Australian experts claim grain foods have become ‘scapegoat’ for weight gain and bloating

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 10th May 2012

A new report published by the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council has blamed the simplification of complex nutritional messages for grain foods like bread and pasta becoming the ‘scapegoat’ for weight gain and bloating.

The report, ‘What’s to Gain from Grains?’, was developed by the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council.

Authorities in the field of nutrition including Professor Manny Noakes, Dr Jane Muir and Dr David Topping joined the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council at CSIRO’s Life Sciences Centre in Sydney this week to share the latest findings on the benefits of grain foods in the diet.

The report showed that an estimated 26 per cent of Australians are limiting grain foods like bread and pasta to help lose weight, despite numerous studies suggesting whole grain consumption has a beneficial effect on weight loss.

Professor Manny Noakes said, “Cutting out highly refined or fat and salt laden carbohydrates is a good idea, but culling high fibre and low Glycemic Index grain foods at the same time is just throwing the baby out with the bath water.

“Studies show whole grains may have a critically important impact on body composition, particularly in being able to reduce abdominal fat,” she concluded.

Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend three serves a day of cereal foods (mostly wholegrain) for reduced risk of weight gain.

The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) encourages people with concerns about their intolerances to get a formal diagnosis of Coeliac disease and consult with an accredited practising dietitian to ensure they are consuming all the nutrients they need.

The Sydney conference concluded with the consensus that carbohydrates and grain foods have been mistakenly blamed for many digestive problems and weight gain.

Robyn Murray, CEO, Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council said, “The report and conference provides a vitally important update on the health benefits of grain foods. I hope it helps to diminish some of the misunderstandings of this important staple and encourages healthcare professionals and consumers to choose quality grains as part of their core diet.”