Whole grains may help you live longer
Here’s another reason to work whole grains into your diet–they appear to reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, That’s the conclusion of a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine,
Compared to refined grains, such as white bread, whole grains contain all three grain elements: endosperm, bran layers, and germ. Refined grains are usually stripped of bran layers and germ during the manufacturing process.
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed two large sets of data: the Nurses’ Health Study, which included data from 74,341 women between 1984 and 2010, and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which included data from 43,744 men between 1986 and 2010.
Every two to four years the participants filled out a food frequency questionnaire. Their whole grain intake was estimated from this information by calculating the dry weight of whole grain ingredients in all grain-containing foods the participants’ recorded eating.
At the beginning of the study, no participants had cancer or cardiovascular disease. Throughout the two studies 26,920 people died.
By the end of the Harvard analysis, the researchers found eating whole grains lowered cardiovascular disease mortality risk and mortality in general. Furthermore, each serving of whole grains—roughly 28g—seemed to reduce overall mortality risk by five percent and cardiovascular disease mortality risk by nine percent. However, no direct link between eating whole grains and reduced cancer mortality was established.
The researchers did note the amount of whole grain intake by participants is subject to possible errors. Also, the majority of the study participants were middle-aged or older and of European descent, which does not reflect the overall population.