Wholey Moley: How to find Wholesome Wholegrain

Written by: Moira Higgins, BSc., MPH (c), Reviewed by Lisa Mina, RD 

It’s important to get your fill of whole grains but what’s the best source? Try the grain family!

As part of a balanced diet, carbohydrates play an important role and can be found in grains. Did you know the average healthy adult, and child over the age of one, need 130g of carbohydrates for proper brain function!The best way to think about grains is to separate them into 2 categories: whole grains and refined grains.

Whole grains: contain the WHOLE grain. all healthy, natural parts of the kernel -or seed- are in the product, such as fibre, protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. Examples of whole grains would be whole oats, brown and wild rice!2

Refined grains: parts of the grain, the bran and germ, have been removed during processing to make the final product a finer texture and have a longer shelf life. Examples of these grains would be white flour or white rice.2

So, which should you choose? Whole Grain the whole way! (or when possible)

Canada’s Food Guide recommends choosing whole grains whenever possible. Even better? Make every serving whole grain!3  Here are two helpful hints: 

  1. Look for the Whole Grain Stamp. In Canada, products must contain at least 8 grams of whole grain per serving to earn the Whole Grain Stamp.4Fun Fact: Goodums™ has earned the Whole Grain Stamp for allbaking mixes!
  2. Check the package label and ingredient list. If the product contains whole grains, the words “whole grain” followed by the type of grain will be in the ingredient list. For example, in Canada, 100% whole wheat or multi grain products may not be whole grain because they do not contain all parts of the grain, but are still a good choice because they contain some dietary fibre which is not found in white bread.2

Now that you know how to pick the whole grain, check out three ways to increase them in your diet.

  1. Have whole oats or whole grain cereals for breakfast.
  2. Use whole grain breads, rolls, tortillas, naan breads for sandwiches or sides.
  3. Try whole grain pastas or do half-and-half with your regular pasta – an easy way to enjoy the food you love.
Stick with your whole grains and you’ll feel a whole lot better! 



  1. Slavin J, Carlson J. Carbohydrates [Internet]. Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.). American Society for Nutrition; 2014 [cited 2020Feb12]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4224210/
  2. Health Canada. Whole Grain -Get The Facts [Internet]. Government of Canada. Government of Canada; 2019 [cited 2020Feb13]. Available from: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/canada-food-guide/resources/healthy-eating-recommendations/eat-a-variety/whole-grain/get-facts.html
  3. Government of Canada. Eat whole grains foods [Internet]. Canada's Food Guide. 2019 [cited 2020Feb12]. Available from: https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/healthy-eating-recommendations/make-it-a-habit-to-eat-vegetables-fruit-whole-grains-and-protein-foods/eat-whole-grain-foods/
  4. The Whole Grains Council. Whole Grain Stamp [Internet]. Oldways Whole Grains Council. [cited 2020Mar2]. Available from: https://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grain-stamp