Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta

Grain products like bread, cereal, rice, and pasta are good for you. They are important sources of vitamins and minerals. Breads, cereals, rice, and pasta are also good sources of carbohydrates like starch and fiber.

Many people think that starchy foods like breads, rice and pasta are fattening. They are not. But when you add fats like margarine, oil, mayonnaise, cheese sauce or gravy to them, you add many extra calories.

Whole-grain foods have more fiber than white grain foods. There are many kinds of whole-grain foods, such as oatmeal, brown rice, grits, corn tortillas and whole wheat bread. You may want to try a whole grain bread instead of white bread. Use brown rice instead of white rice or mix them together the next time you have rice.

Some breads and cereals have lots of fat and sugar added when they are manufactured. Croissants, danish, doughnuts, cake and some muffins have more fat and calories than servings of plain breads and cereals. If you enjoy sweet breads and cereals, you don't have to give them up. Try eating these foods less often or in small amounts. When you shop, read the food labels and look for breads, cereals, rice and pasta mixes that have less fat and sugar in them. You can also cut down on fat when you make rice or pasta dishes. Try using less oil, butter, or margarine than the recipe says. Sometimes you can cut the fat in half without changing the way the food tastes or looks!

For more information about nutrients in this group, read the Carbohydrates and Fiber files.

If you have questions about the types of foods found in this group, "Ask the Nutritionist."

To test what you know, take the Quiz on Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta.

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