Good News about the American Diet!
The bad news about the way America eats has been piling up, from our obesity crisis to our uninspected egg producers selling unsafe eggs. We are about due for some positive news, and thankfully, it is here.
For years, whole grain lovers like myself have been spreading the word about the benefits of eating unrefined grains. People have been slow to change, even as the momentum built, with the USDA getting on board with their recommendations in 2007, and major manufacturers spending millions to promote their healthy whole grain products.
But we have reached a tipping point. For the first time EVER, whole wheat bread sales beat white. Yes, according to Nielson Co, whole wheat sales hit $2.6 billion, while white dropped to 2.5 billion.
Take a minute to applaud yourselves, people. As much as we, as a people, love our junky foods, we are capable of absorbing a message and making a change. We had some help, as the companies that make the breads have been engineering their products to be more palatable every day. New products like “White Whole Wheat,” a whole wheat flour that is paler in color, have helped the cause. Why alarm anyone with brown bread?
The survey also found that the biggest growth was in whole wheat breads that were labeled as “natural” or as having EFA’s or some other healthy ingredient. Within the industry, the news that the top sellers are the healthy ones will lead to more good whole wheat products. When it sells, they make more.
One consumer at a time, one loaf at a time, the myth that whole wheat tastes bad is being debunked. The baby boomers are going whole wheat, and the children of today are growing up with whole wheat as a normal part of life.
This is good news. Eating just three servings a day of whole grains significantly reduces the risks of all kinds of cancers, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and a host of ills. Prepared whole wheat bread is one of the easiest ways to get your whole grains, and just three slices a day makes a difference.
So congratulations, America, you are moving in the right direction.
It’s so good to hear that we can make changes for the better, and feel better for it!