Thursday, March 12, 2015

Whole Grains And Mortality

The Study
74,341 women from The Nurses’ Health Study and 43,744 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study had their whole grain consumption measured repeatedly and were followed for 24 years. Rates of mortality were then compared. Participants who consumed the most whole grains had a statistically significant 9% lower risk of mortality when compared to those who consumed the least. Adding one serving of whole grains per day (28 grams) was associated with a 5% lower total mortality in this cohort.        
JAMA Internal Medicine doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.6283

Take Home Message
Proponents of paleo and low carb diets claim that whole grains have a negative impact on health and need to be completely avoided. This statement is not supported by the current research literature. The authors of this study feel the benefits of whole grains come from their high levels of fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, antioxidants and numerous other beneficial phytochemicals.  These substances combine to have a powerful impact on our health. The authors also mentioned that whole grains have been shown to have a favorable impact on blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, as well as cardiovascular health in general. This could account for the decreases in mortality among the participants consuming high amounts of whole grains. I have my clients shoot for 2 servings of whole grains per day. Good examples of whole grains are old fashioned oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and corn.

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