be cheaper than they junk food for once then maybe we would see a decline in obesity. Maybe that is what the first lady should work on.

    • Hi! Good question. You should look at what you are also eating throughout the day and balance your carbs with other good, nutrition such as protein, fruits and vegetables.

  3. I love whole wheat bread but when I see it in the grocery stores I want to scream because like your title says people are being duped because that is not whole grain. You can get actual whole grain bread at the whole food store and health food store but the stuff at the regular store isn’t whole grain. You have a great article here keep exposing the lies.

  4. Whole grain is something that people like to throw around now because it makes everyone think that they are eating healthy. When you eat something called whole grain you should be able to see the grains in it otherwise I would not call it whole grain. Great article please keep posting more health tips if you would.

  5. I guess this goes to show you that you have to grow your own food in order to know what you are getting for sure. Which means you would have to grind the wheat in order to make flour to make bread etc. but that is what we would have to do in order to not be duped anymore by the food makers. It is frustrating that they think they have to lie.

  6. I think some people call it whole grain but in actuality they took the whole grain and ground it to a pulp before using it in the bread or what ever. The best bread for you is the one that you can physically see kernels of the grain in. I understand that it makes for an uncomfortable thing when you eat it and get those caught in your teeth but it is better.

  7. I hate the fact that when I go to the store I can’t even trust the labels on the product that I’m about to buy. I try to watch what I eat and eat what is good for me but when you can’t tell if the label is true or not how are you supposed to do that? Now I know why I can’t lose weight while eating what I thought I was supposed to.

    • White flour has all the good nutrients taken out. Brown or whole wheat, contains bran wheat germ. This stems from practices of the last century, where people thought refining meant purity. They did it to flour, sugar, salt, etc.It probably grew out of racial prejudice.

  8. You know there is so much information out there like this that I think people are just confused as to what really works. I have had to take a step back and really research my ancestors because I figured out they were all thin and so I started looking at what they ate and if they didn’t grow it they didn’t eat it. That is what I am trying to get back to as well.

  9. This all makes perfectly good sense but how is it that Sara Lee makes a whole grain white bread? I was looking at the other day and it stumped me, now granted I didn’t take the time to look at the label to see what the first ingredient was so I am not sure exactly what was in it. But I did look and it is white so it can’t be whole grain right?

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