The Bread Box-Blog



New Study Reveals Americans May Not Be Eating Enough Bread

Bread is rich with nutrients, but only makes up a small portion of the American diet, according to a newly released study published in Nutrients journal.  The study found that we need to think twice before cutting bread from our diets.

How the Study Was Conducted

The study used data from more than 10,000 dietary surveys from men and women over the age of 19 collected by the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). People were asked in the surveys to recall what they had eaten in the past 24 hours. Data looked at the consumption of all grains and various sub-categories such as bread, rolls, tortillas, ready-to-eat cereals, cooked grains, quick breads and sweet bakery products. The study also examined the contribution of these products to vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. The researchers were especially interested in how grains contribute to under-consumed, or shortfall nutrients. These are nutrients that, when under-consumed, cause public health concerns.

Key Findings from the Study

The study found that grain foods such as bread, rolls, tortillas and ready-to-eat cereals make up a very low portion of Americans’ diets – less than 15% of all calories in our total diets. However, the study also found that this small quantity of grain foods provide a disproportionate amount of critical nutrients we need to maintain health. In fact, the study showed grain foods provide more than 20% of three shortfall nutrients–dietary fiber, folate, and iron—and  greater than 10% of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin A.

“We Can Enjoy Bread Again”

“These data show that grain foods are the foods we love that love us back – finally, we can enjoy bread again,” said study co-author, Yanni Papanikolaou, in a press release. “The nutrient contribution of all whole and refined grain food products, including breads, rolls and tortillas and ready-to-eat cereals, can play a key role in helping American adults meet recommendations for under-consumed nutrients and nutrients of public health concern.” “We all know that The Dietary Guidelines recommend consuming half of our grains as whole grains,” Papanikolaou continued, “but refined, enriched grains, including breads, rolls, cooked and ready-to-eat cereals also can provide meaningful contributions to the diet of all Americans. So, there is no need to eliminate these from your diet.”

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