ating at least three servings of whole grains
every day could lower your risk of death,
according to new research in the American
Heart Association’s journal Circulation.
Although dietary guidelines around the world have
included whole grains as an essential component of
healthy eating patterns, people aren’t eating enough,
according to the analysis. In the United States, average
consumption remains below one serving a day, despite
the long-time recommendation of three servings a day.
In the first meta-analysis review of studies reporting
associations between whole grain consumption and
death, researchers noted that for about every serving ( 16
grams) of whole grains there was a:
• 7 percent decreased risk in total deaths;
• 9 percent decline in cardiovascular disease-related
• 5 percent decline in cancer-related deaths.
The more whole grains consumed, the lower the death
rate. According to researchers, when three servings (48
grams) were consumed daily the rates declined:
• 20 percent for total deaths;
• 25 percent for cardiovascular deaths; and
• 14 percent for cancer-related deaths.
“Previous studies have suggested an association
with consumption of whole grains and
reduced risk of developing a multitude
of chronic diseases that are among
the top causes of deaths,
although data linking whole
grain intake and mortality
were less consistent,” said
Qi Sun, M.D., Sc.D., senior
author of the study and
assistant professor at the
Harvard T.H. Chan School
of Public Health in Boston,
findings lend further support
Americans, which suggest higher consumption of whole
grains to facilitate disease prevention.”
Whole grains, such as whole wheat, oats and brown
rice, contain dietary fiber, which may help improve blood
cholesterol levels, and lower the risk of heart disease,
stroke, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Dietary fiber can also
make you feel full longer, so you may eat fewer calories.
Sun noted that low-carbohydrate diets that ignore
the health benefits of whole grains foods “should be
adopted with caution,” as they may be linked to higher
cardiovascular risk and mortality.
“Based on the solid evidence from this meta-analysis
and numerous previous studies that collectively document
beneficial effects of whole grains, I think healthcare
providers should unanimously recommend whole grain
consumption to the general population as well as to
patients with certain diseases to help achieve better
health and perhaps reduce death,” Sun said.
The American Heart Association recommends a heart-healthy dietary pattern emphasizing fruits, vegetables,
whole grains and other nutritious foods and specifically
that at least half of grain consumption should be whole
grains. Whole grains provide many nutrients, such as
fiber, B vitamins, and minerals, which are removed during
the refining process.
Source: American Heart Association News
Eating More Whole Grains
Linked with Lower Risk of Death