An Essential List of Whole Grains
As I mentioned, there are a lot more whole grains than just wheat, rice, and corn. There are two main categories, biologically speaking: true grains and pseudo-grains. Here’s a reasonably comprehensive list of each, courtesy of the Whole Grains Council:
- True grains
- Rice (including brown rice, red rice, and black rice)*
- Wild rice (not technically rice — it’s one of four species of grass)*
- Unhulled Barley (hull-less and lightly pearled barley are not technically whole grains)
- Wheat and wheat berries (including bulgur)
- Corn (avoid labels that say “degerminated” where the germ and bran are removed, and look for the words “whole corn”)*
- Rye and rye berries
Grains marked with an asterisk are naturally gluten-free. Some grains may also have cross-contamination from gluten-containing grains, so if you have celiac disease or need to avoid gluten make sure you buy certified gluten-free if you’re not sure. Some whole grain products that are naturally gluten-free may also be mixed with a gluten-containing grain. Make sure to read the ingredient label carefully if gluten is a concern.
When possible, purchase organic whole grains to avoid glyphosate and other pesticide contamination.