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Proc Nutr Soc. 2003 May;62(2):455-67.

Behavioural, attitudinal and dietary responses to the consumption of wholegrain foods.

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Human Nutrition Research Centre, School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK.


Whole grains are important dietary constituents as they provide a plethora of nutrients and protective chemicals that may have synergistic actions in promoting health. Regular consumption of wholegrain foods has been associated with a reduced risk of several chronic diseases such as CHD and certain cancers, although their exact role in disease prevention is not yet fully elucidated. Studies reporting levels of whole grain consumption reveal that those subjects who include higher levels of whole grain foods in their diets also have many other favourable dietary and lifestyle practices. While the actions of these practices and whole grains may not be mutually exclusive, these variables do not appear to explain the reduction in risk of disease observed for high-whole grain consumers. Actual whole grain consumption levels are extremely low and many practical barriers exist to consumer uptake of these foods. Effective communication of the whole grain health message is an important strategy to increase awareness of the importance of whole grains in the diet. Increasing the variety and availability of acceptable wholegrain foods is also important. Whole grain consumption at breakfast can have an important impact on total daily nutrient intakes. This simple dietary modification is potentially relatively easy to achieve and could greatly contribute to increased whole grain intake for many individuals.

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