Living Well

Wholegrain or Wholemeal? How the Grains You Choose Can Impact Your Health

If you’re an instant noodle lover (like so many of us Singaporeans are), then you might be wondering how your favourite meal can be incorporated into a healthy diet. There is nothing quite as comforting as a delicious steaming bowl of noodles, they’re the perfect snack or meal. But it is important to make sure that they are good for you while not sacrificing taste.

With so many options out there, how do you know which brand is better or what ingredients to look for? Start by considering an instant noodle that is non-fried, lower fat, and incorporates more wholegrains.


A ‘wholegrain’ includes the entire kernel of the grain, including the outer bran layer, the ‘germ’ (the part that enables the plant to sprout), and the inner endosperm. This means that products that are higher in wholegrains can have a very high fibre content, which can have a great impact on our digestive systems.

When a product is labelled as ‘wholemeal’, this means that it’s been refined and processed, and that it only includes the endosperm. This is why wholegrains take longer to cook than wholemeal products. Think about, for example, the time it takes for brown rice to cook in comparison to white rice. This is because the brown rice has more fibre and therefore takes longer to soften and break down (hence why it also helps to keep us fuller for longer – it also takes longer to break down in our bellies).

How beneficial wholegrains are for your body depends on the type of grain that has been used. Any food made from wheat, cornmeal, barley, oats or rice is considered to be a grain product. Wholegrains are regarded as being better sources of iron, folate, selenium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin B than wholemeal foods. They are closer to their natural source than refined grains and come in their whole form without any alterations or processing.


Wholegrains are the perfect base to any healthy, fibre-rich, protein-packed dish that is also simple and delicious. And the best part of all is that wholegrain noodles are so easy to personalise and make extra yummy – you can top them with spices, sauces, proteins like meat or eggs, and every type of vegetable you can imagine!

Noodles that are higher in wholegrains are a very important part of most healthy diets for a number of reasons.

  1. They help to keep us feeling fuller for longer, and this feeling of satiety can prevent us from overeating.
  2. The high fibre content in wholegrains slows down the absorption of carbohydrates, keeping our blood sugar levels steady.
  3. Wholegrains have been shown to lower the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
  4. Wholegrains have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that promote the growth and development of healthy bacteria within our guts. This can help with digestion and allergy problems.

Some researchers have found that people who ate a diet that was based on wholegrains tended to have a lower body mass index (BMI) than those who didn’t. Another study also found that those who ate wholegrains regularly had a significantly lower chance of contracting coronary heart disease. In fact, a whole 20 – 40% lower! The risk of diabetes was also lowered by 20 – 30%.

To pursue optimal health, a balanced diet consisting of foods that are higher in wholegrains should be accompanied by engaging in physical activity for at least 150 minutes each week. With this being said, wholegrains may particularly benefit those who are overweight or who don’t engage in regular exercise. This is because eating wholegrains can help to control blood sugar levels, and also makes us feel full which, as mentioned before, can prevent overeating.

Here at KOKA, we really believe that ‘wholesome’ starts with ‘wholegrains’!


The Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS) makes it easy to choose products in the grocery store that are better for your health. Products that have the symbol are usually lower in fat, saturated fat, sodium and sugar, as well as being higher in dietary fibre, calcium and wholegrains.

This is the Healthier Choice Symbol for products that are higher in healthy wholegrains. It makes KOKA products that are Healthier Choice Certified simple to locate in the supermarket, so you can make an informed and positive decision! You can also find a list of our Healthier Choice Certified products here.


The new range of KOKA Delight Noodles allows you to simply and quickly add more wholegrains to your diet. They come in a delicious range of flavours (including Spicy Sesame, Laksa Singapura and Tomato) to quickly boil, serve and have you eating in a matter of minutes. They’re also steamed and baked instead of fried, and much higher in wholegrains than other noodle brands!

Our KOKA Purple Wheat Noodles are also higher in wholegrains and contain less fat for a quick and healthy snack. They contain three times more antioxidants than red grapes, with the purple grains giving the noodles their delightful hue!

Check out the full range of KOKA Noodle Products and start getting more wholegrains into your diet right from the next time you visit the supermarket.

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