What Foods Are in the Grains Group?
Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grain is a grain product. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits are examples of grain products.
Grains are divided into 2 subgroups, Whole Grains and Refined Grains.
Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel ― the bran, germ, and endosperm.
- whole-wheat flour
- bulgur (cracked wheat)
- whole cornmeal
- brown rice
Refined grains have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ. This is done to give grains a finer texture and improve their shelf life, but it also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins.
Some examples of refined grain products are:
- white flour
- de-germed cornmeal
- white bread
- white rice
Most refined grains are enriched. This means certain B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid) and iron are added back after processing. Fiber is not added back to enriched grains. Check the ingredient list on refined grain products to make sure that the word "enriched" is included in the grain name. Some food products are made from mixtures of whole grains and refined grains.
Key Consumer Message
Make at least half of your grains whole grains.