9 Healthy Whole-Grain Choices

Their appealing chewy texture and nutty sweet taste make unrefined whole grains a welcome addition to your meals. But these grains are more than a delicious food experience: They deliver a powerful nutritional punch.

Switching from refined to whole grains can help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. What’s more, if you eat whole and not refined grains, you’re more apt to maintain a normal weight, say health experts.

Here are some whole grains you’ll find in supermarkets or natural food stores along with a flavor preview. When buying food products, read the ingredients to make sure whole grains are prominently listed. Don’t make your selection based solely on the darker color of the bread.

Amaranth: fresh, slightly grassy-tasting tiny seed

Barley: meaty, nutty-tasting grain

Buckwheat: earthy, slightly grassy-tasting relative of rhubarb

Corn (note that fresh corn, popcorn and cornmeal are all considered whole grains): sweet, herbal or nutty taste

Oats: mild, sweet, earthy taste

Quinoa: slightly herbal to grassy taste

Rice (brown or more exotic colors): sweet, nutty or meaty taste

Wheat (including bulgur, cracked wheat, wheatberries, spelt, Kamut): earthy and rich tasting

Wild rice (actually a grass): nutty and earthy flavor