Whole Grains Could Cut Risk of Early Death by Up to 20%

Nutritious bread made of whole-grain flour and seeds

Researchers found a link between the recommended daily serving of whole grains and lower risk of premature death.

A recent study has found that eating whole grains every day could cut the risk of dying prematurely from all causes by up to 20 percent. Whole grains are also tied to lower risk of dying from heart disease and cancer, researchers reported.

The study findings confirm what your grandma knew for decades – that oatmeal is good for your health – despite not being able to tell you why exactly.

The study, which was published this week in the medical journal Circulation, revealed that three daily servings of whole grains such as whole wheat, brown rice, or oats could decrease the risk of dying prematurely by 20 percent, risk of dying from cancer by 14 percent, and risk of cardiovascular death by 25 percent.

Researchers explained that whole grains are rich in fibers, a compound that can stave off heart disease and diabetes. Fiber also helps digestion, prevents constipation, and makes people feel full longer thus promoting weight loss.

Past studies had also linked dietary fiber to reduced risk of becoming obese, having a stroke and lower bad cholesterol levels.

The latest study is in fact a review paper of a dozen studies. The research papers in the analysis involved over 786,000 participants.

The analysis showed that 16 grams of whole grains are tied to a 7 percent lower risk of premature death from all causes, 9 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular death, and 5 percent lower risk of cancer death. Extra servings helped lower these risks even further.

Lead author of the study Dr. Qi Sun noted that past studies had failed to find a consistent link between whole grains consumption and lower risk of early death even though they did find strong associations with a series of chronic diseases that may result in premature death.

The latest findings are consistent with the federal dietary guidelines which suggest that whole grains may prevent a plethora of diseases in the long run.

But despite all these studies and recommendations, people often fail to introduce whole grains in their diets. According to a 2014 survey, just 3 percent of children and 8 percent of grownups get the recommended daily intake of the food, i.e. three servings of 16 grams each.

Whole grains are also a rich source of minerals, vitamin B, and other nutrients, researchers noted, which are removed from processed foods.

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