Why is whole grain important?
When we wanted to know what people around the world think of whole grain, we asked them. We spoke to more than 16,000 people from 11 countries about the importance of whole grain
As well as tasting great, whole grain is an important part of a balanced diet, providing fibre and other nutrients as well as vitamins and minerals.
8 out of 10 people of people we spoke to think it's important to eat whole grain. But the same number of people don't know how much whole grain they should eat each day.
Less than half of the people we talked to think they eat enough whole grain. And over a third said people do not know where to find whole grain.
So if you want to go whole grain, but aren't sure how to go about it, read on for whole grain facts and tips on getting more whole grain in your diet.
A whole lot of grains
One bushel of wheat contains around a million individual whole grain kernels.
Food of gods and kings
In Asia, the Amaranth grain is known as ‘king seed’ and ‘seed sent by God’.
What is Whole Grain? (And Where do You Find It?)
Whole grains are complete grain. Unlike refined grains, none of its parts has been taken away.
Our survey found that many people are unsure which foods contain whole grain.
- 1 in 10 people think wholegrain can be found in bananas.
- 14% say whole grain is in white rice.
- Almost 1 in 5 people (17%) believe it’s in white bread.
- 28% think it’s in seeds and 21% think it’s in nuts.
None of these foods contain whole grain.
Whole grain can be found in:
- Wholemeal bread.
- Wholewheat pasta.
- Brown rice.
- Porridge made with wholegrain oats.
- Whole grain breakfast cereal. You'll need to check the label. Whole grain breakfast cereals from Nestlé have a green banner at the top of the box.
Why Eat Whole Grain?
Many people have heard that choosing whole grain has benefits (beyond just tasting great!). So you can understand why people want to go whole grain!
Of the people we spoke to:
- 64% say whole grain is good for digestion
- 65% say whole grain is high in fibre
- … but just 48% of people say whole grain is good for the heart
- And 18% of people say choosing whole grain may help reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes.
Go Whole Grain!
There are a lot of ways to get more whole grain in your diet. For example:
- Check for ‘whole’ on the label – wholemeal, whole wheat and whole oats are all whole grains.
- Swap refined (‘white’) bread, rice or pasta for whole grain or wholemeal varieties.
- Choose a whole grain cereal for breakfast.
- Add another portion of whole grain for lunch and dinner, such as whole grain bread, whole grain pasta or brown rice.
- Look out for logos which highlight whole grain. (If you spot a green banner on a Nestlé Cereal pack, that means each serving contains at lease 8 grams of whole grain - and often a lot more!)
Looking for more?
The survey was commissioned by Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW) and conducted online by independent research company Censuswide in October, 2017. It surveyed 16,173 adult consumers in 11 countries.
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- ^ The survey was commissioned by Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW) and conducted online by independent research company Censuswide in October, 2017. It surveyed 16,173 adult consumers in 11 countries including: Columbia, Mexico, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
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We've tried to answer as many of your questions as possible. You can search them all here:
Two things to remember: • Look for food labels where the word 'whole' appears in front of the name of the grain, like “whole wheat” or “wholemeal bread”. • For foods with more than one ingredient, make sure whole grain is listed towards the top of the ingredients list. The further up the list it is, the more whole grain has been used in the recipe. And look out for the percentage of whole grain. You should find this in the ingredients list too.
A ‘whole’ grain has more nutrients than a ‘refined’ grain, because all parts of the grain are retained – kernel, bran, endosperm and germ – along with their fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. But most of the bran and germ are removed when producing refined grains. Whole grains therefore contain more nutrients than refined grains.
The general name for proteins found in cereal grains such as wheat. It holds the food together, like a ‘glue’, and gives dough its elasticity.
Keep it simple: make grains the base of your diet and choose whole grains over refined grains wherever possible. U.S Dietary Guidelines recommend eating 3 servings (48g) a day. So, whenever you look for breakfast cereals, bread, pasta, rice or flour to cook at home, look for the word “whole”, ideally among the first ingredients in the list.
We'd love to hear your comments about Nestlé cereals, so please let us know what you think, we always appreciate hearing from you.