Call for wholegrain intake guidelines after confusion

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Study: only Denmark and the US have a recommended wholegrain intake level
Study: only Denmark and the US have a recommended wholegrain intake level

Related tags: Nutrition

The lack of a global consensus on recommended wholegrain intake has left consumers in a potential state of confusion over how much they should eat, new research has found.

Less than half (49) of 127 ‘influential organisations’ across 53 countries had a recommendation for wholegrain intake, according to the study conducted by Newcastle University in collaboration with Cereal Partners Worldwide.

The study called for global guidelines on wholegrain to boost fibre consumption. This is in stark contrast to the “clear and accepted”​ World Health Organisation guidelines for sugar and salt, it claimed.

Fibre into the diet

Wholegrains are recognised as an important way to get fibre into the diet, helping to prevent and reduce diseases like heart disease and bowel cancer.

Their consumption has also been linked to lower body weight, body mass index and cholesterol levels, as well as a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Only two countries – the US and Denmark – had a quantitative recommendation for wholegrain.

72% increase in wholegrain

According to Cereal Partners, Denmark experienced a 72% increase in wholegrain intake, following the introduction of guidelines in tandem with a government-backed campaign.

Chris Seal, professor of food and human nutrition at Newcastle University, said: “The amount of wholegrains eaten globally is very low – we need to work harder to encourage people to introduce more wholegrain into their diet.

“There needs to be clear global guidelines on how much wholegrain we should be eating on a daily basis.”

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