Understanding of the Australian Dietary Guidelines: Recommendations for Legumes and Whole Grains

Date: 4/05/2022
For Immediate Release

New research published by the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council (GLNC) has delved into consumers understanding of the Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADG), with recommendations for the grains and legumes industry.
The study, that was published in late April, explores the consumer perceptions of wording utilised in dietary guidelines specifically focused on legumes and whole grains, with the aim to assist the upcoming Dietary Guideline review, and increase the overall consumption of these categories by consumers.

The study revealed consumers prefer legume recommendations that include quantities provided in cup measures and frequency related to daily or weekly intake. In the existing ADG legumes are mentioned in two of the five food groups, as a vegetable and as an alternative to meat, an area that has growing traction in Australian homes and on the supermarket shelf. Of interest, is that many consumers preferred legumes to feature either in their own food group or as part of the protein group, as opposed to sitting in the vegetable category.

The most preferred legume dietary guideline statement was “Each day, consume at least one serve of legumes either as a serve of vegetables or as an alternative to meat”, this echoes similar messaging around two fruit and five vegetable consumption marketing seen in the Australian market for the last several years.

For whole grain, consumers preferred a less prescriptive option, such as “choose whole grain products over refined grains/white flour products whenever you can”. The alternative selection marketing message has been encouraged by the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council in their “Swap to Whole Grains” campaigns.

Jaimee Hughes, Nutrition Manager, at GLNC and co-author of the paper, said “the current review of the dietary guidelines provides opportune time to undertake meaningful and novel research that may assist in framing the messaging for whole grain and legume intake. As Australian consumers are falling short of their daily recommended intake of these food groups, it’s important that we understand what messages resonate best in order for consumption to improve”.

Effective messaging in guidelines could consider greater specificity regarding frequency, quantity and quality of foods recommended, and help get more whole grains and legumes on the plates of Australian consumers.
Access the full paper here: https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14091753

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