February’s Whole Grain of the Month is barley. This pleasantly chewy grain works well in pilafs, grain salads, and soups, and its neutral flavor complements nearly any cuisine. Barley has the highest fiber levels among the whole grains. Better still, barley contains a special type of fiber, called beta-glucan fiber (also found in oats) that can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. When buying barley, look for the terms “whole grain barley,” “hulled barley,” or “hull-less barley,” or look for the Whole Grain Stamp. The term “pearled barley” indicates that some of the healthful bran layer has been removed.