Some whole grains lose much of their nutritional value when they are processed into flour or flattened into flakes. Quinoa doesn’t. It is always gluten-free and always whole grain. When you shop for whole grains, use the following chart to help you make the choice that’s better for your healthy lifestyle. (Note: Not all of these grains are gluten-free.)

Comparing Whole Grains and Processed Grains
Grain Whole Grain Winner Processed Variety to Avoid
Barley Hulled barley Pearl barley
Corn Stone-ground cornmeal or polenta Fine ground
Oats Steel-cut or old fashioned rolled oats Instant oatmeal
Rice Brown rice, wild rice White rice
Bulgur Coarse, medium or fine ground N/A
Couscous Whole wheat Regular or white
Quinoa All varieties N/A
Wheat Whole wheat Enriched wheat; all purpose