Americans Need More Whole Grains: Researchers

Wednesday, 05 Feb 2014 04:10 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Most children and adults in the U.S. are getting less than the recommended amounts of whole grains and dietary fiber, according to a recent study.

Researchers found people who did eat the recommended three or more servings of whole grains each day also tended to consume the most fiber.

Whole grains are present in some types of hot and cold cereal and bread. Previous studies have tied whole grain intake to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease among adults. The health benefits are in part attributed to the fiber in whole grains.
 
"Most people do not consume whole grains in amounts that can be most beneficial, also many people, even health professionals, are confused about the relationship between whole grain and fiber," Marla Reicks told Reuters Health in an email.

Reicks led the study at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul. Her coauthors are all affiliated with General Mills, which funded the study.
 
Eating fiber, Reicks said, has been linked to better gut health, less heart disease and lower weights. Fiber is found in whole grains in varying quantities as well as in fruits, vegetables and beans.
 
Dietary guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services say at least half of all grains consumed should be whole grains. That works out to a minimum of three one-ounce servings per day for adults and some kids.

Fiber recommendations vary by age. Young kids need 19 to 25 grams of fiber each day while older kids, teens and adults need anywhere from 21 to 38 grams per day.

Reicks and her colleagues compared whole grain and dietary fiber intakes among Americans ages two and up using a large national nutrition and health survey. They included data from 9,042 people surveyed in 2009 and 2010.

The study team discovered 39 percent of children and teens and 42 percent of adults consumed no whole grains at all. Only 3 percent of children and teens and about 8 percent of adults ate at least the recommended three servings per day.

The researchers also found people who ate the most whole grains had the highest fiber intakes: on average, 24.5 grams per day for kids and 28 grams per day for adults, according to findings published in Nutrition Research.

Children who ate the recommended amount of whole grains were 59 times more likely to be in the top third of fiber consumers, compared to those who ate no whole grains. Adults who met the whole grain recommendations were 76 times more likely to get the most fiber.

Major sources of whole grains for study participants included breakfast cereal, breads and rolls, oatmeal and popcorn.

Reicks said people should strive to eat whole grain versions of breads, oatmeal and breakfast cereals when possible.

She said having only whole grain versions of those foods available at home will help children see that they are tasty, usual foods and build habits that may last into older childhood and adulthood.

Consumers can read labels and look for a special whole grain stamp when shopping.

"Some products indicate the whole grain content in grams on the label, which is very useful if you know how much whole grain is needed to count as a serving, and some use the whole grain stamp (The Whole Grains Council), but not all," Reicks said. 

Reicks added that until labeling is made consistent, a good method is to look at a food's ingredient list. If the first ingredient is whole grain, the product will probably contain enough of it to count as a whole grain product.

"The study reinforces the preponderance of scientific evidence and supports the recommendations set forth by many dietary guidelines advisory committees within the U.S. and throughout the globe," Roger Clemens told Reuters Health in an email.
Clemens, from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, was an adviser for the most recent government-backed U.S. dietary guidelines. He was not involved with the study.

Clemens said there are many reasons why people do not meet dietary recommendations for fiber, including taste and texture of whole grain products. Another reason is that high-fiber foods tend to cause gas.

He noted that different sources of dietary fiber contain different types of fiber, including soluble and insoluble fiber.

"This is important since different types of dietary fiber have different functions in our bodies," he said.

Whole grains are equally complex, Clemens added. He said oats are among the whole grains highest in fiber.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

US Missionary Doctor in Liberia Contracts Ebola

Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 17:33 PM

An American doctor working in Liberia has tested positive for the Ebola virus after working with obstetrics patients at  . . .

Double Mastectomy Doesn't Boost Breast Cancer Survival

Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 17:25 PM

Removing both breasts to treat cancer affecting only one side doesn't boost survival chances for most women, compared wi . . .

Ebola 'Spiraling Out of Control': CDC Chief

Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 15:14 PM

The CDC director says that the Ebola outbreak is spiraling out of control and is likely to get worse. . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved