The main difference between grains and cereals is that grains are edible seeds of cereals or legumes, while cereals are plants belonging to the grass family.
We often use the words cereals and grains interchangeably. Sometimes, we combine these two words together and use the word cereal grain. Sometimes, we also use the word cereal to refer to the plant and the word grains to refer to the edible seeds of the plant.
Key Areas Covered
1. What are Grains
– Definition, Features
2. What are Cereals
– Definition, Features
3. Relationship Between Grains and Cereals
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Grains and Cereals
– Comparison of Key Differences
Cereals, Cereal Grains, Grains
What are Grains
Grains are the edible seeds of plants. We call a grain-producing plant a grain crop. There are two main types of grain crops as cereals and legumes. Cereal grains are members of the Poaceae family and contain a high carbohydrate content. Wheat, rice, oats, barley, rye, barley, millet, corn, triticale, and sorghum are some examples of cereal grains. Grains also include pseudo-cereals like chia, quinoa, and buckwheat gains. Legumes or pulses are members of the pea family and they have a higher protein content than cereal grains. Chickpeas, mung beans, soybeans, common beans, lentils, and lima beans are some examples of grains.
Furthermore, grains are a staple food for people all over the world. When compared to other staple food, grains are more durable and can be stored for long periods of time. They can also be milled into flour or pressed into oil. Moreover, grains are used to make different varieties of food including bread, noodles, pasta, flatbreads, cakes, and pastries.
What are Cereals
Cereals are members of the grass family (Poaceae or Gramineae family) that are grown for their grain. These plants provide food to feed people all over the world and provide food energy than any other type of crop. We usually call cereals staple crops because they are essential to the diet and are grown in huge quantities. The word cereal originates from “Ceres”, referring to the Roman Goddess of farming.
Wheat is the most common cereal plant grown in the Western world. Rice and millet are also very popular cereal grains, popular in developing countries. These are eaten by millions of people. We call edible grains from other plants (non-grass) pseudo-cereals. Chia, quinoa, and buckwheat are some examples.
Relationship Between Grains and Cereals
- We often use the words cereals and grains interchangeably.
- Sometimes, we use the word cereal to refer to the plant and grain to refer to the seeds.
- Cereal grains refer to the edible seeds of the grass family.
- Cereal grains are a staple food all over the world.
Difference Between Grains and Cereals
Grains are edible seeds of cereals or legumes, while cereals are plants belonging to the grass family which are grown for their grain.
Grains can be seeds of legumes or cereals.
Wheat, rice, corn, oats, barley, and millet are examples of true cereals while grains can also include legumes like chickpeas, mung beans, soybeans, and lentils, as well as pseudocereals like chia and quinoa.
Grains can be seeds of either legumes or cereals. The main difference between grains and cereals is that grains are edible seeds of cereals or legumes, while cereals are plants belonging to the grass family.
1. “Wheat fields in Ukraine-5961” By © Raimond Spekking (via Wikimedia Commons) (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Rice grains (IRRI)” By IRRI Images – originally posted to Flickr as IMG_2039-77 (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia