grainAny food made from wheat, rye, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain is a grain product. In addition to bread and pasta, there are cereal, rice, grits, tortillas, even popcorn. Many people find it easy to eat more grains than needed.

Look for grain choices that are low in saturated and trans fat and low in added sugar when possible. But be careful—low-fat baked goods can be high in added sugar.

Try to choose grain products made from whole grains. Make sure the first food on the ingredient list contains the word "whole," such as whole wheat, whole oats, or whole grain. Other whole grains include popcorn, brown rice, wild rice, buckwheat, bulgur, and quinoa. Whole grains can help you add fiber to your diet. For more on fiber, see Carbohydrates.

Grain Options

These are one ounce or an ounce-equivalent grain examples.

a slice of bread, a half an english muffin, and a mini-bagel
Slice of bread Half an English muffin Mini-bagel
a muffin, a bowl of cereal, and a pile of pasta
Small (2-1/2-inch) muffin Cup flaked cereal Half cup cooked rice, pasta, or cooked cereal
pancakes, popcorn, and a tortilla
Two 3-inch pancakes Three cups popcorn 6-inch corn or flour tortilla


How to Cook with Budget Friendly Whole Grains

A registered dietitian suggests tips for adding budget-friendly whole grains to meals.

What's On Your Plate? is based on the nutrition recommendations for older adults in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).