Expert Warns, Don't Neglect Grains
Visiting Canadian Professor Lillian Thompson, a world-
renowned expert on the health properties of food has warned
that Australians do not eat enough grain-based foods (such
as bread, breakfast cereals, pasta) in their diet. Professor
Thompson, who has conducted research into the health
properties of grains in the diet says that the failure of
consumers to eat enough grains increases the risks of
diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Professor Thompson will discuss these issues and others
at the Royal Australian Chemical Institute's National
Convention, to be held in Canberra on 8 February, 2000.
Amongst the significant health benefits which can be
attributed to grain foods are the links between consumption
of whole-grain foods and the reduction of some of the
twentieth century's most challenging health issues; colon
and breast cancer, diabetes and coronary disease.
The US recently approved the health claims for whole
grains and oats recognising them as functional foods", that
is, foods that provide health benefits beyond normal
nutrition", says Professor Thompson. Despite this, the
consumer intake of these foods has not increased to the
recommended levels and this must be addressed."
Professor Thompson, who has published more than 150
research papers relating to her research discipline, is a
member of the Health Canada Scientific Advisory Council
which considers the standards of evidence for health claims
for foods in Canada.
She is respected around the world for her research into
the health effects of phytochemicals and phytic acid found
in grain foods in relation to fighting life-threatening
My studies are designed to provide guidance in the design
and development of functional foods which will aid in
reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and
coronary heart disease and in the control of diabetes."
In her address to the national convention, Professor
Thompson will discuss the importance of striking balance
between the consumption of whole grains and refined grains
in the daily diet.
Acknowledging the nutritional benefits of refined grain
products, Professor Thompson emphasised the importance of
incorporating whole grains as well as refined grains in the
daily diet. Studies show that eating a diet containing
whole grain foods can lower the risk of diseases such as
coronary heart disease, but the same effects are not seen
with refined products.
Trish Griffiths, Nutrition Services Manager for BRI
Australia Ltd and spokesperson for the GO GRAINS nutrition
program said Professor Thompson's research makes an
extremely important contribution to our understanding of the
role of diet in the control of diseases such as cancer and
GO GRAINS task is to assist in the dissemination of this
information to the general public. Individuals can take an
active role in improving their health and maintaining a
healthy diet by eating at least 4 serves a day of foods like
bread, breakfast cereal and pasta (1 serve is 2 slices of
bread, 1 cup of cooked rice or pasta, 1 1/3 cups of
- Source: Go Grains