Whole Grains

New to our stores in 2020 are Nutrition Pathways. Nutrition Pathways are the icons printed on the shelf tags in-store and can be found when shopping online via the Fastlane at shopthefastlane.com  Due to limited space, up to four pathways can be printed on the shelf tags in-store, but all pathways that a product qualifies for can be found on Fastlane.

Nutrition Pathways highlight the most nutritious foods as well as popular lifestyle choices throughout our store.  Whether managing a health condition, following a food lifestyle, or just wanting to make healthier choices, we will help you find the better-for-you and lifestyle items that you are looking for.

Whole Grain Pathway Icons
According the evidenced based nutrition research, whole grains are healthier compared to refined grains.  Whole grains are better for us since they are higher in fiber which promotes heart health and gut health.   The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate recommend making sure half of the grains you eat are whole grains. Whole grain foods are those where the first ingredient is a whole grain.  On the ingredient list, under the Nutrition Facts panel, whole grain foods contain more whole grains than any other ingredient in the product.  

With so many marketing claims, it can be tricky to know if a product is a true whole grain; but, thanks to the Whole Grain Nutrition Pathway, you will easily find whole grains by just looking at the shelf tag!  

Here are examples of common refined grains and whole grain alternatives:

Refined Grain

Whole Grain

White bread

100% whole wheat bread

White tortillas and masa tortillas

Corn tortillas made from stone ground corn

Refined crackers

Triscuits or other whole grain cracker

White pasta

Whole grain pasta

White rice

Brown rice or quinoa

Refined breakfast cereal

Whole grain breakfast cereal

Cream of rice


It is important to note, some foods may be or contain whole grains but are not part of the pathway yet since the manufacturer has not provided the ingredient list and product data to be analyzed.  This can happen with any pathway since we must rely on the food companies to submit their product information in order to be considered for pathways.   Another example is with different sizes of products such as a small vs large box of the same brand/variety of pasta.  If the price is different at the register, that food brand/company is responsible for submitting product information for each item.  Just because information was submitted for the large box, does not mean we can apply the same Nutrition Pathways to the small box.  Please be patient with us as we educate food companies and gather all product information.  Additionally, if a manufacturer changes the recipe or reformulates a food, they have been instructed to submit updated product information.  The foods within the Nutrition Pathways are to the best of our knowledge.  

Looking for the Whole Grain Nutrition Pathway may help you increase your consumption of whole grains and prevent or delay chronic disease.  Shop in-store and on Fastlane for Whole Grain foods.

As a partner on your wellness journey, we are here to help! Email our Registered Dietitian at [email protected] with any questions on Nutrition Pathways, Kids Crew, or nutrition & health.  

This medical and/or nutritional information is not intended to be a substitute for individual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Stephanie Edson Wellness Specialist SpartanNash Company


Stephanie is an award-winning registered dietitian who believes in empowering every individual to make nutritious food choices to support a healthy lifestyle. She believes in the power of food as medicine and loves sharing about nutrition with others.