Consumers, and Intake of Whole Grains

Helping Consumers Achieve Recommended Intakes of Whole Grain Foods

Judi F Adams, MS RD, and Alta Engstrom, RD, LD

Wheat Foods Council, Parker, Colorado []

According to research data from both the USDA and private companies, Americans consume approximately one serving of whole grain foods per day. Current guidelines recommend three or more servings a day. The health benefits of whole grains are well documented. However, convincing Americans to eat them, especially in the amount recommended, has been unsuccessful. Adults and children give a variety of reasons for not choosing whole grain foods, including these: a lack of understanding of the health benefits of whole grain foods, an inability to identify whole grain foods at the point of purchase, their taste, their cost, the time it takes to prepare them and the availability of whole grain foods in stores. This paper addresses some of the misconceptions surrounding whole grain foods and offers strategies for helping consumers choose more whole grain products. In addition, we present historical information on the consumption trends of whole grains as well as educational and promotional opportunities that industry and health professionals can use to encourage the public to eat more whole grains.

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