Complete List of Grains and Pseudograins

Complete List of Grains and Pseudograins

the complete list of grains and pseudograins

Finding out your favorite foods are now off-limits on a grain-free diet can make the change a bit daunting.  You might have trouble acclimating to a grain-free diet because you’re not 100% sure what is acceptable and what is not on a grain-free diet or Paleo diet. To help you get started, we have compiled a list of grains and pseudograins, as well as obvious and hidden sources of grains and pseudograins in your diet.   


NameLatin NameTypeAbout
AmaranthAmaranthus cruentus
PseudograinWhen cooked, amaranth kernels resemble brown caviar. Amaranth is a pseudograin because it is not in the Poaceae botanical family. However, its nutritional profile and uses are similar to “true” cereal grains. There are two amaranth species — A. hypochondriacus and A. caudatus — are also grown for their edible seeds, but A. cruentus is most common.)
Hordeum vulgareGrainBarley is one of the oldest cultivated grains that grows north of the Arctic circle and as far south as Ethiopia. Barley has a tough hull, which is difficult to remove without losing some of the bran. Hulled barley and lightly pearled barley are not whole grain as small amounts of bran or the hull are missing.
Fagopyrum esculentumPseudograinDespite the name, buckwheat is a cousin of rhubarb, not related to wheat, and is not a true cereal as it is not in the grass family. However, its storage proteins, appearance, and use classify it as a pseudograin. Buckwheat is the only grain known to have high levels of an antioxidant called rutin.
Triticum ssp.GrainBulgur is made from the parboiled groats of several different wheat species, typically durum wheat.
CornZea mays maysGrainCorn, or maize, is a type of grass. Corn is a result of thousands of years of domestication by the native peoples of central Mexico of the small-seeded, wild grass into the familiar grain we know as corn today.
FarroTriticum spelta, Triticum dicoccum, Triticum monococcumGrainThe term farro can be applied to three different types of ancient wheat grains: spelt, emmer, and einkorn. Farro is the Italian name for emmer wheat, an ancient strain of hard wheat from the Fertile Crescent in western Asia. Farro is a food composed of the grains of certain wheat species, sold dried, and prepared by cooking in water until soft. People eat it plain and often use it as an ingredient in salads, soups, and other dishes.
Farro / EinkornTriticum monococcum LGrain Einkorn is a type of farro, and is the oldest wheat known to scientists and thus considered man's first wheat. Einkorn wheat can refer either to the wild species of wheat, Triticum boeoticum, or to the domesticated form, Triticum monococcum L.
Farro / Emmer
Triticum turgidum dicoccum
GrainEmmer is a type of farro, or ancient hulled wheat, that dates back to early civilization. Emmer wheat is an ancient strain of hard wheat from the Fertile Crescent in western Asia.
Farro / Spelt
Triticum aestivum speltaGrainSpelt is a type of farro, and is also known as dinkel wheat. Spelt has been cultivated since approximately 5000 BC.
MilletPanicum miliaceum, Pennisetum Glaucum, Setaria italica, eleusine coracana, digitaria exilis
GrainGenerally, millets are small-grained, annual, warm-weather cereals belonging to the grass family. They are highly tolerant of drought and have a similar nutrient content to other major cereals. While there are numerous types of millets, all millets are members of the family Poaceae (the grasses) which makes them true grains. The most common millets include Finger Millet, Pearl Millet, Foxtail Millet, Little Millet, Proso Millet, and Great Millet.
Freekeh / FarikTriticum turgidum var. durumGrainFreekeh or Farik is a cereal food made from green durum wheat.
Durum WheatTriticum durum or Triticum turgidum subsp. durumGrainDurum wheat is the second most cultivated species of wheat after common wheat. Durum wheat was developed by processes of human selection of emmer wheat strains that were grown in Central Europe and around 7,000 BC.
Khorasan Wheattriticum turgidum turanicum
GrainCommercially known as Kamut, Khorsan wheat is twice the size of modern-day, common wheat. It is grown for bread and to feed camels in the Iranian region of Khorasan.
Avena sativaGrainIn an ingredients list, oats, oatmeal, and oat groats typically refers to whole oats. Unique among grains, oats rarely have their bran or germ removed during processing. Due to their production, oats are frequently contaminated by wheat and barley, and contain traces of gluten.
Chenopodium quinoaPseudograinQuinoa is a psuedograin that comes from a flowering plant in the amaranth family, and is not a member of the grass (Poaceae) family. Evidence suggests that quinoa was first domesticated by the Andean peoples of Bolivia, Peru, and Chile roughly 4,000 years ago. Quinoa production has not had major ecological and social drawbacks in its native regions due to its increasing demand.
Chenopodium pallidicaulePseudograinKañiwa is an pseudo grain from an annual plant with more than 200 varieties that is similar to quinoa, and has been cultivated in the Altiplano regions of the Andes mountains for millennia. Unlike its cousin quinoa, kañiwa is not coated with saponins, and has a dark red-brown color. Unlikely quinoa, the production of Kañiwa has not experienced major ecological and social drawbacks in its native regions due to its increasing demand.
Oryza sativa, Oryza glaberrima GrainRice is the grain of the grass species Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima, and is the most widely consumed worldwide. Behind sugarcane and corn production, rice is agricultural commodity with the third-highest production worldwide.
Secale cerealeGrainLong seen as a weed in more desirable wheat crops, Rye is a wild-growing grain of central and eastern Turkey that is a member of the wheat tribe that is closely related to Barley. Rye is most often cultivated for flour, bread, and alcohol production.
Sorghum spp.GrainWorldwide, about 50% of sorghum goes to human consumption and alcohol production. It is also used as animal feed, but it is also made into biodegradable packaging materials.  Sorghum is considered to be the fifth-most important cereal crop grown in the world.
Teff Eragrostis tef
GrainTeff is a species of grass that is native to Africa, and is known for its ability to fix carbon in drought and in high, or extreme temperatures. As with many ancient grain crops, teff is quite adaptive and is able to be cultivated in various conditions including dry, wet, and also in poor soil.
Triticalex triticosecale rimpauiGrainTriticale is a wheat and rye hybrid that was created in a laboratory that is a high-yield crop with improved disease and environmental tolerance. It was only recently developed into a commercial crop in the late 19th century, and is growth mostly for animal feed.
WheatTriticum aestivumGrainWheat grass is a member of the Poaceae family that is widely produced for its cereal grain which is a staple food worldwide.  There are many species of wheat that make up the genus Triticum. The most widely grown wheat is known as common wheat (T. aestivum).
Wild RiceZizania spp.GrainWild rice is not technically rice at all, but the seed of an aquatic grass originally grown by indigenous tribes around the Great Lakes region roughly 3,600 years ago. Wild rice is not directly related to Asian rice, although they are close cousins in the Oryzae tribe.  Wild-rice grains have a chewy outer sheath with a tender inner grain that has a slightly vegetal taste. Today some commercial cultivation takes place in the United States and Canada, but much of the crop is still harvested by  the Anishinaabe people, largely in Minnesota.



More Obvious Sources of Grains and Pseudograins in Your Diet

  • Wheat
  • Wheat berries
  • Hominy
  • Spelt
  • Rye
  • Brown Rice
  • Farro / Emmer
  • Barley
  • Bran
  • Durum Wheat 
  • Triticale
  • Bulgur Wheat
  • Couscous
  • Farina
  • Kamut
  • Orzo
  • Semolina
  • Graham
  • Oats
  • Corn / maize
  • Cornflour 
  • Cornmeal
  • Rice
  • Wild Rice
  • Teff
  • Montina flour
  • Sorghum
  • Oats
  • Freekeh
  • Emmer
  • Eikorn
  • Malts- made from wheat
  • Graham – made from wheat
  • Couscous – made from wheat seminola
  • Polenta – made from corn
  • Muesli – made from oats or wheat
  • Seitan – made from wheat 
  • Panko – made from wheat 
  • Grain Alcohol– Whisky, Bourbon, Scotch 
  • Atta Flour
  • Amaranth
  • Quinoa
  • Millet (finger, foxtail, Japanese, Kodo, Pearl, Adlay, & Proso)
  • Barley Malt
  • Beer
  • Bleached Flour
  • Breads
  • Baked Goods
  • Brown Rice Syrup
  • Buckwheat – Kasha
  • Corn Flakes
  • Croutons
  • Cereals
  • Wheat Germ
  • Enriched Bleach Flour
  • Malted Barley Flour
  • Millet
  • Granary Flour
  • Groats (wheat, barley, buckwheat)
  • Pastas
  • Matzo
  • Rice Milk
  • Seitan
  • Tabbouleh
  • Udon (wheat noodles)
  • Corn Starch
  • Wheat nuts



Hidden Sources of Grains and Pseudograins in Your Diet

Now that you have a complete list of grains and pseudograins you should be able to avoid them, right?  Not quite. While it is easy to avoid the obvious grains and pseudo-grains on a Grain Free Diet, some ingredients make it more difficult to identify from the name only. This list is intended to help you find hidden sources of grains and pseudo-grains in your diet.  

  • Maltodextrin – sweetener derived from wheat, corn, rice, and tapioca 
  • Food Starch- often derived from corn
  • Glucose – sweetener made from wheat, corn, and tapioca
  • Dextrose – a sweetener made from wheat, rice, and tapioca
  • Molasses – may be made from corn, but sometimes from cane sugar
  • Vinegar – may be made from corn or rice, but may be made from apple cider or wine
  • Soy sauce – made with roasted grains, but may be made without in the form of Tamari
  • Vegetable or Plant proteins – generally made from wheat, corn, and soy, but may also be from legumes like soy, pea, or peanut
  • Vegetable starch – usually made with wheat, rice, and corn, but may be made from potatoes or tapioca
  • Alcohol – Vodka and Gin often are made from grains, but may be made with potatoes, or grapes.
  • Potato Chips/French Fries – While the fries themselves may be made simply of potatoes, coating starches and frying oils are typically grain-based
  • Bread – usually made from grains, but can be made with grain-based alternative flours See: Alternative Grain-Free Flours
  • Condiments – store-bought mustard, ketchup, and BBQ sauce might use grain-based vinegar or starches for a thickening agent
  • Gluten Free products — Gluten-free products are most often grain-based or pseudograin-based but may be made from alternatives like almond. 
  • Vitamins, Medications, & Supplements –  Corn is a commonly added ingredient in supplements, medications, and vitamins as maltodextrin.
  • Baking Powder – may contain corn-derived starch
  • Broths – may contain grain-derived thickening agents
  • Candy – most are sweetened with grain-derived sugars
  • Gravies – most use corn starch as a thickening agent
  • Flavored Coffee – most flavorings contain grain-based flavors
  • Instant Coffee – often found to contain traces of gluten
  • Hot Dogs – often contain grain-based fillers and bulking agents
  • Imitation Fish – usually made from hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • Malts – made from grains
  • Lunch Meats – often contain grain-based fillers
  • Miso – may often include soy sauce which is made with fermented grains and soy
  • Roux – usually thickened with wheat flour




Read Next:





5 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *