Heart Health Improved by Eating Wholegrains

Research findings that each additional serve of wholegrains decreased the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 9% supports Heart Foundation recommendations.

Published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, the review of 14 studies including more than 780,000 participants found that higher intake of wholegrains was associated with a lower risk of death from heart and circulatory disease and cancer

Heart Foundation Spokesperson for Nutrition Beth Thomas said the research supports recommendations of Heart Foundation and Australian Dietary Guidelines to choose wholegrain options of products such as bread, breakfast cereals, and pasta.

“Wholegrains are an important part of a heart healthy diet. In the findings, high vs low intake consistently linked to better health outcomes with a 28% reduction in cardiovascular disease mortality,” Beth Thomas said.

“This research clearly demonstrates that diets that recommend avoiding or restricting wholegrains are not recommended, such as very low carbohydrate diets, Atkins and Paleo-style diets.

“The way in which wholegrains appears to improve health include reducing blood glucose levels and blood cholesterol levels (total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol), lowering body fat percentage and increasing intake of minerals, antioxidants and fibre.

“Increasing fibre intake with wholegrain foods is healthy for the bowel, lowers cholesterol (TC and LDL-C), avoids spikes in blood glucose levels and may also assist with satiety (i.e. not overeating).

“Choose wholegrain versions of your regular food choices like bread, cereal and pasta; and limit junk style foods with refined grains such as cakes, biscuits and pastries.

Beth Thomas added that “limitations of the research include the observation nature of the studies reviewed, and the majority of studies occurring in the US or Europe, which may limited generalisability to populations of other ethnicity”.

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Ryan Fritz

Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities with another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years of experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities.

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