The grains group is made up of all foods that are made of whole and refined grains. This food group provides energy and can be a great source of fiber and vitamins.
Grains are dry foods that are found in packages usually on the shelf of the grocery store.
Grain foods can be purchased as whole grains or refined grains.
Whole grains means that the foods are made from the entire grain. Whole grains have all the natural fiber, vitamins and minerals and is the healthiest way to eat whole grains. Look for the words "100% whole grains" or "100% whole (name of the grain)".
Refined grains have been processed where the outer part of the grain called bran and then germ that provides nutrition to the grain is removed. This gives the grain product a finer texture. Most foods made from refined grains have lost a lot of their nutrition during the processing (also called milling). These foods are often enriched, meaning the food manufacturers will add back in some of the vitamin Bs and iron to the food product. The package will say "enriched".
Some food products are made from a mixture of both whole grains and refined grains. You can check the ingredients list. You may also see words like "contains" whole grains. But unless it says "100% whole grains" than part of the grains used in the food product has been processed.