The goodness of whole grains

Created with the Heart Foundation
Spoons with grains in it

Types of grains 

Grains are edible seeds like wheat, corn (also called maize), rice, barley, oats, rye, millet, quinoa and teff. They can be eaten whole or made into products like couscous (wheat) and polenta (corn). Bread, breakfast cereals, pasta, and noodles are also made from different types of grains. 

Whole grains vs refined grains

When it comes to heart health, we often talk about ‘whole grains’ and ‘refined grains’ (which are sometimes also called ‘white’ grains). These terms refer to how processed the grains are.

Grains are made up of 3 parts: bran (outer layer), germ and endosperm. Whole grain foods include all three parts of the grain. The reduced processing involved in whole grain foods means they contain more fibre and vitamins and minerals than their refined counterparts, which have the bran and germ removed. The fibre in whole grain foods can help reduce LDL cholesterol (known as bad cholesterol), which can lower your risk of heart disease. It also helps you feel full for longer, which can help with weight management. 

Which grain is which?

8 bowls of different who,e grains

Examples of whole grains:

  • Brown rice 
  • Wholemeal flour
  • Oats
  • Wholegrain bread
  • Popcorn
  • Buckwheat
Refined grains such as white bread, pasta and white flour

Examples of refined grains include:

  • White rice
  • White bread
  • Pasta
  • Processed breakfast cereals
  • White flour

Say hello to whole grain heart health 

Replacing refined grains in your diet with whole grains can be good for your heart health. Try these deliciously simple swaps in your meals to help improve your heart health. 


Swap this For that
Swap thisWhite rice For thatBrown rice
Swap thisWhite bread For thatWholegrain bread
Swap thisWhite flour For thatWholemeal flour
Swap thisHighly processed breakfast cereal For thatOats
Swap thisWater crackers For thatWholegrain crackers

Logo of Coles and Heart Foundation

Coles has partnered with the Heart Foundation to provide this content to you and help Australians live healthier and happier lives.

For personalised heart health information and support, contact the Heart Foundation Helpline 13 11 12.


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