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Whole Grain Benefits

A leading GP gives insight into which ‘good beige foods’ should be included in our diets

Beige foods such as porridge, whole grain bread, rye crackers, whole grain breakfast cereals, and whole grain barley are considered “good” beige foods.

According to a survey of 2,000 adults, 23 percent think beige foods are unhealthy – although whole grains are a good source of fiber and other nutrients needed for good health.

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Beige foods are also considered tasteless (10 percent) and bland (15 percent).

Only 12 percent consider beige to be the healthiest color of food, while only 38 percent consider items in this color group to be a potential source of fiber.

No knowledge of health benefits

It found that 63 percent are unaware of the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Fewer than one in ten can correctly determine how much fiber they should consume each day.

GP Dr. However, Gill Jenkins, who works with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Committee (AHDB), believes that beige foods are an important part of a balanced diet.

Dr. Gill Jenkins said, “Whole grains play an important role in a healthy, balanced diet, which is a good source of fiber and other nutrients we need for good health.

“According to UK government guidelines, adults should consume 30 grams of fiber per day as this is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and colon cancer.

“Right now, adults in the UK are only eating around 20g of fiber a day, so most of us need to increase our intake.

“Choosing foods with fiber can help us feel full longer, and a high-fiber diet can aid digestion and prevent constipation.

“As part of a healthy, balanced diet, it is important to get fiber from various sources such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, potatoes in their skins, legumes and beans, nuts and seeds.

“Whenever you can, choose high-fiber whole grains with higher fiber. Also, try to choose the ones that are lower in sugar and salt. “

The healthiest color

The survey also found that 62 percent believe green is the healthiest color for food, followed by red (34 percent) and orange (26 percent).

Only 12 percent think beige is the healthiest color, and only 38 percent typically associate beige foods as a source of fiber.

Almost three-quarters say they could identify a whole grain product, but 63 percent are unaware of the nutritional benefits of eating whole grains, suggesting that more training is needed on this.

As a result, whole grains seem to be banned from shopping lists. Only 15 percent of those surveyed regularly eat whole grain pittas, 12 percent enjoy oat cakes and nine percent put rye bread in them.

It also found that only 12 percent are “very confident” of identifying high-fiber snacks.

But 41 percent of those surveyed through OnePoll didn’t know that whole grain bread was considered whole grain, and 57 percent didn’t know that oats were whole grain too.

Dr. Gill Jenkins added, “You could try higher fiber breakfast cereals like whole grain bread or whole grain crushed cereals with no added sugar or oatmeal.

“Good choices for bread are granaries, seeds, whole grain bread or white bread with higher fiber. Try adding whole grain barley, extra vegetables, legumes, and beans to soups and stews.

“Healthy snacks can also help increase your fiber intake. Try rye crackers or oat cakes with nut butter and fresh fruit or vegetable sticks.

“A lot of foods show how much fiber they contain on the nutrition label on the pack, so use this to compare which product has more fiber.”

To further highlight this, AHDB also commissioned a stunning piece of art from food artist Prudence Staite, recreating Vincent Van Gogh’s iconic sunflower painting using only whole grains.

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