Whole Grains vs Refined Grains.

Striving to eat more "natural" food is usually a great goal for Healthy Nutrition and when it comes to grains it is clear that Whole Grains make a better option than processed, refined grains, but are they always the right choice for you?

Here's an article from Precision Nutrition to discuss the differences and potential benefits of both...

“Whole grains are always better than refined grains.”

As nutrition maxims go, this one seems pretty rock solid. Most everyone agrees with it, no matter what their nutrition camp. (And this is true even if said camp is anti-grain.) But is it really a universal food truth—one that applies to everyone, all the time? We say it’s not. That might be an unpopular take, we know. After all, whole grains are closer to a whole food than the refined kind.

Fun fact: All store-bought grains are processed Unlike refined grains, they preserve the nutrition-packed bran and germ—which contain phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. And that provides a host of benefits, as you can see in the chart below.

There’s a flip side, though: For certain folks, under certain conditions, refined grains can actually offer advantages over whole grains. Here’s why...

Make no mistake: We’re not saying to eschew your sprouted grain bread for Wonder. Nor are we suggesting refined grains are just as nutritious as whole grains. We are, however, saying this: While whole grains are usually a better choice than refined grains, it’s not as straightforward as many people think. It all depends on who’s doing the eating—and their goals, preferences, and health status. If you want to learn more on this topic, check out our infographic: The Truth About Whole Grains vs. Refined Grains

10-Second Takeaways

  • If you want to lose fat, consume whole grains most of the time. They’ll help you feel full longer.

  • If you’re trying to pack on muscle, allow for some refined grains, especially if you’re struggling to eat enough.

  • If you’re recovering from a stomach bug, use refined white rice or toast to settle your stomach.

  • If you have GI issues, such as IBS, choose mostly whole grains but use lower-fiber refined grains to soothe flare-ups.

  • If your diet is mostly (80-90 percent) whole food, there’s probably room for refined grains if you enjoy them.

Hope it helps!


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