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Wholegrains promote a healthier future

Most Australians do not eat the recommended amount of grain food products.
Photo: GRDC

Australia might have one of the highest life expectancies globally, but a recent study by The Lancet reveals that almost half of the population have non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

A major risk factor for non-communicable diseases and early mortality is a diet low in wholegrains.

Despite the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommending the inclusion of four to six serves of grain foods daily, mainly from wholegrains, most Australians do not eat the recommended amount.

The research shows 50 per cent of Australians are unsure of what wholegrains are, with many lacking knowledge about how to prepare and consume them. There is also an abundance of conflicting information on grains, so let us cut through the confusion.

Wholegrains – such as oats and barley – contain the whole grain kernel.

Rich in dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, they maintain healthy blood pressure, reduce serum cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease.

Sustained source of energy

Wholegrains provide a sustained energy source, stabilising blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. High-fibre foods such as wholegrains promote feelings of fullness, which can support weight management and healthy eating habits.

Incorporating wholegrains can benefit gut health by balancing the bacteria in the gut microbiome. Good gut health has positive long-term health implications, such as lowered disease risk, improved emotional wellbeing and a stronger immune system.

By including more wholegrains in their diets, Australians can proactively reduce their risk of non-communicable diseases and improve their overall health.

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