University of Saskatchewan Study Analyzed Canada’s Diet: Grains Are Key Nutrients


A study conducted by researchers at the University of Saskatchewan contains a cluster analysis on grain consumption in Canada. The report focused on identifying patterns in grain consumption, using data from the Statistics Canada.

The first results of the study showed that whole grains or enriched grains are vital nutrients in Canadian’s diet. And they only make for 25% of the daily calories.

The leader of the research is Hassan Vatanparast. He said that their analysis shows almost 80% of Canadian adults don’t eat the servings of grains recommended in Canada’s Food Guide. He stated in a press release that the body can lose essential nutrients when not consuming grains:

“But the grain foods they do consume are contributing important sources of some key nutrients, and those individuals who do not consume grains may be at risk for these important nutrients, such as folic acid, some B vitamins and iron.”

There aren’t too many studies on enriched grain food – also known as refined grains, added Vatanparast:

“In fact, our research showed that most of the grain foods that Canadians consume are actually made from enriched grains.”

The study analyzed information collected from 20,487 Canadian adults and children. It focused on their eating habits, nutritional supplements, or factors connected to health.

Whether Whole or Enriched, Grains Are Key Nutrients

Vatanparast states that refined grains are the ones to contribute to the daily fiber, folate and iron intake of the Canadian population:

“So, considering that refined grains are currently contributing 23 per cent of Canadian’s daily fibre, 40 per cent of folate, and 31 per cent of the iron, it becomes clear that they are important food sources for delivering key nutrients in the Canadian diet.”

Nutrition researcher Yanni Papanikolaou is the vice-president of Nutritional Strategies Inc. and part of the research team. He said that the University of Saskatchewan study shows there is no difference in BMI between people consuming grains and those that don’t eat any.

The University of Saskatchewan is at the beginning of their project, and their study will continue into 2020.


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