Three daily servings of whole grains are recommended for prevention of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and excess weight gain. Yet few adolescents or young adults follow these guidelines, according to national survey data. In a study published in the February 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers from the School of Public Health, University of Minnesota report that young people are consuming less than 1 serving of whole grains per day. This could be due to the ever growing consumption of fast food and the lack of whole grain products used in restaurants, as well as in the home.
The fast food generation has a tough habit to break, and many convenience foods do not provide adequate whole grains, regardless of the label claims. Many foods that now claim to provide fiber are adding psyllium, an ingredient used in laxatives.
How to look for whole grains: One key to whole grain bread is by the weight of the loaf itself - the heavier, the better. Watch the wording on the labels of cereals and breads; many companies aim to deceive. A claim of "whole grain" can be as little as 10% of the total flour used. To get more bang-for-your-buck, go for items that contain 100% whole grain. If the label doesn't say "100% Whole Grain," it probably isn't.