GUELPH — Young Ontario adults ages 18 to 34 are bigger consumers of grains and cereals than their older counterparts, according to recently released results of a survey conducted by a Grain Farmers of Ontario educational campaign.
Traditionally the most coveted age demographic in marketing circles are the 18- to 34-year-olds.
Seventy-seven percent of these younger Ontarians eat grains daily, according to the survey carried out by the ‘Good in Every Grain’ initiative; 43 percent of them seek out whole grains when making purchasing decisions.
Those 35 to 54 were less likely to look for whole grains.
Are 18- to 34-year-olds more health conscious or influenced by the aggressive vegan movement? Or is it something else? No matter, they prefer grains and cereals more than older Canadians and that’s okay by the Grain Farmers of Ontario.
“As we age, the need for the thoughtful inclusion of fibre in our diets actually increases, so looking at this survey, we want to see more people of every age embracing those grains and ensuring that they are getting those vital nutrients,” said Victoria Berry, Manager, Communications at Grain Farmers of Ontario. “We also clearly have some work to do in educating people on the daily recommended servings of grains with forty three percent of survey respondents not knowing how many daily grain servings are recommended by Health Canada.”
Younger Ontarians were significantly more likely to say they should be eating more servings of grains per day, estimating an average of five servings compared to their older counterparts’ belief in closer to four daily servings. Canada’s Food Guide suggests six to eight servings per day, with grains making up 25 per cent of a healthy dinner plate. Health Canada also recommends that at least half of daily grain choices be whole grain.
With many different types of grains to choose from like barley, corn, oats and wheat, grains have the unique combination of healthy fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals that help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. They also play a role in maintaining a healthy weight.
“The adoption of healthy grains in daily diets provides a lifetime of health benefits. It is never too late in life to reap the health benefits that grains provide,” said Michelle Jaelin, registered dietitian.