Nutritious choices from this food group include multigrain and wholemeal breads and cereals, rolled oats, wholemeal pasta and brown rice. These foods contain dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals and various phytochemicals. Many of the nutrients are found in the outer layers of the grains, which is why it is important to eat these foods in as unprocessed a way as possible.
Some research suggests that people who regularly eat wholegrain and high fibre foods are less likely to develop bowel cancer. High fibre foods can also ease constipation, help with weight management, and reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Recommendations for how much of these foods you should eat every day depends on your age, gender and how much physical activity you do. On average women should eat aorund 4 serves each day and men should eat around 6 serves each day.
We suggest that at least half the amount of bread, cereals and pasta you eat each day is wholegrain. The recommended quantity of fibre per day is 25 grams for women and 30 grams for men. Eating more wholegrain and wholemeal foods will help you to achieve this goal. Fruit and vegetables also contain fibre and we recommend eating 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables each day to help meet your dietary fibre requirements.
A serve of wholegrain food is:
- 1 slice of bread or 1/2 medium bread roll
- 3 crackers
- 1/2 cup of cooked rice, pasta or noodles
- 1/2 cup of cooked porridge
- 2/3 cup of breakfast cereal
- 1/4 cup of untoasted muesli
To increase wholegrain foods in your diet:
- Choose wholemeal and grainy breads, wraps, crumpets and crackers
- Choose wholegrain, high fibre breakfast cereals, porridge and muesli
- Choose brown rice and wholemeal pasta and couscous
- Use wholemeal flour to thicken sauces, gravies and stews
- Use half white and half wholemeal flour for baking
- Use wholemeal breadcrumbs or oats to coat foods.