Confusion over wholegrain consumption

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

The vast majority of UK consumers do not know how much wholegrain they should eat
The vast majority of UK consumers do not know how much wholegrain they should eat

Related tags Consumer United kingdom Food

Confusion over which foods contain wholegrain is leading to misunderstanding over how much of it people needed to consume, a survey has found.

The vast majority of UK consumers (95%) admitted they didn’t know how much wholegrain they should eat – despite 70% acknowledging it was important for their diets – according to the survey of 2,000 people in the UK by Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW).

Highlighting consumer misconceptions, 7% of people thought bananas contained wholegrain, 10% believed it was typically found in white bread, while 7% said it was contained in white rice.

There was also a strong contingent who thought that wholegrain could be found in seeds (20%) and nuts (13%).

Did not understand the benefits

The survey also found that 38% of people don’t eat enough wholegrain because they did not understand the benefits.

More positively, 63% of participants acknowledged that wholegrain could be high in fibre, while 58% said it was good for digestion.

However, the broader benefits were not as widely known. Just 50% said it was good for the heart and only 13% thought it could help reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes.

Only three countries

Despite the benefits, only three countries – the Netherlands, Denmark and the US – have a quantitative recommendation for wholegrain.

The US recommended a minimum of three servings a day (equating to at least 48g), while Denmark recommended between 64–75g a day, depending on gender.

The introduction of guidelines in Denmark, alongside a government-backed campaign, resulted in a 72% increase in wholegrain intake.

CPW is the producer of Nestlé Breakfast Cereals.

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