Wholegrains and Fibre

Cancer Council Australia Fibre, Wholegrain Cereals and Cancer Position Statement

Wholegrain foods are an important part of a healthy diet.  They help to ensure a healthier digestive system and reduce the risk of bowel cancer. Wholegrain foods contain the outer layer of grain and are rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals.  Once this outer layer is removed in the refining process, these benefits are lost.  This is why refined versions of the same food, like white bread, have fewer nutrients and less fibre, even if the manufacturers ‘enrich’ the product with added nutrients.

Wholegrain foods include:

  • wholemeal bread, muffins, crispbread, pasta and crumpets
  • wholegrain or whole-wheat breakfast cereals or muesli
  • cracked wheat (bulgur)
  • brown and wild rice
  • corn
  • oats
  • rye
  • buckwheat
  • millet
  • quinoa (keen-wah)

How much do I need to eat?
Depending on your age and activity level, at least four serves of grain foods, mostly wholegrain or wholemeal foods every day (or ensure about half your daily serves of breads and cereals are wholegrain or wholemeal).

What is a serve?

  • 1 slice of bread or 1/2 a medium roll or flat bread (40g)
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, buckwheat, bulgur or quinoa
  • 1/2 cup cooked porridge, 2/3 cup wheat cereal flakes or 1/4 cup muesli
  • 1 crumpet or 1 small English muffin or scone
  • 1/4 cup flour