What Foods Are in the Grains Group (MyPyramid)?

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:grains_whole_wheat_bread_sliced_loaf

  • whole-wheat flour
  • bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • oatmeal
  • 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 bread

  • 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.

View the Grains Group Food Gallery

Commonly eaten grain products

  • Whole Grains

    • amaranth
    • brown rice
    • buckwheat
    • bulgur (cracked wheat)
    • millet
    • oatmeal
    • popcorn
    • rolled oats
    • quinoa
    • sorghum
    • triticale
    • whole grain barley
    • whole grain cornmeal
    • whole rye
    • whole wheat bread
    • whole wheat crackers
    • whole wheat pasta
    • whole wheat sandwich buns and rolls
    • whole wheat tortillas
    • wild rice

    Ready-to-eat breakfast cereals

    • whole wheat cereal flakes
    • muesli
  • Refined Grains

    • cornbread*
    • corn tortillas*
    • couscous*
    • crackers*
    • flour tortillas*
    • grits
    • noodles*
    • pitas*
    • pretzels
    • white bread
    • white sandwich buns and rolls
    • white rice


    • spaghetti
    • macaroni

    Ready-to-eat breakfast cereals

    • corn flakes

* 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.

Choosemyplate, All rights reserved

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s