Alison Duncan is a Professor and Associate Director of Research at the Human Nutraceutical Research Unit, in the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph. Alison’s academic training is all in nutrition with an undergraduate degree in Applied Human Nutrition from the University of Guelph, training to become a Registered Dietitian at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, a M.Sc. in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Minnesota. Her teaching and research relate to the biological effects of functional foods on chronic disease risk-related measures evaluated in human intervention studies, with a particular focus on the agri-food-health continuum. Alison currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Nutrition and as Vice President-Research and President-Elect for the Canadian Nutrition Society and was recently named a Fellow of the Dietitians of Canada.
Evidence supports the association between higher whole grain intakes and lower incidence of diseases, including heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and certain cancers. This session will cover the mechanisms behind the health benefits of whole grains. Substituting whole grains for refined grains delivers not only fiber, but additional vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Research recently indicated that low whole grain intake is more associated with adverse health outcomes than low fruit and vegetable intake and increasing consumer whole grain intake may have the potential to save billions of dollars in health spending through simple dietary modifications. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans has promoted increasing whole grain intakes as early as 2000 and now encourage at least three servings of whole grains daily. The newly released Canada Food Guide recommends choosing whole grain foods but data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS, 2015) show that whole grain intake among Canadians remains low. Learning Objectives: • Understand the mechanisms behind the health benefits of whole grain • Knowledge of current Canadian whole grain intake levels • Identify top food sources of whole grain among Canadians • Implementation necessary for education and consumer support for increased whole grain consumption