Thursday, 14 December 2017


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A study of over 16,000 people across the globe by Nestlé Breakfast Cereals reveals that there is significant confusion over how much whole grain we should consume every day and where to find whole grain in foods. 

Although more than eight in 10 people believe it is important to eat whole grain, there are misperceptions about which foods contain whole grain.

While more than eight in 10 people (82%) believe it is important to eat whole grain, almost the same number (83%) admit they don’t know how much they should consume. Less than half (47%) of those surveyed think they eat enough.

One in 10 (10%) think bananas contain whole grain. Nearly one in five (18%) believe it is typically found in white bread and 14% think it is in white rice. There is also a misperception that whole grain can be found in seeds (28%) and nuts (21%). In fact, none of these foods contain whole grain, which is commonly found in whole grain breakfast cereals, brown rice, whole grain pasta, wholemeal bread and porridge oats.

The World Health Organization recommends an increase in whole grain consumption along with increases in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts for the prevention of chronic disease. Higher consumption of whole grain has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, obesity, type-2 diabetes and bowel cancer.

The research also finds that half of those questioned (50%) think that people don’t eat enough whole grain because they do not understand the benefits of doing so. 

Dave Homer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cereal Partners Worldwide (a joint venture between General Mills and Nestlé, established in 1991 to produce breakfast cereals), said for WorldBakers: “We’ve conducted research with over 16,000 consumers in 11 countries to better understand what people know and think about whole grain. The findings show there is confusion about not only how much whole grain to eat each day, but also the foods in which to find it and what the benefits may be. We believe much of this confusion comes from a lack of consistent information on whole grain and recommendations for daily whole grain intakes. We’ve made it easier for consumers to get more whole grain in their diets, by making it the main ingredient in most of our cereals. We also communicate whole grain content in our cereals using the Green Banner, on the top of Nestlé cereal packs, which indicates 8g or more of whole grain per serve. We now need action from governments, academics and the industry to back a global commitment to help inform people about whole grain and to increase the availability of whole grain foods.”

Homer also added that the first step on this journey is to agree to a set of global guidelines for recommended daily whole grain intake.

Chris Seal, professor of “Food and Human Nutrition”, Newcastle University, said: “Whole grain is an essential component in the diet providing us with an important source of fiber and other nutrients which help to prevent heart disease, diabetes and weight gain. Clearly we are not eating enough whole grain globally and not enough is understood about the benefits of it – we need to do more to help people understand how to achieve a balanced diet.”  

This article will be updated soon with more information! 

Related articles: 

Study: Fructan to Blame for Side Effects Associated with Gluten Consumption 

Study: Food and Drinks Can Be More Appealing at a Specific Time of Day 

Action on Sugar campaign: Healthy-branded breakfast biscuits are not so healthy after all

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