The University of Warwick has released a new study attempting to clarify the pros and cons of grain products. The study explained that whole grains are rich in many components, including dietary fiber, starch, fat, antioxidant nutrients, minerals, vitamin, lignans and phenolic compounds, all of which have been linked to reduced risk of cancer. Epidemiological studies have clearly shown that whole grain cereals can protect against obesity, diabetes, cardio-vascular diseases and cancers.
The various components present in whole grains may act synergistically to help improve bowel function and provide protection against gastrointestinal cancers, inflammation, and other disease states while strengthening barrier function and providing immune support.
The senior research fellow Rob Lillywhite commented on the health benefits as follows:
“Apart from the two percent of the population who suffer from coeliac disease or other sensitivities or intolerance to wheat, there is overwhelming evidence of clear health benefits of a whole grain based diets featuring store cupboard staples such as bread and cereal made from lightly processed wheat. The benefits are increased where whole grains have undergone relatively little processing.”
“The evidence to suggest that consumption of whole grain wheat, which contains a higher proportion (or amount) of dietary fibre compared to oats, products is good for individuals is overwhelmingly positive and consumption of whole grain will increase both health and help to maintain a healthy body weight.”
“Other than for the 2% of the population with a specific gluten or wheat intolerance, the scientific evidence behind many of the most popular wheat and carbohydrate free diets turns out to be surprisingly thin and selectively used. Some will result in a short-term reduction in body weight but the same result could be achieved in the long-term by eating less of higher quality or relatively unprocessed foods. The low carbohydrate diet has now generated its own industry and new product development in the ‘free-from’ sector means that a typical low cereal and carbohydrate diet may cost most people more yet deliver less.”
“The argument is sometimes advanced that humans were not designed to eat certain food types. This is erroneous as humans were not designed for anything but evolved to their environment and adapted to the available food. The success of Homo sapiens is testament to that adaptive ability. Humans consume food products now such as cereals and dairy products, in vast quantities, that would have been unrecognisable to Stone Age hunter-gatherers and the very fact that so few people are immune or sensitive to them is demonstration of that adaptive ability.”
“Whole grain products are undoubtedly good for health and given their multiple beneficial aspects could easily be described as a super food. It might be possible to argue that they are superior to many other fruit and vegetable super foods since they have multiple modes of action and provide both short- and long-term health benefits.”
University of Warwick. “Wheat in diet: Study on health impact of wheat challenges Stone Age myths and costly diets, providing you go whole grain.” http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=147425&CultureCode=en