Most people should have about 2-3 servings of grains each day. The following foods are each equal to one serving (1 ounce) of grains:

  • 1 cup whole-wheat cereal
  • ½ cup brown rice
  • 1 slice of whole-wheat bread

Any food made from wheat, rice, barley, oats, or another cereal grain is a grain product. There are two types of grains: whole grains and refined grains.

Whole grains include:

  • Oatmeal
  • Whole-wheat flour
  • Brown rice
  • Bulgar (cracked wheat)

Grains which have been refined have fewer nutrients than whole-grains. These grains include white bread, white rice, and foods made with white flour (such as pasta or tortillas). To eat better, limit the amount of refined grains you eat and stick to whole-grains. Here are some tips on how to replace refined grains with healthier grains:

  • Try warming up a bowl of oatmeal with low-fat milk and blueberries for a delicious breakfast.
  • Choose whole-wheat bread instead of white bread when you make a sandwich.
  • Make whole-wheat pasta instead of white pasta
  • At dinner, serve brown rice or bulgar instead of white rice (note: brown rice usually takes a few minutes longer to cook than white rice).

Check out ChooseMyPlate.gov’s Grain page to learn what foods are in the grain group.


This information is provided by the Department of Public Health.