Whole Wheat vs Whole Grain: Difference and Comparison

There is a growing consciousness among the food choices that we make every day. Various products claim to be healthy and are widely consumed by people.

The two such products are whole wheat and whole grain. Both products have health-promoting properties and help in the management of weight and blood sugar levels.

Key Takeaways

  1. Whole wheat products contain all parts of the wheat kernel, while whole grain products can include a variety of grains, not just wheat.
  2. Whole grain products offer a wider range of nutrients and flavors, including grains like oats, barley, and rice.
  3. Both whole wheat and whole grain products provide higher fiber content and health benefits than refined grain products.

Whole Wheat vs Whole Grain

Whole wheat is used to describe wheat grains that have not had their bran and germ removed during processing. Whole grain is used to describe grains that have not had their bran, germ, or endosperm removed, and can include a variety of grains beyond wheat, such as oats, barley, and rice.

Whole Wheat vs Whole Grain
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Whole wheat is a term that refers to specific products. The whole refers to the wheat kernel, which comprises the bran, endosperm, and germ in intact condition.

There are various products available of whole wheat are – flour, oatmeal, bulgur (cracked wheat), brown rice, and cornmeal.

On the other hand, whole grain is a term that refers to a wide range of products. The grain types which are present in whole grain are barley, rye, teff, amaranth, millet, quinoa, corn, sorghum, triticale, and rice.

There are three main products of whole-grain – cereals, minor cereals, and pseudocereals.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonWhole WheatWhole Grain
Constituents Whole wheat is solely made of wheat kernel Wholegrain contains different types of grains other than the wheat kernel
Nutritional valueThe term is used for a specific range of products. Rich source of fiber, healthy fats, minerals like iron, and multiple vitamins like vitamin B6
Health benefits It can reduce the risk of diseases like coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases. It can reduce the risk of diseases like coronary heart diseases, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases.
Term specificity It does not contain any grain. It can reduce the risk of diseases like heart disease, obesity, cognition, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases and has an effect on gastrointestinal health.
Grain types It does not contain any grain It can reduce the risk of diseases like coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases.

What is Whole Wheat?

Whole wheat refers to bread that is made from wheat kernels entirely. The wheat kernel is left completely intact. Whole wheat is not mixed or altered with other types of grains.

Whole wheat flour is used for baking bread and other goods. The flour of whole wheat is known as wheatberry.

The term whole is used for products that contain the entire wheat kernel. The wheat kernel is whole wheat that contains all three components that are bran, endosperm, and germ of the kernel.

In many breads of white and wheat, the germ and the bran are filtered out, reducing the bread’s nutritional value.

Whole wheat is a rich source of vital nutrients like protein, fiber, and various minerals and vitamins. Whole wheat is boosted with micronutrients.

Research has proven that whole wheat has decreased the risk of several chronic health conditions like stroke, diabetes, cancer, and other heart diseases.

Whole wheat is a type of whole grain. The original parts of the kernel are retained in whole wheat. For example, manufacturers would use an entire wheat kernel in whole wheat bread.

Some whole wheat products even contain gluten which can trigger coeliac diseases.

whole wheat

What is Whole Grain?

Whole grain refers to cereals and pseudocereals that consist of endosperm, bran, and germ. Whole grain contains other grains in the products like barley, rye, teff, amaranth, millet, quinoa, corn, sorghum, triticale, rice, and even wheat.

Whole grains are products that contain multiple nutrients, dietary fibers, and vitamins.

Whole grain is found in three main types of products cereals, minor cereals, and pseudocereals. The serials can further be divided into wheat rice, barley, maize, rye, and oats.

The minor cereals can be divided into millets, teff, job’s tears, sorghum, canary grass, fonio, wild rice, Asian millet, and black fonio. And the category of pseudocereals is divided into quinoa, Amarnath, buckwheat, and Tartary buckwheat.

Whole grains are used in daily servings and are mainly recommended for children and adult consumption. Wholegrain helps children during their period of growth.

Some forms of whole grains even contain casein, the main protein in milk, and many essential amino acids. Since whole grain is an umbrella term, various products fall under the category of whole grain.

The American Association of Serial Chemists defines wholegrain as “that shall consist of the intact, cracked, ground or flaked caryopsis, whose principal anatomical component – the starchy endosperm, germ, and bran – are present in the same relative proportions as they exist in the intact caryopsis.”

grain

Main Differences Between Whole Wheat And Whole Grain

  1. Whole wheat only contains wheat kernels, while whole grain contains different types of grains like barley, rye, teff, amaranth, millet, quinoa, corn, sorghum, triticale, rice, and even wheat.
  2. Whole wheat is used for a specific product, while the whole grain is an umbrella term and consists of a range of products under the term.
  3. Whole wheat is a rich source of vitamin B6, while the whole grain is a rich source of vitamin B.
  4. Examples of whole wheat products are whole wheat flour, oatmeal, bulgur (cracked wheat), brown rice, cornmeal, and others, while examples of whole grain products are cereals, minor cereals, and pseudocereals which can further be classified.
  5. All whole wheat products are types of whole grain, but all whole grain products are not whole wheat.
Difference Between Whole Wheat And Whole Grain
References
  1. https://www.publish.csiro.au/cp/AR05098

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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