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Whole Grain Guide: 16 You Need to Try

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Whole grains, explained

by Jillian Thaw

So just what is a whole grain? It's exactly that: the entire grain, including the germ, endosperm, and bran. "That's opposite of refined grains, which have been stripped of fiber and nutrients," says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Health.com's contributing nutrition editor. "Whole grains expose your body to a much broader spectrum of nutrients." That includes protein, fiber, iron, B vitamins, trace minerals and antioxidants. Plus, studies show that people who consume whole grains tend to be thinner and at a lower risk for diabetes and dementia.

The USDA recommends adults get at least three servings of whole grains a day—but that doesn't necessarily mean three helpings of bread or pasta. Read on to discover 16 whole grains and how to use them.

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