As plant-based foods, grains play a foundational role within all the DGA recommended diet patterns. Many staple enriched grain foods are not only delicious but also versatile. Many are often partnered with other foods and food groups which improves the overall nutrient delivery, as well as inherently represent cultural foodways: pasta and vegetables, rice-based dishes, sandwiches, cereal, fruit and milk, tortilla-based foods, casseroles, pizza, and the like.
Staple enriched grains are a foundation and a great partner on the plate (or bowl) and helps to deliver higher diet quality. This became more evident during the recent pandemic and buying habits reflected consumers’ desire to stock up on staple foods like grains, flours and beans. In fact, a national study by the Grain Foods Foundation found that one-third of Americans named pasta and bread as foods that are comforting during a stressful time. Many fad diets and myths continue to cloud the nutrition position of grain-based foods.