Whole grains - healthy or hype?

There are five good reasons to include more wholegrains in your diet.
Learn more
  • Updated:7 Aug 2008

01.Five good reasons

Whole grains

In brief

  • Wholegrains contain plant chemicals that can reduce your health risks. Eat at least two serves each day.
  • So-called supergrains are wholegrains, but not necessarily much more super than more common ones.
  • ‘Wholegrain’ on a label doesn’t always mean it’s all wholegrain.

Wholegrains are hot. They’re not just an ingredient, they’ve become a marketing tool food companies use to convince us to buy one product over another.

They’re also all the rage among doctors, dietitians and other health professionals, whose message is “eat more wholegrains” — and there are five good reasons why you should:

  • Heart health Large studies have found that eating plenty of wholegrains reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.
    Reduce your cancer risk There’s evidence that eating wholegrains reduces the risk of some cancers, particularly of the digestive tract, but possibly breast and prostate cancer as well.
  • Reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes Wholegrains can improve blood sugar and insulin levels. Studies have shown a link between cereal fibre, which is highest in wholegrains, and a reduced chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Better weight control There’s evidence that wholegrains can help people control their weight and (as long as they keep eating them) reduce the risk of gaining weight in later life.
  • Digestive health The insoluble fibre in wholegrains is essential to keep things moving in the bowel — which means less constipation and risk of diverticular disease.

CHOICE sifts through the marketing hype to give you the lowdown on wholegrains.

Please note: this information was current as of August 2008 but is still a useful guide today.



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