Originally published April 1 2015
Whole grain consumption reduces fatal cardiovascular risk by 20 percent and lengthens lifespans, study shows
by Sandy J. Duncan
(NaturalNews) In the midst of the gluten free everything craze, Harvard Public School of Nutrition released a study that shows eating more whole grains may lower mortality by up to 15 percent, especially cardiovascular disease-related mortality. The study also suggests that consuming bran may lower mortality by 6 percent. The study was released in January 2015 in JAMA Internal Medicine and is titled "Association Between Dietary Whole Grain Intake and Risk of Mortality: Two Large Prospective Studies in US Men and Women."
The study included over 74,000 women and over 43,000 men between the years 1984 and 2010 and all the patients were free of cardiovascular disease and cancer at the beginning of the study. The main objective of the study was to examine the association between dietary whole grain consumption and risk of mortality.
These data indicate that higher whole grain consumption is associated with lower total and CVD mortality in US men and women, independent of other dietary and lifestyle factors. These results are in line with recommendations that promote increased whole grain consumption to facilitate disease prevention.
"This study further endorses the current dietary guidelines that promote whole grains as one of the major healthful foods for prevention of major chronic diseases," said Qi Sun who led the study for Harvard.
Interesting results• They found that whole grain intake was associated with up to 9 percent lower overall mortality and up to 15 percent lower CVD-related mortality. For each serving of whole grains (28g/day), overall mortality dropped by 5 percent, and by 9 percent for CVD-related mortality.
• Surprisingly, the study did not identify a correlation between eating whole grains and lowered cancer-related mortality.
• They also didn't find any decreased mortality from eating germ, another essential component of whole grains.
• Substituting refined/processed grains and red meats with whole grains was shown to have an impact on lowering mortality.
• Those who ate the most whole grains, such as porridge, brown rice, corn and quinoa seemed protected from many illnesses and particularly heart disease.
Varieties of grain have been consumed throughout history. Eating whole grain foods is a great way to get fiber but also delivers up a good dose of vitamins, minerals such as zinc, copper, manganese, iron and thiamine, enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Whole grains have also been shown to lower blood pressure, blood sugar and blood cholesterol. However, the grain consumed just 100 years ago has very little resemblance to the processed, bleached and nutrient deprived version widely consumed today.
The American diet is full of highly refined grains that are missing the outer bran and inner germ layers. These empty carbohydrates include white rice, white bread, pastries, and other products made from processed white flour. This unhealthy version of grain also is depleted of the wonderful benefits of fiber.
Whole grain• Each whole-grain kernel includes all three layers of the original plant seed.
• The bran lies just below the outer layer of the husk.
• The bran contains most of the grain's fiber.
• The starchy endosperm is the largest portion of the kernel. This is the only part of the grain in white flour.
• The germ is the innermost layer and contains most of the vitamins, minerals and healthy oils.
Dr. Lu Qi said: "Our study indicates that intake of whole grains and cereal fiber may reduce the risk of all-cause mortality and death from chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease.
"Our findings should motivate future studies, especially clinical trials and experimental studies, to further testify the beneficial effects of whole grains and potential effective components such as fiber and other nutrients, and explore mechanisms."
Ancient grains making a comebackGrains finding their way into health food aisles and crunchy food blogs are the ancient grains. These include Amaranth, freekeh, einkorn wheat and quinoa.
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