Most Australians aren’t getting enough good grains, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ first comparison of the National Nutrition Survey with the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
The results show the majority of Australians don’t meet the daily requirement of grain consumption. What’s more, around 18.3 per cent of the grains that are being consumed are coming from nutrient poor choices (i.e. cakes, muffins, pizza and pies).
Of particular concern is only 8.5 per cent of women aged 19-30 years met the recommended number of serves of core grain foods per day.
The report also said one in two Australians exceed the World Health Organisation’s recommendation that free sugars contribute to less than 10 per cent total energy intake.
The Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council (GLNC) said the results are concerning as the scientific evidence shows people who eat at least three serves a day of whole grain and high fibre grain foods are at a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, as well as being less likely to gain weight.
“Australians should not cut down on nutrient-rich core foods, which may contain naturally occurring sugars or low levels of added sugars,” the GLNC said.
“These core foods are an important part of a balanced diet that provides nutrients essential to health and wellbeing. Instead, people should focus on reducing their intake of discretionary foods and drinks, which is likely to be the most effective way to reduce intake of added sugars.”