Australia could make healthcare savings of more than $1.4 billion annually in the treatment of heart disease and type 2 diabetes simply by swapping just three serves a day of refined grain foods to whole grains.
The new research, published this week in the international journal Nutrients, calculated the savings in healthcare costs and lost productivity associated with reductions in heart disease and type two diabetes from increased consumption of whole grains.
Conducted by investigators from the Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council (GLNC) and an expert from Kuwait University, this is the first research to quantify healthcare savings associated with meeting the Daily Target Intake for whole grains in Australia.
These findings could have substantial implications for policy makers and provide strong evidence for further strengthening messaging regarding whole grains in the national dietary guidelines.
Dr Sara Grafenauer, Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Managing Director of GLNC, said conditions such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes are major health issues in Australia.