Lantmännen Unibake supports the International Whole Grain Day which aims to highlight the positive impact of whole grain on nutrition, health, wellbeing, and sustainability
With the rising concern and interest in these major topics, consumers are becoming more conscious about the food they consume and its impact on the environment. The International Food Information Council surveyed 1,014 Americans ages 18 to 20 and more than half of the respondents are trying to consume more whole grains. In addition, the same respondents believe grains to have the smallest negative impact on the environment out of all the items listed. Thus, whole grains are growing at a remarkable rate – proving in market after market that consumers worldwide are beginning to understand the importance of enjoying more whole grains.
What is a Whole Grain?
Whole grains offer a myriad of nutrition and health benefits and they naturally grow in fields making them good for the planet. All grains start life as whole grains. In their natural state growing in fields, whole grains are the entire seed of the plant, but a grain is only whole grain if it has all three original parts intact in their properties.
Health & Nutrition Benefits of Whole Grain
At Lantmannen Unibake, we believe in the power of food and how it can truly impact your life. It is our goal to make sure you’re eating healthy and living a balanced life, which is why do our best to source all natural ingredients for our products including whole grains. Studies show that eating whole grains instead of reﬁned grains lowers the risk of many chronic diseases. While beneﬁts are greatest with at least 3 servings daily, some studies show reduced risks from as little as one serving daily. Based on the Whole Grains Council‘s research, here are the benefits of whole grains that are most documented by repeated studies:
Over the years, there has been a strong and consistent interest in whole grains, especially for people who seek particular health benefits. In the latest 2022 IFIC Food and Health Survey, the survey found that out of 1,005 Americans ages 18 to 80, 53% report that they consume whole grains to improve cardiovascular health, 42% report that they consume whole grains to lose weight, 35% report that they consume whole grains to improve digestive/gut health, 34% report that they consume whole grains to improve immune function, and 33% report that they consume whole grains to improve energy/reduce fatigue.
Types of Whole Grains
Rooted in European baking traditions, we have a long history of baking with all natural ingredients – especially whole grains. There are a variety of whole grain foods and flours that people consume on a regular basis. In our commitment to baking for a better world, our experienced bakers promise to use more whole grain ingredients, less salt and reduce calories as much as possible. Some of the whole grain foods and flours we currently use include:
- Amaranth is a “pseudo-grain” – like quinoa or buckwheat – and the kernels are tiny. When cooked, they resemble brown caviar and they have a lively, peppery taste. Amaranth has no gluten, so it must be mixed with wheat to make leavened breads. Health Bonus: Amaranth has a high level of very complete protein; its protein contains lysine, an amino acid missing or negligible in many grains.
- Barley is one of the oldest cultivated grains and it has a particularly tough hull that is difficult to remove without losing some of the bran. If you want to be sure you’re getting the right barley, search for whole barley, hulled barley or hull-less barley. Health Bonus: The ﬁber in barley is especially healthy; it may lower cholesterol even more eﬀectively than oat ﬁber.
- Millet is not just one grain, but the name given to a group of several small related grains that have been around for thousands of years and are found in many diets around the world. It’s incredibly versatile and it can be consumed in its natural form or ground into flour or corn meal. Health Bonus: Millet is naturally high in protein and antioxidants, and can help control blood sugar and cholesterol.
- Rye has the ability to grow in areas too wet or cold for other grains and it has an unusual hgih level of fiber in its endosperm. Because of this, rye products usually have a lower glycemic index than products made from wheat and most other grains. Health Bonus: The type of ﬁber in rye promotes a rapid feeling of fullness, making rye foods a good choice for people trying to lose weight.
- Semolina is a course flour made from Durum wheat, which is a hard type of wheat. When ground into flour, durum wheat (aka semolina) has a darker and more golden color than all-purpose flour with a mild, earthy aroma. Along with its culinary uses, semolina also benefits weight management, heart health, and your digestive system.
- Spelt can be used in place of common wheat in most recipes. It is rich and nourishing and milder than other grain. Like other varieties of wheat however, spelt can be found in both whole and refined form – so look for the words whole spelt. Health Bonus: Spelt is higher in protein than common wheat. There are anecdotal reports that some people sensitive to wheat can tolerate spelt, but no reliable medical studies have addressed that issue.
- Wheat is a dominating grain because of the large amounts of gluten it contains. The gluten enable bakers to create satisfying risen breads but it can be enjoyed in many different forms. Two main varieties that are widely eaten include durum wheat and bread wheat.
Our Euro-Bake Swiss Muesli Artisan Bread Loaf contains whole wheat flour, rye flour, barley flakes, rolled oats, rye flakes, and malted barley flour.
Environmental Impact of Whole Grains
Sustainability is all about finding the right balance. All of us are part of an ecosystem between people and nature. At Lantmannen Unibake, we pay our respect by limiting our food waste, reducing our carbon footprint, and by optimizing every step of the way from sourcing raw materials to distribution of the finished product. Balancing quality of life with respect for nature is an essential virtue when tackling both human challenges and climate problems.
In the 2022 IFIC Food and Health Survey that surveyed 1,005 Americans ages 18 to 80, 39% say environmental sustainability has an impact on their decision to buy certain foods and beverages and 52% believe their food and beverage purchases have an impact on the environment. This demonstrates that there is a strong and consistent interest in whole grains due to the advantages they provide when it comes to health, nutrition, wellbeing and sustainability. Grains and other plant foods are less resource intensive to produce than animal foods like dairy, eggs and meat. Whole grains require significantly less water than just about any other food we consume which is a big deal when it comes to climate change, resilience and the environment. Thus, it can be argued, that diets emphasizing a shift toward more grain and less meat are not only healthier choices for humans as such, they also release some of the burden on our environmental resources.
Artisan Breads with Whole Grains
Most whole grains are chewier than refined grains and some may have a nuttier flavor. Keeping our whole grain bread and fast-food products delicious and tasty over time is a key priority for our innovation and quality teams. They work hard to improve the nutritional profile of our bread and fast food products by increasing the overall amount of whole grains and consequently fiber while slightly reducing the salt content. All while keeping the same great taste! At Lantmannen Unibake USA, we have multi grain breads from Euro-Bake that are nutritious and delicious including:
- Sprouted Grain Artisan Loaf – A multigrain artisan loaf featuring sprouted grains and a touch of honey, topped with a mixture of grains for a rustic look. This bread is rich with vitamins and nutrients from the sprouted grains.
- Farmhouse Country Artisan Loaf – Grain loaf with a multitude of ingredients including flax seeds, toasted soy grits, whole wheat flour, sunflower seeds, oats, carrot flakes, pumpkin seeds, honey, molasses, banana chips, apple pieces and wheat germ.
- Swiss Muesli Artisan Loaf – A true European-style breakfast bread made with an assortment of whole grains, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, apple pieces, raisins, dates, cranberries, flax seeds and wheat germ. Topped with a muesli cereal mixture.
- Whole Grain Finnen Roll – A rectangular, whole grain roll with oat bran topping, distinct malt aroma, and spices. This dinner roll contains 9.5 grams of whole grains and it can be served as a dinner roll or an appetizer component.
- Cranberry Multigrain Square – A moist and flavorful multigrain roll made with wheat flour and bran, whole cracked wheat, healthy sunflower, and flax seeds with a touch of sweetness from dried cranberries. Delicious and nutritious!
- Multigrain Stick – A multigrain roll in a unique shape that is full of rye, flax and sunflower seeds delivers a subtle sweet grain flavor. Grains include wheat flour, rye flour, wheat meal, wheat bran, rye flour, rye meal and more.
Together, we can work together to create a healthy life and sustainable environment for everyone.