The difference between whole wheat and whole grain is that whole wheat is one type of whole grain. Whole grain can be any whole grain kernel, such as rye, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, oats, brown rice and barley.
Foods made with grains must include the entire kernel of the grain seed in order to be considered whole, according to the Whole Grains Council. A grain kernel is considered whole if it includes the germ, bran and endosperm, all essential parts of a kernel. All these parts combined are packed with a variety of beneficial nutrients, such as fiber, protein, iron, zinc, folic acid and B vitamins. Eating whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of certain chronic diseases, according to MyPlate.gov.
Whole wheat is a type of whole grain that is widely consumed as either bread, baked goods or pasta. Whole wheat contains a lot of gluten, which makes it rise well for breads and other baked goods. Whole wheat is generally divided into durum wheat, which is used for making pasta and bread wheat, used for making bread and most other baked items. There are also a variety of bread wheat types commonly available, including spelt, farro and bulgur.