Eating more whole grains lowers mortality,
Just one slice of whole grain bread makes significant
difference; whole grains may confer benefits toward longer life
8, 2015 – We have all been encouraged to “eat more whole grains” and now
there is proof that we should. Eating more whole grains – the more the
better - appears to be associated with reduced mortality, especially
deaths due to cardiovascular disease (CVD), but, unfortunately, not
cancer deaths, according to a report published online by JAMA
Whole grains are widely recommended in many dietary
guidelines as healthful food. However, data regarding how much whole
grains people eat and mortality have before been somewhat inconsistent.
Every time you eat bread -- be it a bagel, an English muffin, or
part of a sandwich -- you've got an opportunity to improve your
diet. For most Americans, choosing whole-wheat bread products
most of the time is the easiest way to eat more super-healthy
whole grains. But when you're standing in front of the bread
array in the supermarket, reading the various label claims, just
how do you know which is the best bread to buy?
Choosing the best bread can be confusing. Here are three bread
myths that help make it that way:
Bread Myth No. 1:
If it looks brown and has the word "wheat" in the name, it has
lots of fiber and whole grain.
The first ingredient listed on the ingredient label tells the
story. If it's "wheat flour" or "enriched bleached flour" (or
similar), that tells you white flour was mostly used, not
Bread Myth No. 2:
Breads with healthy sounding names like "seven-grain" or "100%
natural" are the best choices.
To clarify this obviously valuable information,
Hongyu Wu, Ph.D., Harvard School of Public Health, and coauthors
examined the association between eating whole grains and the risk of
death using data from two large studies:
● 74,341 women from the Nurses’ Health Study (1984-2010) and
● 43,744 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study
All the participants were free of cancer and CVD
when the studies began.
After the data were adjusted for potential
confounding factors including age, smoking and body mass index, the
study found that eating more whole grains was associated with lower
total mortality and lower CVD mortality but not cancer deaths.
The information of enough to enable the authors
further to estimate that every serving (28 grams/per day) of whole
grains was associated with 5 percent lower total mortality or 9 percent
lower CVD mortality.
One standard slice of commercial bread weighs about
1 oz. and there are 28 grams in 1 oz., according to
MyNetDairy. So, for every
slice of whole grain bread we consume daily we lower our death risk
“These findings further support current dietary
guidelines that recommend increasing whole grain consumption to
facilitate primary and secondary prevention of chronic disease and also
provide promising evidence that suggests a diet enriched with whole
grains may confer benefits toward extended life expectancy,” the study
This study was supported by research grants from
the National Institutes of Health and Career Development Award from the
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
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