Grains are made up of three parts: the bran layers, germ and endosperm. Refined grains often have the bran layers and germ removed, while whole grains contain all three elements. Foods that contain whole grains include whole-wheat flour, oatmeal, cornmeal, bulgur and brown rice.
In general, whole grains are thought to be better for health than refined grains. As part of a healthy diet, whole grains have been associated with reduced blood cholesterol and improved weight maintenance.