Grain Study

According to new research unveiled at the 2015 Experimental Biology (EB) annual meeting in Boston, The Grain Foods Foundation (GFF) worked with researchers to address grain foods in the overall diet and their associations with health outcomes as a result. They studied grain foods patterns — dialing up or dialing down specific grain food servings and looking at the impacts on overall energy, nutrient intake and diet quality, and cost of nutrients and grains foods' role in providing nutrients per dollar.

Tweetable Highlights:
.@GrainFoods Grain guilt be gone! New research shows eating grains has a more positive health impact compared to not eating grains #EB2015
.@GrainsRD New data shows that adults who eat yeast breads and rolls have lower sugar intake than adults who eat no grain foods #EB2015

Working with nutrition consulting firm Nutrition Impact, three separate research initiatives based on existing government data sets — National Health Examination Survey, What We Eat In America, USDA food categories — were executed to assess grain foods consumption and health, grain foods patterns and cost of nutrients within grain foods.

According to Vice President Yanni Papanikolaou, MPH, "The findings from the three research efforts were surprising and opens the door for future research in the grains and nutrition science field. While the whole grains data is plentiful and generally positive, gaining a better understanding of grain foods holistically should help Americans and public health advocates to take control of their food choices."

Highlights from the research include:

Based on the cluster analysis, adults who eat yeast breads and rolls have lower total sugar intake when compared to adults who eat no grains.

From the cluster analysis, adults who eat certain grain food patterns (cereals, pasta, cooked cereals, rice, crackers, salty snacks, pancakes, waffles and quick breads) have less saturated fat and increased dietary fiber intake in their diets.

Modeling data showed that Americans who follow a 2,000-calorie diet can consume one serving of whole grains and five servings of refined grains (bread, rolls, bagels, tortillas) daily and still see positive health and nutrition end points.

Cost of nutrients data showed that grain-based foods are a "nutrition bargain" for American consumers — especially within the rolls/buns and rice categories, each ranking in the top five most cost effective food categories for 13–14 of the nutrients/substances evaluated, including dietary fiber, protein, folate, iron, magnesium, calcium, niacin and thiamin.

GFF is committed to sound science that elevates the nutritional contributions of grains in the diet. While GFF participated in scientific conferences in the past, the opportunity at EB is the first time that GFF-supported research will be presented. "We are excited to be a part of the nutrition science community by supporting research that will help Americans better understand the grain foods they eat and feel good about their dietary choices," said Christine Cochran, Executive Director of the Grain Foods Foundation.

For more information about the research findings or learn more about grain foods role in a healthy diet please visit GrainFoodsFoundation.org.