Health benefits of grains

grains

Consuming foods rich in fiber, such as whole grains, as part of overall healthy eating, reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and may reduce constipation.

High-fiber foods such as whole grains help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories. Selecting whole grains for at least half your daily servings may help maintain your weight. Incorporate whole grains into your healthy eating plan by adding a whole wheat bagel or toast to breakfast, a sandwich on whole wheat bread at lunch or whole wheat pasta with dinner.

In addition to the basic benefits of grains, they help maintain optimum health due to the phytochemicals they contain – many of which are still being identified.

Three to eight ounces of grains are recommended each day, depending on how many calories you need. About one-half of these should be whole grains. To find out how many grains you need, take the Healthy Eating My Way quiz.

References:
1. U.S. Department of Agriculture. ChooseMyPlate.gov Website. Washington DC. Why is it Important to Eat Grains, Especially Whole Grains? http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/grains-why.html. Accessed March 8, 2015.
2. Benzie IF, Choi SW. Antioxidants in food: content, measurement, significance, action, cautions, caveats, and research needs. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2014;71:1-53.

References:
1. U.S. Department of Agriculture. ChooseMyPlate.gov Website. Washington DC. Why is it Important to Eat Grains, Especially Whole Grains? http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/grains-why.html. Accessed March 8, 2015.

2. Benzie IF, Choi SW. Antioxidants in food: context, measurement, significance, actions, cautions, caveats, and research needs. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2014;71:1-53.
3. U.S. Department of Agriculture. ChooseMyPlate.gov Website. Washington DC.How Many Grain Foods Are Needed Daily? http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/grains-amount.pdf. Accessed March 8, 2015.

Benefits of eating whole grains

wheat grains

Eating whole grains such as popcorn, oats and quinoa is linked to increased longevity, and may decrease risk for deaths from cardiovascular disease over a 25-year period, but not cancer deaths, a new study finds.  The new research is one of many large studies that tie a diet high in whole grains to increased longevity, including deaths due to cardiovascular disease.

“I think it’s quite conclusive that if you eat whole grains, you almost always benefit,” said the new study’s senior researcher, Dr. Qi Sun, an assistant professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

In the study, the researchers looked at two large studies, including about 74,000 women who were taking part in the Nurses’ Health Study, and nearly 44,000 men participating in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. The participants recorded their whole-grain intake on food surveys given every two to four years.  The new study has three main findings, Sun said. First, the researchers found that people who ate at least 28 grams of whole grains a day had a 5 percent lower risk of dying over the study period, and a 9 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular-disease-related death, than people who ate little or no whole grains during the course of the study.

People in the study who replaced one serving a day of refined grains with whole grains reduced their risk of dying over the study period by 8 percent, and people who replaced one daily serving of red meat with whole grains reduced their risk of dying over the study period by 20 percent, the researchers also found.

The researchers accounted for other factors that could have affected the study participants’ risk of dying over the study period, such as age, smoking, body mass index, exercise and general diet. This was especially important because the men and women who ate more whole grains also tended to get more exercise, eat other healthy foods, smoke less and drink less alcohol than people who ate fewer whole grains.

Experts said the results of these studies add to previous evidence of the healthful effects of whole grains.

The study was published online today (Jan. 5) in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.