Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain is a grain product. Examples include bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, grits, and tortillas. Popcorn, rice, and oatmeal are also considered grain products, but not all grains are created equal.
Whole grains, which contain the entire grain kernel (bran, germ, and endosperm) provide many health benefits and have been proven to reduce the risks of chronic diseases. They provide many nutrients vital for good health, like fiber, B vitamins, and minerals. Examples of whole grains include whole wheat flour, bulgur (cracked wheat), oatmeal, whole grain cornmeal, and brown rice.Choose whole grains for a healthier and more nutritious option.
Refined grains are not as healthy because the bran and germ have been removed. The only part of the grain kernel that is left in a refined grain is the endosperm. Although refined grains may be enriched with nutrients like iron, folate, and vitamins, these grains are considered nutrient-poor and a source of empty calories.
Looking for ways to add more whole grains in your menus?
Books About Grains
- One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale by Demi
- Little Red Hen and the Grains of Wheat by Leigh Ann Hill
- Bread, Bread, Bread (Foods of the World) by Ann Morris
- Pancakes, Pancakes! By Eric Carle