Whole-grain bread products are labeled as whole grain, how much fiber will you find in the foods you eat? Whole wheat, or rye. In contrast, bread products labeled as made with wheat, cracked wheat, seven-grain, multi-grain, stoneground wheat, or any of several other names contain mostly refined flour and lack the health-promoting effects of a whole-grain product.
The vitamins, minerals, and other compounds they contain contribute to their health-promoting effects. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (see Chapter 1, page 8) recommend that we obtain most (about 60%) of our calories from carbohydrates, preferably complex carbohydrates, in the form of foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
These foods are good sources of fiber, essential vitamins, minerals, and other phytochemicals and are also more likely to be low in fat. The average American today consumes only about a third of the recommended amount of fiber. To obtain as many of the potential benefits as possible, you need to obtain complex carbohydrates and fiber from various food sources.
Although studies indicate that our intake of carbohydrates is increasing, the contribution of whole-grain foods remains small, partly because identifying whole-grain foods can be confusing. For ideas on what whole-grain foods to look for in your supermarket, see the sidebars Where Are the Whole Grains? And Finding Fiber, this page. Foods that are naturally good sources of fiber or have fiber added are allowed to make claims on their labels regarding their fiber content.
What do the terms used to describe fiber content mean? When you see the phrase “high fiber” on a food label, it means that 1 serving (defined on the Nutrition Facts panel) of the food contains 5 grams of fiber or more per serving.
A food that contains 2.5 to 4.9 grams of fiber in a serving is allowed to call itself a “good source” of fiber, and a food label that says “more fiber” or “added fiber” has at least 2.5 grams more fiber per serving.