Whole Grains Aid in Battling Heart Disease

Posted by Bianca Doran on February 25, 2015

Whole Grains Aid in Battling Heart Disease

In the world of nutrition, Carbohydrates make up a large portion of your daily serving requirements.  But all carbs are not created equal;  it can get a little tricky when deciding which ones are the safest and healthiest for your body.  We constantly hear about different ‘’low-carb’’ diets and how to limit our carbohydrate intake.  Though there are certain types of carbs we can do without, there are many that are vital for our health.  A long-term study conducted by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that eating more whole grains may actually be the link to lower mortality rates, specifically in terms of cardiovascular disease.

The Study

There have been studies in the past that did find associations between whole grain and lower risk of chronic disease. Before this new Harvard study, however, there have been limited findings in terms of an association between whole grain intake and mortality.  The study had the Harvard researchers review data from more than 74,000 women and 43,000 men who filled out questionnaires about their diet every two to four years, over the course of almost a quarter of a century.  A variety of factors contributed to their findings such as age, BMI, exercise and overall diet. When they compared those who excluded whole grains from their diet to those who did incorporate whole grains, the researchers found that participants who ate whole grains had decreased their mortality by up to 9 percent.

Whole Grains And Your Diet

So many of the foods we eat are made with processed flour such white bread, pasta and rice, which are not whole grains.  The act of processing these foods, actually strips them of their nutritional value.  On the other hand, the benefit you receive from choosing whole grains over processed grains is equal to about a 5 percent drop in mortality rate per serving.  Incorporating whole grains and superfoods in your daily diet, can drastically improve your health. These findings give reason to swap those refined grains and red meats for the healthier whole grain products.

Listed below are some examples of healthier whole grain food products:

  • Whole grain Bread & Tortilla Wraps
  • Brown Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Whole Wheat Pasta
  • Bran & Wheat Based Cereals
  • Oatmeal
  • Popcorn

Understanding the food we eat and how it affects our bodies can help us pave a healthier and safer path for ourselves. Simply changing a few items in your diet can drastically improve your health and benefit your future.

Bran

Bran is a great example of a food that has the power to change your life and potentially help you live longer.  Incorporating major health foods in our daily diet can contribute to the prevention of major chronic diseases. Bran, a major component in whole grain foods, linked with up to a 6 percent lower overall mortality rate. Consuming bran is incredibly beneficial to one’s nutrition as it is packed with fiber, protein and selenium. Bran helps battle cholesterol and can even prevent cardiovascular disease. Because it keeps blood sugar levels from rising, it can also aid in the prevention of diabetes.  

Looking for ways to get more Bran in your diet?  Oat Bran and Wheat Bran can be found in everyday food items, such as Bran Muffins, Cereals, Oatmeal, Pancakes and sometimes even cookies!


TAGS: whole grains for heart health