A deeper look inside consumers’ eating patterns

by Dan Malovany
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Eating whole grains
New research from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey sheds light on consumers’ eating patterns along with the health implication of those patterns.

Even though the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (D.G.A.) were issued fairly recently, the grain-based foods industry already has begun preparing for the 2020 review process to ensure new data is available for key decision-makers. The Grain Foods Foundation (G.F.F.) commissioned research to take a deeper look at data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to better understand consumers’ eating patterns along with the health implication of those patterns.

“This work found that whole and enriched grains are key components in a healthful diet, providing essential nutrients across the lifespan,” said Christine Cochran, G.F.F. executive director. “The results of this research are just starting to be published, so we are confident G.F.F.’s data will be a cornerstone of the data we submit throughout the D.G.A. 2020 development process.”

Glenn Gaesser, Ph.D., professor of exercise and wellness at Arizona State University and G.F.F. Scientific Advisory Board member, recently told Baking & Snack that officials should consider promising new research that showcases the impact of whole grain consumption on the microbiome, specifically the microbial environment in the human gut.

“There is some research suggesting grain consumption is associated with a healthy microbiome,” he said. “It is believed that the production of short-chain fatty acids via colonic fermentation of cereal fiber from whole grains may confer cardio metabolic benefits in individuals consuming whole grain foods.”

Further, these findings may explain in part the well-established relationships between whole grain intake and reduced risk of a number of prevalent chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Research along these lines can help uncover additional dietary patterns consumers can consider to live a healthful life. Stay tuned as the exciting new research is unveiled.

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