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Go With Whole Grains

What's best for health.

Watch Out for Impostors continued...

Of course, you can also simply check the fiber content listed on the Nutrition Facts panel. For bread and cereals, anything with 2 or more grams of fiber per serving qualifies as a whole-grain product, says Slavin. According to USDA regulations, the food label can also state that a product is "a good source" of fiber if it contributes 10% of the Daily Value of fiber (2.5 grams) per serving. Furthermore, the package can claim "high in," "rich in," or "excellent source of" fiber if the product provides 20% of the Daily Value (5 grams) per serving.

Don't want to bother with the Nutrition Facts panel? Look no farther than the front of the package. Last year, the FDA approved a health claim for bread and cereal items that contain 51% or more whole-grain ingredients by weight: "Diets rich in whole grain foods and other plant foods low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers." Qualifying products are also allowed to don a seal that says: "100% Whole Grain."

So take heart: Once you learn to separate the whole grain powerhouses from the weaklings, you'll make your body -- not to mention the USDA -- very happy.

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