Health Advice



Going with the grain

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

Heather Graham ("The Hangover"), Jerry Rice (was a receiver for the 49ers) and DeJuan Wheat (was with the Timberwolves and Grizzlies) are well-known grains -- but are they 100% whole?

We'll leave that answer to movie critics and sports commentators, but we do know that when it comes to ascertaining the whole-grain content of various foods, most people score way below 100%. A study published in Public Health Nutrition found that when presented with mocked-up grain products, 31% of U.S. adults incorrectly identified the healthier options for cereal, and 47% goofed regarding bread. When estimating the whole-grain content of real products, 43% overstated it for honey wheat bread and 51% for 12-grain bread.

Why does this happen? Because of intentional misdirection on the packaging, say researchers from Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Use of words like "multigrain," "whole grains" and "12-grain," as well as packaging that's brown or has an official-looking "whole grain" stamp, is most likely to cause consumers to mistakenly think the food contains highly healthful ingredients. Unfortunately, none of those "signals" tell you the product contains 100-percent whole grain and nothing but that grain.

The researchers point out that 42% of Americans' calories come from low-quality carbohydrates, so it's important to know if you're getting minimally or unprocessed grains. They can help prevent or reverse diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and some cancers. Your smart steps: Only go for products that say "100% Whole Grains," and read nutrition and ingredient labels.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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