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What are wholegrains?

Wholegrains are essential in a healthy, balanced diet. A wholegrain cereal must contain three key elements; the bran, the germ and the endosperm, without all three parts a cereal cannot be classed as a wholegrain. Examples of wholegrains include wheat, millet, corn, barley, buckwheat and rye.

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The benefits of wholegrains

In addition to a source of carbohydrate (which is our body’s main source of energy) wholegrains are also a source of B vitamins (which help to release energy from carbohydrate, protein and fat within our foods) and fibre, a nutrient that within the UK we do not consume enough of. 

The most recent National Diet and Nutrition Survey (published in 2015) found that adults across the UK only consume on average 14g of fibre per day, this is 16g less than the new recommended guideline of 30g per day.* Therefore increasing wholegrains in our diets will in turn also increase fibre.


As well as the additional nutrients wholegrains contain in comparison to a refined grain, many studies have also investigated the link between wholegrain consumption and disease.  

Current scientific evidence shows that wholegrains play an important role in lowering the risk of chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Evidence also shows that wholegrains contribute to weight management and gastrointestinal health. 

*SACN, Carbohydrate and Health report 2015.


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