How can whole-grain products vary so much in fiber?
The expert answers:
A food is legally considered a whole-grain product if one or more whole grains (like whole-wheat flour, whole oats, etc.) make up at least 51 percent of the product by weight. However, when you compare bread, cereal or other grain-based products, you may be looking at one that is 51 percent whole grain and another that is 80 percent whole grain. Since whole grain ingredients generally contain about twice the fiber of refined grains, the difference in percentage of whole grains will significantly affect the fiber content of the final product.
The whole grain or grains used also impact the total amount and types of fiber in the product. Oats, wheat, rye and barley have different qualities. Finally, products will vary in fiber content if other fiber-rich ingredients, like bran, wheat germ, nuts, seeds and dried fruit, are added.