Quarter of Australians avoiding grain foods fearing weight gain – report

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Grain foods, Bread

Do breads like these cause weight-gain? Photo credit: Flickr - Kimee, Jackie, Tom & Asha
Do breads like these cause weight-gain? Photo credit: Flickr - Kimee, Jackie, Tom & Asha
Around a quarter of Australians are limiting grain foods such as bread in their diet to help lose weight, according the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council.

The Council’s report ‘What’s to Gain from Grains’ attempted to dispel the negative effects of grain foods after it found that 26% of Australians were turning their backs on breads and pasta.

Weight gain link

David Roberts of the Council’s Scientific Review Board said the trend had come “as a result of lack of knowledge of their benefits and misconceptions such as their consumption is linked to weight gain”.

The Council estimates that 35% of women and 15% of men in Australia are currently avoiding bread, pasta and other grain-foods in fear of putting-on weight.

“However, the evidence from both cohort studies and clinical trials indicates that wholegrain foods can be included in an effective weight loss diet and can aid long-term weight management,”​ said the report.

To combat current perceptions, the Council recalled an evidence statement for the draft Australian Dietary Guidelines 2011 that said people consuming three to five servings of wholegrain foods tended to gain less weight.

Potential health benefits

In a survey conducted by the Council, one-in-five male respondents were said to lack understanding of the benefits of grain-foods. More than one-in-three women reported limiting such foods to aid weight loss.

The council pointed to an earlier report it had published that claimed consumption of two to three servings of wholegrain foods could reduce risk of chronic disease by 20-30%.

It added that cereal fibre in grain foods could reduce the risk of bowel cancer and protect against heart disease.

Bread bloat: fact or myth?

In separate research, The British Nutrition Association recently said that there was insufficient evidence that bread causes bloating and gastrointestinal discomfort.

The claim was made in a study commissioned by National Association of British and Irish Millers and the Federation of Bakers

It said that media reports linking the commonest bread making process, the Chorleywood Bread Process (CBP) to bloating were myths based on incomplete evidence.

The study said that bread could lead to increased flatulence, but this was not something to be ashamed of as the gas we produce “indicates a functioning gut flora”.

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