What foods are in the
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. Examples include:
Bulgur (cracked wheat)
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:
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
Some commonly eaten grain products are:
bulgur (cracked wheat)
Ready-to-eat breakfast cereals:
whole wheat cereal flakes
whole grain barley
whole grain cornmeal
whole wheat bread
whole wheat crackers
whole wheat pasta
whole wheat sandwich buns and rolls
whole wheat tortillas
Less common whole grains:
Ready-to-eat breakfast cereals
white sandwich buns and rolls
*Most of these products are made from refined grains.
Some are made from whole grains. Check the ingredient
list for the words “whole grain” or “whole wheat” to
decide if they are made from a whole grain. Some foods
are made from a mixture of whole and refined grains.
Some grain products contain significant amounts of bran.
Bran provides fiber, which is important for health.
However, products with added bran or bran alone (e.g.,
oat bran) are not necessarily whole grain products.