While shopping in supermarkets, you can find various kinds of food products that contain roughage—whole-wheat bread, cereal milk, yoghurt and biscuits. And coarse grain food is appealing to more and more young white-collar workers.
"A program on TV teaches how to make nutritious food. It shows how to mix the grain together and cook it, which I think is an awful lot of bother, because I don't have time after work. I think it would be much better if the grain food sold in the supermarket could be beneficial for my health, because it's very convenient."
As the advertisement says, food products with roughage are not only full of nutrition, but also contain fiber which helps you digest food and makes you feel full.
This is why coarse grain food is very popular among young women who want to maintain their weight, although it is much more expensive than ordinary food products.
But some senior citizens don't like roughage-based foods, especially cereal milk and yoghurt, because they find that the more kinds of coarse grain they contain, the more additives they have.
"The yoghurt has too many additives, as if it's made of additives."
"You can put beans and sugar in the yoghurt, but chemical additives should not be put into it. I don't dare to drink it."
Industry insiders say most of the coarse grain food sold in markets is not what food product manufacturers say it is.
Wang Xufeng, Deputy Secretary General of the Chinese Nutrition Society, says coarse grain food is not the same as what it is advertised to be.
"When people drink cereal milk or yoghurt, they can smell a strong grain fragrance. Then they believe it must contain a lot of coarse grain. But if you look at the contents list, you will find there is an additive called 'flavoring essence.' Actually the smell is made by the flavoring essence."
Supermarket customers may wonder how much coarse grain a parcel of cereal yoghurt contains. Wang Xufeng says it's far less then people imagine.
"The Chinese Nutrition Society recommends that an adult should have 50 grams of roughage every day. A parcel of 250 grams of cereal milk contains about 3.5 grams of coarse grain. That is to say, you have to drink more than a dozen parcels to meet the recommended requirement. But it's impossible for a person to drink that much a day."
Wang also says the roughage in the milk and yoghurt is not that nutritious, because vitamins and proteins are lost during processing, and a lot of fat, sugar and additives are added to the products to give them an appealing taste. This is why some coarse food is not healthy at all.
The nutrition expert suggests that steaming roughage is the best way to maintain all its nutritious contents. He also says it's better for people to make their own healthy food by putting coarse grain into a blender and mixing it with refined grain[?].
For CRI, I'm Zhong Qiu.