Originally published January 27 2015
Whole grains can increase your lifespan, decrease diabetes, heart disease risk and more
by L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
(NaturalNews) From every angle, the general population is starving, in desperate need of more than just food and empty, nutritionless calories. The supermarkets are full of empty-calorie food products that have been stripped of their nutrition. The void is real. It can be seen in the people's faces, passing by one another in the grocery aisles with blank stares. The nutrition just isn't there. It's hard to come by. You have to know where to look. For the most part, today's grains are commercially stripped of their nutrition, refined down to starchy remains.
The protective outer layer of the grain (the bran) is removed during the refining process, taking the fiber out along with it -- the fiber which humans need for proper digestion.
The part of the seed that sprouts is called the germ. This too is removed, stripping the grain of its vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. The final result is a refined grain product that pales in comparison to its natural wholeness. The only thing left is the starchy white inner core which is used to make commercial white bread and white flour products. Synthetic vitamins are added back to the starchy remains to try and restore the nutrition quality of the grain, but what's added is not comprehensive and may be much harder to digest and utilize.
This is why it's important to seek out whole grain products which keep the bran and the germ intact. More research points out that switching to whole grains increases quality lifespan, while decreasing diabetes and heart disease risk. The good new is that nutrition labels signify whether a product contains whole grain ingredients or has been refined and denatured.
"Reading the ingredients of food labels, consumers will know whether the food contains any whole grain contents," said senior author Dr. Qi Sun of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.
For every ounce of whole grains daily, study participants reduced their risk of death by 5 percentNew findings published in JAMA Internal Medicine show that eating whole grains is most often associated with healthier, active lifestyles. Those who ate whole grains over refined grains consumed less alcohol and were less likely to be current smokers. Their diets were cleaner, and their exercise levels were more active.
Of the 188,000 study participants in the Nurses' Health Study from 1984 to 2010 and the Health Professionals Follow Up Study between 1986 and 2010, nearly 27,000 passed away. All the deceased started the study with either heart disease or cancer. All participants' health records and dietary questionnaires were updated throughout the study for further investigation on how things like prevalence of whole grains affect disease outcomes. The study authors found one major correlation: Those who ate mostly whole grains were 10 percent less likely to die throughout the course of the study.
In fact, they observed that with every increase of 28 grams of whole grains per day (1 ounce), the risk of death went down by 5 percent. With every additional ounce of whole grains per day, they watched the risk of heart disease death go down by 9 percent across the board.
This study alone shows how important nutrition is as ultimate, life-sustaining medicine. An ounce of prevention comes in the form of whole grains! One serving, or just half a cup, of uncooked oats contains 40 grams of whole grains. One simple serving of oats a day can literally reduce heart disease risk by over 9 percent.
Whole grains are also superior to refined grains when considering diabetes risk. Refined grains are not digested well and often lead to rapid changes in blood sugar and insulin levels. Whole grains don't have that effect and instead protect diabetics from spikes or drops in blood sugar or improperly regulated insulin levels.
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