The Harvard School of Public Health in Boston has determined that consuming whole grains (oats, brown rice, whole wheat flour, bulgur) was associated with a reduction of total mortality risk and cardiovascular disease associated mortality risk.
Previous studies associated whole grains with reduced blood cholesterol and improved weight maintenance.
“Compared with refined carbohydrates, whole grains contain many beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals that primarily reside in the outer layers of grains that are removed during milling processes to produce refined grain products,” said Hongyu Wu, PhD, of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, MA.
The research data consisted of data from 74,341 women who were assessed between 1984 and 2010, and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, from which 43,744 men were analyzed between 1986 and 2010. Research participants were required to complete food frequency questionnaires, from which whole grain intakes were estimated based on the dry weight of whole grain ingredients in all grain-containing foods consumed, such as bread, rice, breakfast cereals and pasta.
The research findings revealed that a higher intake of whole grains was associated with reduced risk of overall mortality and lower risk of CVD mortality; each serving of whole grains (28 g) was linked to a 5% reduced total mortality risk or a 9% lower risk of CVD mortality.
The researchers recommend increasing whole grain consumption to facilitate primary and secondary prevention of chronic diseases and also provide promising evidence that suggests a diet enriched with whole grains may confer benefits toward extended life expectancy.
Cecilia C. Schiavon, Francilene G.K. Vieira, Vanessa Ceccatto, Sheyla de Liz, Alyne L. Cardoso, Cristiane Sabel, David A. Gonzalez-Chica, Edson L. da Silva, Daisy Galvan, Carlos G. Crippa, Patricia F. Di Pietro. Nutrition Education Intervention for Women With Breast Cancer: Effect on Nutritional Factors and Oxidative Stress. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 2015; 47 (1): 2 DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2014.09.005