Are you making half your grains whole grains? Did you know that grains are good for you? Did you know that there are two kinds of grains? If not, listen up! There are two kinds of grain foods: whole grain foods and refined grain foods. So, what is the difference?
Whole grain foods are foods made with the grain intact, which means it has been barely processed. This means that the bran, germ, and endosperm are all there. The bran is where your fiber, B vitamins and some minerals like iron are found. The endosperm is where the carbohydrates and protein are found, and the germ contains antioxidants, vitamin E and some B vitamins, too.
Refined grains have been milled, a process that removes the bran and the germ. The process of milling gives grains a finer texture and makes it last longer, but it removes fiber, iron, and many other nutrients. White flour is made with refined wheat grains, so foods like muffins, pancakes, and biscuits made with white flour contain refined grains and contain less fiber, vitamins, and minerals than whole grain foods.
Some examples of whole grain foods are 100% whole wheat bread and pasta, brown rice, whole wheat tortillas, whole grain ready-to-eat cereal, oatmeal, 100% whole grain English muffins, and popcorn. Some examples of refined grains are pancakes, biscuits, crackers, cakes, corn bread, cookies, and muffins. These foods are made with flour, which comes from wheat or corn meal.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture