Eating grains “dispels myth eating grains contributes to excess weight”, new study

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 27th June 2016

GrainsNew Australian research has found that eating grains does not help you gain excess weight.

In a study commissioned by the Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council, data which revealed the diets of 9, 341 adults was analysed to find eating core grain foods is not linked to the size of your waistline.

This is despite 43 per cent of all Australians reporting they limit grain foods to help lose weight.

The data revealed that people who eat six or more serves of core grain foods each day have a similar waistline and Body Mass Index (BMI) as people who restrict their intake of grain foods. Core grains includes both bread and pasta.

The Grains and Leagues Nutrition Council has recommended that Australians between 19 – 50 years of age ought to eat six servings of core grains daily.

Dr Flavia Fayet-Moore, Director of Nutrition Research Australia, said the researchers who conducted the study had found eating grains did not lead to weight gain even after they accounted for factors such as age, physical activity level and being on a diet.

“The other key finding was that adults who ate six or more serves of core grain foods had much higher fibre intake than those who consumed less than two serves per day, even after taking into account all factors that can influence fibre, such as vegetable intake,” Dr Fayet-Moore said.

Grains often given a “bad rap”

Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council Program Manager, Chris Cashman, said core grain foods are increasingly being  described as non-essential due to misconceptions that they make people overweight and have minimum nutritional value.

“Grains don’t deserve the bad rap they often get as a result of fad diet trends,” Cashman said.

“In fact, a recent comprehensive audit of all grains on the shelf has confirmed that the vast majority (95 per cent) of white and wholemeal breads are low in sugar – less than 5g per 100g, which equals about one teaspoon; while 81 per cent of loaf breads are a source of plant-based protein and 88 per cent of breakfast cereals are a source of fibre.”

The 2015-2016 Product Audit4, commissioned by GLNC, involved a systematic analysis of 1,890 grain foods, including bread (253 loaves), breakfast cereals (420), as well as pasta, noodles and rice.

“Obesity has become a growing concern in our country and with it comes a risk of chronic health issues such as diabetes and heart disease,” Cashman said.

“The good news is that people who eat at least three serves of whole grain food such as wholemeal bread have a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.”

This latest research follows on from a recent US study which found a link between eating wholegrains and good heart health.