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Getting enough daily grain? Not according to survey

Study shows just 10 per cent of Canadians eat enough grains


Toronto, Ont. – Only about 10 per cent of Canadians are consuming a healthy amount of whole grains each day, despite the fact that most consumers believe they actually eat too many servings of grain.

Canada’s Food Guide states that a healthy adult diet includes between six and eight servings of grains per day. At least half of that should be whole grains. But according to the new Grain Counter Survey by Harris/Decima conducted on behalf of Dempster’s and the Canada Bread Company, Ltd., the vast majority of Canadians are not meeting these recommendations.

The study also reveals that as consumers age their grain consumption decreases. For instance, in the 25- to 34-year-old age group 15 per cent of consumers eat the recommended servings of daily grain. Yet only five per cent of those aged 34 to 44, eight per cent of consumers aged 45 to 54, and four per cent of those aged 55 to 64 consume the recommended daily servings of grain. The survey also found that on average men eat more whole grains than women (12 per cent versus six per cent).

When it comes to regional consumption, Ontarians eat the most grains (10 per cent), followed by consumers in Quebec and B.C. (nine per cent), Alberta (six per cent) and Manitoba and Saskatchewan (five per cent).

Misinformation about carbohydrate consumption may be one reason that consumers have cut back on grains, while a lack of knowledge about whole grains may be another. Good sources of grains include oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain pasta and whole grain breads.

The study was based on the results of two surveys conducted in 2010 from July 29 to Aug. 1, and from Nov. 11 to Nov. 14, of 1,000 Canadians aged 18 and older.