Whole grains lower risk of chronic disease

February 6, 2008 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Healthy Eating, Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Whole grains lower risk of chronic disease

A diet that is high in whole grains may help achieve significant weight loss. W hole grains may also reduce the risk of chronic diseases including diabetes and heart disease, say researchers from Penn State University.

In this 12-week study, 50 obese adults with metabolic syndrome were randomly assigned to either a group that received instructions to have all of their grain servings from whole grains or all of their grain servings from refined grains. Everyone was asked to have five servings of fruits and vegetables, three servings of low-fat dairy products, and two servings of lean meat, fish or poultry each day.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of symptoms including abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, and high blood fat. If left unchecked, metabolic syndrome can develop into diabetes and heart disease.

People who ate only wholegrain grains products had significantly higher weight loss in the abdominal region when compared to those that ate refined grains. The whole grain eaters had a 38 percent decrease in C-reactive protein levels in their blood while the refined grain eaters experienced no drop in C-reactive protein.

C-reactive protein is a biomarker for inflammation that promotes high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Losing weight appears to decrease the levels of this marker of inflammation; however, in this study the author believes high consumption of refined grains probably negated the beneficial effect of weight loss on C-reactive protein levels.

Numerous studies have linked whole grains to reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease.  

Eating grain products that are made with the whole grain means you're getting all parts of the grain: the outer bran layer, the germ layer and the endosperm. These layers contain beneficial vitamin E and fiber in addition to other healthful nutrients.

Buckwheat, bulgur, cracked wheat, millet, quinoa and spelt are examples of some delicious whole grains you can find in your local grocery store.  These grains taste great when cooked in low sodium broth or water with a bay leaf added for flavor.

Click here for more tips on how to enjoy cooking with whole grains.  

This study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.