Grain foods pack a significant punch of the nutrients older Americans need most – much more than a caloric one. A recent study published in the journal of Nutrients shows that eating a variety of grain foods regularly (in addition to other nutrient-rich foods like fruits and vegetables), helps contribute to nutrient density in the total diet.
While they represent less than five percent of the total saturated fat in the diet, grain foods contribute a whopping amount of under-consumed shortfall nutrients and nutrients of public health concern such as dietary fiber, folate, magnesium, calcium and iron, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B12, niacin, and thiamin.
Grain foods contribute 14% of total energy (calories) to the diets of older adults, yet grain foods provide a greater percentage of key nutrient than energy. In addition, bread, rolls, and tortillas are contributors of the daily need for thiamin, niacin, dietary fiber, folate, and iron. Ready-to-eat cereals contribute iron, folate, thiamin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.