Cereals, complete list and advice

Cereals, complete list. What are cereals and what is meant by false cereals. From the most popular cereals to 5 cereals that we hear in advertisements. Advice on what are the most nutritious cereals, rich in vitamins, minerals and gluten-free. Properties, benefits and contraindications.

The cereal in botany

THEcerealsare foods of plant origin. Botanically, the cereal is therecaryopsisof a plant, composed of endosperm, germ and external integument.

THEWhole grainsthey are the ones that still retain the outer integument and are therefore richer in fiber. Any cereal, therefore, can be wholemeal.

5 cereals: what are they?

We often hear about it but…. what are the 5 cereals?
The famousfive cereals that we see sponsored on the packages of brioche or bread, differ according to the manufacturer.

In principle i five cereals should be the basic ones, i.e .:

  1. Barley,
  2. Oats,
  3. Spelled,
  4. Wheat,
  5. Rice.

These are thefive cereals basic, the most common ones, however, as stated, the formula “Five cereals”Today represents an exploitation used for marketing purposes.

To know what the five cereals used in a particular product, it is advisable to read the ingredients on the back of the package.

For example, Barilla 5-grain flours respect the basic pentagram, in fact they see, listed in order of quantity:

  1. Brown Rice,
  2. Spelled,
  3. Barley,
  4. Wheat,
  5. Oats

What is wheat and what are the differences with wheat?Wheat and wheat are synonymous, so there are no differences.

In the case of theKinder cerealsFerrero, on the other hand, the ingredients proclaimed asfive cereals I'm:

  1. Barley,
  2. Rice,
  3. Wheat,
  4. Spelled
  5. Buckwheat*

We emphasize once again that the formula "five cereals”Is just a marketing strategy because the fifth listed among the ingredients of Kinder Cereali is not even a cereal. Buckwheat is not a cereal as we will explain below.

False cereals

On many web pages, inlist of cereals, we often read thequinoaand thebuckwheat. These are not cereals, just as amaranth and chia are not. Amaranth is appreciated for its protein content, it is the seed of a herbaceous plant and is not acereal.

Like amaranth, chia is also a herbaceous plant cultivated and appreciated for its seeds. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and have very different nutritional properties from those of cereals.

Red, white and black quinoa

Quinoa is very nutritious and versatile, it is tasty, it contains minerals, fibers and vitamins. It is known as the Inca cereal, the mother of all cereals but ... in reality, it is not a cereal.

It is gluten-free. Black quinoa has a very strong flavor and keeps cooking better, it is more suitable for those who intend to boil.


Botanically, thebuckwheat with wheat it has only the name in common. Buckwheat is not a cereal.

Its triangular grains are very tasty for preparing salads and very digestible dishes. It is gluten-free.

The buckwheat plant has much more in common with rhubarb than with any of the plants featured in thelist of cereals!

Cereals: complete list

Before you see what are cereals most popular, we report a large list of foods classified as cereals.

  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Sorghum
  • Mile
  • Oats
  • Rye
  • Triticale *
  • Fonio
  • Teff
  • Spelled
  • Sorghum
  • Spelled

The triticale is ahybrid cereal, artificially obtained by crossing rye and durum wheat or other varieties of the genus triticum.

THEcerealsmost popularthey are corn, rice and wheat.

What is the most eaten cereal?

The consumption of cereals is diversified on the continents, so much so that without making the necessary geographical distinctions it is not possible to state what thecerealmost consumed in the world. In the world, we have three geographical areas that consume three different grains.

  • The European population bases its diet on wheat and its derivatives.
  • The American population, especially Latin America, bases its diet on corn and its derivatives.
  • The eastern population bases its diet on rice and its derivatives.

In our country, corn has long been among the cereals most consumed if not the most consumed. Corn was once grown in abundance in the lands of Northern Italy, so much so that it was the staple food for many dishes.

It is no coincidence that the inhabitants of northern Italy are defined as "Polentoni", because in the past they were corn growers and polenta eaters. Polenta is a dish made from corn flour believed to be responsible for the pellagra epidemics that spread in the past in our country.

Speaking again of the corn corn, for the typical Latin American recipes based on white and yellow corn flour, I would like to point out two articles: how to make arepas and Hallaquita, an original recipe.

Today, in Italy corn flour sees very little uses: it is mainly used for breading but we must not underestimate the role thatpolentastill today it covers and has covered in the past.

What are the most nutritious cereals?

Every cereal it can be very nutritious and it is not possible to say which is the best cereal and what is most good for your health.

As I explained in detail in the article How to make flour at homeunfortunately, the agricultural revolution had a negative impact in terms ofproduct quality.

Since the 1960s, if the production yield of cereals has increased, in particular wheat (durum wheat and soft wheat), the quality of the product has significantly decreased both in terms of flavor and in terms of nutritional properties. The micronutrients supplied with wheat and more generally with the modern cereal, are significantly lower than the ancient varieties, cultivated in the past.

Today, the amount of magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, phosphorus and sulfur contained in wheat has more than halved compared to the amount of these micronutrients contained in ancient wheat varieties.

When do you want to buy those "more nutritious grains“, Find out about the variety and always prefer old varieties. This is true for wheat as well as for rice, barley, spelled and oats. The ancient varieties have not undergone selections to improve their yield, so they maintain better nutritional integrity.

Pearled or hulled spelledPearl or shelled barley

What are the differences between hulled and pearled? At the supermarket we have the opportunity to choose between pearl barley and hulled barley, or, similarly, between pearl barley and hulled barley: which is better?

Type is always preferableshelledbecause it has been subjected to less intense processing.

The pearl spelled as well as the pearl barley have undergone a refining process. Thehulled type, therefore, it is richer in fiber and better suited to those trying to feed onWhole grains.

Do all grains contain gluten?

Many people are convinced that allcerealsthey contain gluten and are not suitable for celiacs. Nothing more wrong. There are manygluten-free cereals. Gluten-free cereals are listed in the next paragraph. In this we see the list of cereals with gluten, therefore NOT suitable for those suffering from gluten intolerance.

  • Wheat / grain
  • Spelled
  • Oats
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Spelled (a type of spelled)

Gluten-free cereals: list

There are manygluten-free cereals:

  • Corn,
  • Rice,
  • Sorghum
  • Mile
  • Teff

Who suffers fromceliac diseasecan take advantage of the so-calledfalse cerealsand add to the list of foods such as: buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth and chia.

Breakfast cereals

Warning! Breakfast cereals are not what you find on the shelves. Although we commonly call them "cereals“, These are products obtained by processing different ingredients where the presence of sugar is always strong.

In addition, even if in Italy it is forbidden to grow GMO cereals, it is not forbidden to import them. Most of the breakfast cereals that you buy, are made with wheat, corn, rice or oats from the industrial revolution and grown from genetically modified seeds.

Oats are a good cereal for breakfast: they can be eaten in the form of flour or flakes. Those looking for healthy breakfast cereals can consider puffed rice, spelled flakes and corn flakes.

It may interest you: what are legumes

Fun Fact: Grains are widely used to make alcoholic beverages such as beer and whiskey.

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Video: Top 10 Amazing Discontinued Cereals (May 2021).