Whole grains lower blood pressure

September 13, 2006 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Whole grains lower blood pressure

According to researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, diets rich in whole-grains and high in soluble of insoluble fibre, are associated with a reduction in blood pressure in individuals with elevated cholesterol.

Researchers examined the effects on blood pressure of whole grain diets containing insoluble fibre (whole wheat and brown rice) and soluble fibre (barley) on seven men and 18 women.

Researchers assigned all participants to the controlled Step 1 American Heart Association diet for 2 weeks, followed by all refined carbohydrates being replaced with whole grain foods. Two types of whole-grain diets -- whole wheat/brown rice, barley, or half wheat-rice/half barley were each consumed for 5 weeks.

Study findings showed that blood pressure decreased significantly during the all whole-grain diets.

Among the men, the greatest reduction was observed during the half-and-half diet, while the greatest reduction for women occurred during the diet with barley.

Researchers conclude that increasing whole-grain foods, whether high in soluble or insoluble fiber, can reduce blood pressure.

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