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Whole grains

We all always getting told to eat more wholegrains but that is often where the information ends. This article provides you with a little more information and practical guidance on how any why you should be boosting your diet with these little gems.

A wholegrain is made up of three parts:

Wholegrain variety

Ideas for use

Whole oats, oatmeal, Weetabix, Bran flakes, wholegrain muesli 

Wholemeal bread, wheatgerm, soya bread, linseed bread, rye bread, pitta, rye crispbread


Brown rice, wholewheat pasta, whole barley, bulgur wheat, qunioa, barley


Oatcakes, plain popcorn, wholegrain cereal bars, wholegrain rice cakes

Add milk, yoghurt or fruit for breakfast or a snack. 

In place of white bread and biscuits or rice cakes. Some of the dry varieties such as rye bread taste better toasted or use a spread such as nut butter or cream cheese.


In place or white rice and pasta. They make a great addition to curries, stews, soups and salads


In place of crisps, sweets and biscuits. Oatcakes make a great snack and are easily portable and convenient. Just add your favourite spread or a slice of salmon or cheese.


Most of the goodness in a grain comes from the fibre rich outer layer and the nutrient rich inner part. During the refining process these two parts are removed to produce whiter cereal. Therefore wholegrains contain as much as 75% more nutrients. Some of the nutrients provided include:

Wholegrains are often low in fat but high in fibre and low GI starchy carbohydrates. This means they provide energy slowly which means you may feel fuller for longer. Eating wholegrains regularly may help to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and help maintain gut health and optimal body weight.

To help increase your intake of wholegrains, try replacing refined cereals such as white bread, pasta and rice with brown rice, rye bread or qunioa. Oats are the best wholegrain option at breakfast. Look for the word ‘whole’ before the name of the cereal to give you an indication as to how to choose your cereal (e.g. wholewheat pasta and whole oats). Make sure they are first or high up in the ingredient list as some products may contain multiple grains.