Whole grains may prevent high blood pressure in men

October 14, 2009 in Heart Health, Men's Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Whole grains may prevent high blood pressure in men

Eating lots of whole grains could ward off high blood pressure, according to a new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

In this study, a team of Harvard researchers looked at data from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which has followed 51,529 men since 1986, when the study participants were 40 to 75 years old.

They looked at a subset of 31,684 men free of hypertension, cancer, stroke or heart disease at the study's outset. During 18 years of follow-up, 9,227 of them developed hypertension.

Men with the highest whole grain consumption were 19 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure than men who ate the least amount of whole grains.

Looking at specific components of whole grains, only bran showed an independent relationship with hypertension risk; Men who consumed the most bran had 15 percent lower risk of hypertension than men who ate the least bran.

The amount of bran in the men's diet was relatively small compared to their total intake of whole grain and cereal fiber.

Whole grains like 100% whole wheat, rye, tricale, spelt and oats retain their bran and germ layers so they are richer in fibre, protein, selenium, B vitamins and other vitamins and minerals. Refining grains removes these nutritious outer layers.

Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating recommends making at least half your five to 12 servings of grain products whole grain. To boost your intake of whole grains, try switching to brown rice instead of white rice or enjoy a bowl of hot oatmeal for breakfast.

For more ideas on how to eat more whole grains, check out The Complete Whole Grains Cookbook.

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.